2015 Asia/Pacific Winner

Tokai Trading Co. - Japan

Since its foundation in 1947, Tokai Trading Co. has always had the goal to provide the latest and most advanced technology to customers in the area of agricultural materials. Tokai’s motto is “Step Ahead with Customers,” and since Japanese growers are making efforts to use environmentally sound cultivation methods, the company is working to make technical offerings that are environmentally friendly.

“Japan’s agricultural business has recently been experiencing various changes in order to meet the consumer needs for safer and secure food, and growers are making efforts to meet such societal needs by applying environmentally friendly cultivation methods and providing safe produce,” says Takayuki Aoki, president.

Tokai’s own facility is environmentally friendly. A solar power generation system is on the roof of the warehouse adjacent to the headquarters, and the company reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 24 tons in 2014.

Tokai Trading Co. is the first company in Japan to commercialize the Western bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) for use in tomato pollination, replacing the labor-intensive manual pollination methods that were used. Now, Tokai sells the Japanese bumblebee, which is environmentally more suitable. By introducing bees into crop cultivation, crop protection products are changing to be safe for bees, and IPM practices are being used. The company also uses unmanned helicopters in its aerial crop protection product application business. It is an advanced technology that provides even and safe application of chemicals by using the downwash of the helicopter. Only certified employees are allowed to operate the drones.

To contribute to the community and provide awareness of the green industry, Tokai installed a lawn at the local elementary school playground, and there are plans to do more installations in the future.

“We were able to expand the good image about agriculture among the local people because they understand the greening business is a part of agriculture, which can present healing space by using natural green in everyday life,” Aoki says.