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The Japanese delegation is made up of more than 70 people and 30 Japanese companies that will present the latest technological innovations in the agri-food sector at F4F - Expo Foodtech in two pavilions of the exhibition area.

F4F - Expo Foodtech is an opportunity for Japanese companies to grow in the European market.

Madrid, 7th March 2023 – F4F - Expo Foodtech has announced Japan as the guest country partner for its third edition in recognition of the country's leadership in the transformation of the food industry. The leading event on innovation for professionals from the entire value chain of the food sector will take place from 16 to 18 May in Bilbao (Spain).

Japan will have two pavilions in the F4F - Expo Foodtech exhibition area, where more than 30 Japanese companies will present their solutions for the food industry. Among the Japanese startups that will meet at F4F - Expo Foodtech are: Agrist, which develops agricultural technology to robotise harvesting; Hayakawa Shoyu Miso, which produces miso, a fermented product with multiple culinary applications; Creo Technology, with a vertical lettuce plantation that doubles the productivity and reduces costs by 30%; Marukome, which develops meat, sugar and salt substitute food products; Morus, which produces food from silkworm meal; Sea Vegetable Company, which cultivates algae and develops algae-based foods; Setsurotech, which develops products using gene editing; and Sydecas, which produces and markets Konnjaku-based products.

In addition, the Food 4 Future World Summit will host the "Japan Way on Food Tech", a forum that will analyse the major challenges facing the food sector to provide sufficient quantity and quality of food to everyone on the planet in a healthy and sustainable way. In this context, experts and industry leaders from Japan, such as Hiroyuki Tanaka, Senior Executive Officer of SIGMAXYZ, will present the Food Innovation Map 3.0. Tanaka will analyze new technological advances such as genetics, artificial intelligence and robotics, which, together with other traditional systems, are being addressed in Japan, to respond to food needs.

In addition, Akiko Okada, Research and Insight specialist at SIGMAXYZ, will moderate a debate with industry leaders on the positive impact of food consumption on well-being and its relationship with other social factors, where Japan is one of the leading countries in this field of research.

Japan's presence at F4F - Foodtech Expo will be a unique opportunity to learn about the holistic approach Japan is developing to respond to the challenges of the sector. Major challenges in the food industry are being addressed through new technological advances such as genetics, Artificial Intelligence and robotics. However, there are traditional technologies, many of them well-known in Japan, that offer an excellent solution to remedy the food crisis. Hitoshi Hokamura, from Scurm Venture, and Masa Fukata, from Carmine Works, will present some of these solutions such as fermentation, algae or alternative protein derived from soy.

The Japanese presence at F4F - Expo Foodtech will be rounded off with the "Japan Night Tasting Party", where chef Hitoshi Sugiura, who has won several awards for his vegetarian cuisine, will offer a tasting of Japanese products.

Sergio Fabregat, director of F4F - Expo Foodtech, highlights that "Japan is a benchmark country in terms of environmental sustainability and implementation of new technologies in the agri-food industry. It is a great opportunity to have a large representation of experts from this country at F4F - Expo Foodtech to continue offering industry professionals the best examples and best practices of how technology is transforming the production, processing and preservation of food around the world".

A great opportunity for collaboration

The presence of Japan as a guest country partner at this international meeting is the result of the close collaboration that ICEX Spain Export and Investment is carrying out with Japanese agencies and institutions in the projection of the Spanish foodtech sector.

Japan, also considered a priority in the Euskadi Basque Country 2025 Strategy, is a country with which the Basque Government is developing intense relations in the business, cultural, gastronomic, tourism and institutional spheres during the year 2023. It is a market of maximum interest for the international agri-food sector, since, according to ICEX, it needs to import 60% of its food consumption.

Furthermore, Japan is one of the most innovative countries in terms of foodtech. Japanese industry is pushing the use of artificial intelligence (AI), and working to develop a sustainable agri-food industry in the long term. One of the most successful initiatives they have carried out, thanks to AI, has been to obtain a rigorous balance of the amount of product available in warehouses and sales gondolas, and thus reduce surpluses. They are also using the technology in Japan to better control the condition of food products, increase traceability and eliminate faults in the preservation chain.

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