26 April 2023
Starting today, AEON will be offering select vegetables with the cross-category GGN label in supermarkets in Japan.
Kantō/Kinki regions, Japan/Cologne, Germany (26 April 2023) – AEON rolled out the first products with the cross-category GGN label today in AEON, AEON Style, and Daiei supermarkets in the Kantō and Kinki regions of Japan. Products that are now available with the GGN label include tomatoes, eggplants, spinach, asparagus, cucumbers, and Japanese mustard spinach. AEON expects to add more products with the GGN label and additional retail locations soon.
AEON brings assurance to Japanese consumers with the GGN label
AEON became the first retailer in Asia, and, with Spinneys in the UAE, one of very few select retailers worldwide to adopt the original green GGN label on fresh fruits and vegetables in a pilot program in 2018. Following the successful conclusion of the pilot program, the GGN label is being reintroduced after being rebranded as a single cross-category label for use on fruits and vegetables, farmed seafood, and flowers and plants.
GLOBALG.A.P. Managing Director Kristian Moeller expressed his appreciation for AEON’s partnership over the years that has led to today’s release of the GGN label in stores in Japan. “We applaud AEON’s move to introduce our new consumer label,” he said. “Their strong commitment during the successful pilot phase has allowed GLOBALG.A.P. to develop today’s growing acceptance in Japan.”
In addition to signaling compliance with GLOBALG.A.P.’s Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) standard, today’s yellow GGN label includes additional assurance of responsible labor practices through the GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice (GRASP) add-on, making it the only label of its kind in Japan to include assurance of good social practices. The GGN label additionally assures the use of a GLOBALG.A.P. recognized residue monitoring system and Chain of Custody (CoC) farm-to-shelf segregation of products with the GGN label.
AEON Agri Creation Co., Ltd., which operates AEON’s supply farms, has met all the certification requirements for labeling on the abovenamed products. Conscious consumers in Japan who choose items with the GGN label will be making informed decisions at the supermarket with the assurance that they are selecting safe, sustainable, and responsibly sourced products. In turn, conscientious producers like AEON are using the GGN label to build trust and transparency in the market by making responsible farming visible.
AEON AGRI CREATE Co., Ltd. President Yasuaki Fukunaga explained their philosophy since their foundation is to develop agriculture while creating value for customers. In practice, this means we "pursue safe, delicious and fresh agricultural products; practice safe, healthy, and rewarding agriculture; while working to conserve the precious environment of the earth. In 2010, we acquired GLOBALG.A.P. IFA certification, and in February of this year, we received a fully compliant for the GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice (GRASP), which aligns with our philosophy. We are proud to be the first company in Japan to launch products bearing the new GGN label. We will continue to strive to operate our farms in a way that addresses food safety, worker safety and environmental responsibility while be a driving force to promote the GLOBALG.A.P. in Japan.”
Label launch at AEON is the fruit of longstanding collaboration
Today’s introduction of the new GGN label in Japan is the result of an enduring partnership between AEON and GLOBALG.A.P. AEON has been an active GLOBALG.A.P. Community Member since 2006 and has helped to develop the GLOBALG.A.P. National Technical Working Group (NTWG) Japan. AEON is represented on the GLOBALG.A.P. Advisory Board by Norihiro Domoto, Head of Agricultural Product Development, who is responsible for AEON's TOPVALU brand.
Country-specific NTWGs encourage the adoption of GLOBALG.A.P.’s standards on a local scale by developing national interpretation guidelines (NIGs) specific to the realities faced by local producers. AEON has played a leading role in this important process of localizing GLOBALG.A.P. standards to Japan and is promoting the adoption of safe, sustainable, and ethical agricultural practices on Japan’s farms. The development of NIGs for Japan also reduces audit costs and facilitates the broader implementation of GLOBALG.A.P.’s flagship IFA standard and GRASP asessment among Japanese producers.
GLOBALG.A.P. expects Japanese consumers to respond favorably to the greater transparency and assurance provided by the GGN label and hopes to continue working with retailers to expand the number and availability of products with the GGN label on the market both in Japan and worldwide.
More about GLOBALG.A.P.
GLOBALG.A.P. is a brand of smart farm assurance solutions developed by FoodPLUS GmbH in Cologne, Germany, with cooperation from producers, retailers, and other stakeholders from across the food industry. These solutions include a range of standards for safe, socially and environmentally responsible farming practices. The most widely used GLOBALG.A.P. standard is IFA, applicable to fruit and vegetables, aquaculture, floriculture, livestock, and more. This standard also forms the basis for the GGN label: the consumer label for certified, responsible farming and transparency.
The GLOBALG.A.P. brand began its journey as EUREPGAP in 1997. More than twenty-five years later, over 200,000 producers have GLOBALG.A.P. certification in 134 countries. Nearly 150 team members around the world are dedicated to the mission of spreading responsible farming practices to ensure safe food for future generations.
More about the GGN label
The GGN label is a consumer label that stands for certified, responsible farming and transparency. Found in stores on both packed and loose fruit and vegetables, farmed seafood, flowers, and plants, the label offers shoppers a quick, consistent way to recognize products that align with their values on the topics of animal welfare and social and environmental responsibility.
Accompanying the logo on product packaging is a unique 13-digit identification number that can be entered into the GGN label portal to trace the origins of the product. All products with the GGN label come from farms with production processes that are independently audited and certified to the strict criteria of GLOBALG.A.P. standards or benchmarked equivalents.
The GGN label is owned by FoodPLUS GmbH in Cologne, Germany. To find out more, visit www.ggn.org
More about AEON
AEON Agri Create Co., Ltd. was established in July 2009. The company operates 20 farms nationwide in Japan and produces safe and secure agricultural products under farm management based on GLOBALG.A.P. requirements. Products grown on AEON farms are sold at Aeon Group stores nationwide, providing fresh, safe, and secure produce to customers.
We have also started organic farming and are working on ‘sustainable agriculture.’ Currently, four farms (Saitama Hidaka Farm, Hyogo Miki Satowaki Farm, Oita Kokonoe Farm, and Oita Usuki Farm) have obtained Organic JAS certification, and we have future plans to expand organic certification at other farms.