JAPAN ORGANIC AGRICULTURE ASSOCIATION
No.502, Ueki-building, 4-10, NISHI-GOKENCHO, SHINJUKU-KU, TOKYO, 162-0812, JAPAN
What is organic agriculture?
Organic agriculture can be described as:
1)Creating living soil;
2)Growing a mixture of crops on suitable land at the right time;
3)Living in harmony with insects, birds, and all other living creatures;
4)Respecting Nature's cycles and preserving the environment;
5)Organically linking producers and consumers, and nurturing a friendly relationship where food has a 'face'.
|this basic document for the producer-consumer co-partnership was made at 1993, and this document refered to the Movement of the Japan Organic Agriculture Association.
|Statement of Purpose|
Japan Organic Agriculture Association (JOAA) : Statement of Purpose - October 17, 1971@
Technological advances and industry development are displacing Japan's traditional farming methods. Viewed from a production increase and labor saving perspective, these changes have produced remarkable results. At least, this is what is commonly said about the modernization of agriculture.
The so-called modernization has been promoted primarily from a capitalist viewpoint, one from which it is extremely difficult to hold out hope and positive expectations for the future of our nation's agriculture.
Fundamentally, it is important that agriculture be considered not only from a financial standpoint, with health and national survival as priorities over economic concerns. This perspective requires that we not only hold out hope and expectations in the face of extreme difficulty, but also address the urgency of confronting some extreme underlying problems in current Japanese agriculture.
Specifically, that present farming methods cause farmer workers to suffer from recurring work-related illnesses, while pesticide residue poses a serious threat to consumers of farm products. Additionally, that continuous application of agricultural chemicals and synthetic fertilizers and dumping of livestock waste-both of which are contributing factors to the extinction of one after another of a number of wild creatures and their natural enemies, and to the pollution of rivers and oceans-results in environmental destruction. On cropland, farming which degrades soil fertility and decreases rich topsoil is encouraged. If these phenomena, having only occurred over a short period in recent years, continue their rapid advance and are compounded by industrial pollution, they will soon pose an inconceivable threat to human survival. The situation has become urgent, and we must draw upon our collective wisdom to find radical coping measures.
A close inspection of current farming techniques which reveals them to be on the one hand efficacious and rational, but on the other hand questionable in terms of product quality, safety and taste, or threatening to farm workers' health; or if the management of crops and animal waste in some way hinders the cultivation of soil fertility or environmental preservation, these techniques must be ruled out. At the same time, we must develop alternative technologies. If these prove insufficient, in the interim we must return to past methods.
Be that as it may, for farmers to convert to those methods involves a certain degree of difficulty. On that point, it need scarcely be said that, if consumers do not fully understand this difficulty, it will prove to be a more challenging endeavor. Recent years have brought about marked changes in eating habits and customs and an increase in consumption of processed foods; but typical consumers' knowledge and understanding of the relationship between food and health and food choices is lacking. Therefore, our hope for the improvement of consumer behavior is based on awakening consumer consciousness about sound eating habits. Thus, as producers work to improve their own methods, raising the awareness of consumers is crucial above all else.
If farmers can rouse a sense of duty toward improving citizens' eating habits, the preservation of nature, and the betterment of the environment; if they can struggle for what farms should be, then they can definitely convince themselves of the inherent value of agriculture. But they must even prove this worth to everyday citizens by not remaining as an industry based solely on economics, but transcending to a place unfettered by financial concerns. It is there, beyond a market-driven future, where we can discover hope and promise.
For some time now, farmers who continue to cooperate in original ways, exploring new methods and, now, drastically reconsidering conventional farming techniques have sought out the way farming should be, and desire a place for mutual study. It is important that there be an organization to facilitate the convergence and cooperation among these farmers and with the agrarian and medical researchers who are eager to join them.
To this end, Japan Organic Agriculture Research Association has been established, through cooperation with other kindred souls, for the purpose of seeking out and investing in the foundations of farming as it should be.
We are hopeful for the participation by all those who are in agreement with our intent.
|We are solely dedicated to promoting organic farming and organic community through mutual understanding, aid and assistance and NOT an agent for trade or business.
(Please contact JETRO for any business or trade inquiries on organic products.)
Current JOAA membership includes farmers, consumers, researchers, and others, totaling around 3000 individuals and 100 groups across Japan. In addition to practicing organic agriculture, many urban producers are involved in teikei, along with a wide variety of other activities. Each year, beginning with the national organic agriculture conference, JOAA holds monthly research meetings, departmental and regional activities, technology exchange gatherings, seed exchange gatherings, and introductory lectures.
JOAA publications include the monthly bulletin "Soil and Health", "Organic Agriculture Handbook", "Selecting 100 Products Suitable for Organic Agriculture", "Map of Organic Farmers Across Japan", and "Agriculture Bible." Additionally, as alliances with organic agriculture associations in other regions across Japan are added, exchanges among experienced farmers and food enthusiasts are encouraged, and news of the enjoyment and rewards of organic agriculture and an organic life continues to spread.
Organizational activities are carried out by JOAA through the following departments:
Producer: Plans meetings and technical knowledge exchange gatherings among farmers.
Self-sufficiency: Measures organic farm self-sufficiency, designs appropriate eating guidelines.
Lifestyle: Plans tours and short courses for learning and enjoyment.
Seed: Holds regional seed exchange gatherings and biannual workshops.
Seed Network: Preserves and promotes native and local seed varieties.
Science: Works to build alliances with citizens' groups, supports movements against genetic modification, and researches solutions to the BSE problem.
Teikei and Organic Standard Guidelines: Facilitates exchanges regarding construction of the "Teikei Network", basic standards for organic agriculture, and communication about the certification criteria issue.
International: Responsible for international cooperation and exchange, including coordination with International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM) and other international alliances, such as the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) movement.
Youth: Holds lectures, open houses and regular meetings to connect with young producers, students, and farm workers interested in organic agriculture.
How to become a member of JOAA
Anyone who is interested in organic agriculture and agrees with the principles set forth in JOAA's statement of purpose is eligible to become a member. Members receive the JOAA monthly publication "Soil and Health", which highlights the latest national and international news about introductory organic agriculture, food, and the environment.
Members are encouraged to participate in a variety of monthly research meetings, public symposiums, introductory lectures, seed network research activities, and public awareness activities.
Regular members have voting rights at the general meeting. The annual membership fee is payable by calendar year, as follows:
Regular full member (individual, voting) \10000
Associate member (individual, non-voting)
(Suggested minimum contribution) \6000
(Suggested minimum contribution) \10000
Subscription member (publications only) \6000
Holder/ÁüÒ¼ FNihon Yuukinougyou Kenkyukai
Japan Organic Agriculture Association
Nishi-Gokencho 4-10 Ueki-building-502
Shinjuku- ku, Tokyo 162-0812
Telephone: (81) (0)3- 6265 0148
Fax: (81)(0)3 -6265 0149