September 29, 1997
Bob Scowcroft addresses a group of
Japanese restaurant and food-service
executives. (More photos)
Ten high-powered executives from the Japanese food and restaurant industry toured the UCSC Farm last week as part of a weeklong visit to the United States to explore the organic and natural foods industries.
The demand for organic foods is growing rapidly in Japan, where consumers bought nearly $500 million worth of natural products last year. Members of the delegation collectively own or operate more than 2,500 restaurant and food-service companies in Japan, including KFC Japan Co., Ltd.
At the Farm, the visitors had an up-close opportunity to see and learn about organic growing practices. A panel discussion at the Louise Cain Gatehouse following the tour included presentations by Bob Scowcroft of the Organic Farming Research Foundation, Nell Newman of Newman's Own Organics, Ken McCormick of California Certified Organic Farmers, and Greg Steltenpohl of Odwalla Juice Co.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and organized by the USDA's Agricultural Trade Offices in Tokyo, the visit took delegates of the Japan FoodService Association to Oregon and the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, in addition to spending two days in the Monterey Bay Area. The Center for Trade and Commercial Diplomacy at the Monterey Institute of International Studies hosted the group during their local visit.
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