Internationally Local & Company to build new vegetable growing facility

Internationally Local & Company to build new vegetable growing facility

On November 6, in Itoman, Yasuhito Sasaki the president of the Internationally Local & Company promoted vegetables produced in the company’s growing facility.

November 11, 2012 Maki Nagamine of Ryukyu Shimpo

Before the end of this fiscal year, Internationally Local & Company (InLo&Co), which operates a vegetable growing facility in which the temperature and levels of light are strictly controlled, will build a new facility in Itoman. The company is also planning to expand its existing facilities, and aims to more than double its growing area and its production level. InLo&Co’s sales target for the 2013 fiscal year is 50 million yen. It currently ships its products to high-class foreign clients, and is also considering building a new factory overseas by 2015.

In 2010 InLo&Co became the first company in Okinawa to operate a commercial plant growing facility and has been growing twelve kinds of vegetables such as iceplant, mesclun, and wasabi.

The current facility has a growing area of 100 square meters, to which InLo&Co will add a further 50 square meters and also will create approximately 100 square meters in a new facility.

While InLo&Co currently ships 70 to 80 percent of its products to supermarkets and restaurants within Okinawa, it also has gradually made inroads to the markets in the Kanto and Kansai areas, as well as overseas locations such as Hong Kong. InLo&Co currently ships iceplants to six restaurants in Hong Kong, and having carried out fact-findings missions to Singapore twice, it is now considering shipping there.

Yasuhito Sasaki, the president of InLo&Co said, “Our initial priority is to meet local demand in Okinawa and establish a business model. Then, we would like to offer our production know-how to other farmers.” He hopes to help local farmers, who are currently susceptible to the adverse effects of typhoons, to stabilize their income.

InLo&Co also carries out a “sampling and sales” event once a week at a local supermarket. Sasaki emphasizes, “We would like to see widespread use of vegetables grown in a safe plant growing facility. If we expand the market for such produce, it will help to provide farmers to achieve a stable income.”
Meanwhile, setting the goal of “creating a delightful and healthy world,” the company aims to create a growing facility in Hong Kong. They have high hopes that there will be a demand among wealthy customers for relatively expensive vegetables produced in the facility.

(English translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)

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