Sanchoku is translated as the direct transaction from producer to consumer. It is one of the forms of business being championed by Japanese consumer co-operatives as a way of lifting the quality of food and the quality of care given to plants and animals. Sanchoku is agriculture supported by the community. It ensures stable procurement. It’s also one of the co-operative methods being championed in areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. A revival of sanchoku in these areas could help quicken the pace of recovery and rebuilding, according to Tokyo University Graduate College associate professor Hiroyasu Nakashima. For the consumer co-operatives – with more than 26 million members in more than 35 per cent of all Japanese households – working towards sanchoku fills part of its overarching undertaking to its members – to work for the safety and security of life. The Taro Fisheries Co-op is an association of fishermen that maintain a sustainable environment for the production of safe seaweed and other aquatic plants. This also includes the production of wakame seaweed. During the Great East Japan Earthquake the working facilities of the co-op received catastrophic damage. All the fishing villages and ports in which it operates were damaged. Taro is now working towards the reconstruction and revival of the business with the co-operation of federation members, individual members and the local government. The co-op supports the regional fishery production in the form of projects like tree-planting which will lead to supply clean water to the sea as the trees grow through the year as well as clean-up activities along coastal areas. All of this leads to the production of safe and healthy and nutritious seaweed and other aquatic plants for consumers.

This activity falls under the concept of sanchoku.

This story is an IYC Yearbook feature: