ZEN-NOH : National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations

We, the ZEN-NOH Group, are the trusted and reliable go-between linking producers and consumers.
  1. Message from ZEN-NOH Representatives
  2. Overseas Business Locations

Business Overview

  1. Rice
  2. Fruits and Vegetables
  3. Farm Products
  4. Livestock Sales
  5. Dairy Farming
  6. Livestock Production
  7. Agricultural Marketing and Planning
  8. Fertilizer
  9. Agrichemicals
  10. Materials
  11. Agricultural Machinery
  12. Petroleum Products
  13. LP gas
  14. Daily Necessities


  1. ZEN-NOH's Mission
  2. Corporate Identity
  3. Organization Profile
  4. Organization Chart and Executives
  5. Locations and Contact Information
  6. Financial Information
  7. Stores Nationwide(Restaurant Business)
  8. Overseas network and diversification of origination areas

Dairy Farming (Sales of Raw Milk and Other Dairy Products)

About the Dairy Farming Business

To offer management stability to dairy farmers and to ensure a stable supply of fresh milk and other dairy products to consumers, ZEN-NOH sells dairy products for processing—such as raw milk, butter and powdered milk, as well as milk for commercial use—and coordinates the nationwide supply and demand for milk through these activities. There is a structural imbalance in the supply and demand for raw milk, with shortages occurring in the summer and surpluses in the winter. Our mission as a dairy farming business is to ensure profits for dairy farmers by controlling surpluses of milk and other dairy products. To fulfill this mission, we sell the raw milk produced daily by dairy famers after adjusting for excess and shortages. In addition, to enable dairy farmers to produce fresh, raw milk that is safe, we make efforts on the production side to improve milk quality and to help with the introduction of high-quality dairy cows.

We provide consumers with fresh, delicious milk, milk beverages and other products that are produced by agricultural co-operatives and the like through our diary subsidiaries. In this way, ZEN-NOH is involved in efforts across the entire dairy business, from production farms to your homes.

Sales Trends for Milk and Dairy Products

Sales Trends for Milk and Dairy Products

Domestic dairy production was 7.07 million tons in FY2013, exceeding the previous year’s output, which had fallen as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake. As a result of the reduced consumption of milk for drinking—which reflected a diversification in beverage options—the production of milk for direct consumption has been declining since FY2004. That trend continued in FY2013.

Raw Milk Distribution


Japan produced 7.07 million tons of milk (FY2014) nationwide, and of that 1.39 million tons, or about 20 percent was handled by ZEN-NOH (Main Office).

Milk Distribution Flow Chart
Milk Distribution Flow Chart

CS: Cooling stations (chilled storage facilities for raw milk)
Dairy farm→CS: Small (milk storage) trucks
Dairy farm→Dairy product producers: Small (milk storage) trucks
CS→Dairy product producers: Large trucks

Goals of the Dairy Farming Business

Designated Wide-Area Organizations

These are organizations that unilaterally ship and sell raw milk, and have a coverage area of two or more prefectural zones as designated by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (such as the Tohoku Federation of Raw Milk Sales Co-operatives and the Tokai Federation of Dairy Co-operatives). Dairy producers engage in consignment sales of raw milk to these designated organizations through JA and ZEN-NOH prefectural headquarters, while the designated wide-area organizations in turn sell to dairy makers. Designated wide-area organizations reconsign and sell raw milk and other products distributed across a wide area to national-level federations like ZEN-NOH.

Liquid Dairy Products

Liquid dairy products include milk for commercial use, fresh cream and nonfat condensed milk. These dairy products have shorter shelf lives than powdered milk, are difficult to import, and must be fresh. Sales must be increased to compete against imported dairy products.

Surplus Milk Processing Systems (Facilities)

These are facilities that make effective use of surplus raw milk that cannot be sold by processing it into dairy products (butter, powdered milk, etc.). Since the production of surplus milk varies considerably by season, resulting in uneven plant operation rates, there are few plants outside of Hokkaido.