ZEN-NOH : National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations

We, the ZEN-NOH Group, are the trusted and reliable go-between linking producers and consumers.
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  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

Materials (Packaging Materials, Horticultural Materials)

About the Materials Business

The materials business-which deals in the various materials necessary in agriculture for everything from cultivation to shipping-is divided into packaging materials and horticultural materials.

Packaging Materials

Commodities Sold as Packaging Materials

This division handles the various packaging materials necessary for delivering agricultural produce produced by farmers to consumption areas. Below are some specific examples;

Packaging materials for fruits and vegetables Cardboard boxes, plastic containers, heavy-duty shipping sacks, packs, plastic wrap, trays, etc.
Packaging materials for rice and wheat Heavy-duty shipping sacks for rice and wheat, plastic bags, etc.
Distribution rationalization materials Flexible containers, sheet pallets, etc.
Raw materials for the above items Paper for cardboards, Kraft paper, resin for heavy duty plastic bags, etc.

Cardboard Demand

Cardboard usage that can be quantified reflects specific demand reported by cardboard manufacturers. A breakdown by use shows that in FY2014, 41 percent was used for processed foods, 11 percent for fruit, and 4 percent for other foods, yielding a total of 56 percent for food products and accounting for more than half of all demand.

FY2012 Cardboard Input Volumes by Demand Sector and Composition Ratios
Units: million m² (sq. meters), %
Demand Sector Production qty. Ratio
Total 9,756 100.0
Electricity, machinery 735 7.5
Drugs, cosmetics 583 6.0
Food products Processed foods 3,964 40.6
Fruits and vegetables 1,100 11.3
Other 446 4.6
Textile products 210 2.2
Ceramics, glass, misc. 525 5.5
Mail order, home delivery, moving 451 4.6
Other 1,732 17.8

Source: Japan Corrugated Case Association

Sales of Cardboard Materials

Our actual sales of cardboard, one of our main packaging materials, are as follows: Fruit and vegetable production has been declining in recent years due to the aging of farmers, a lack of agricultural workers, and an increase in imported agricultural produce, and the use of returnable containers is increasing. The volume of cardboard sold reflects both of these trends.

ZEN-NOH Cardboard Sales Trends
ZEN-NOH Cardboard Sales Trends

Goals for the Packaging Materials Business

Brown Boxes

Instead of high-cost white or colored paper, we use naturally colored brown paper for our cardboard boxes. By switching to the brown paper, we can reduce costs by from 5 to 7 percent.

Low-Cost Paper for Cardboard

ZEN-NOH and box makers jointly developed paper for cardboards that retain a certain strength despite being thin (AK liner, AS inner sheets). By using these papers, costs are reduced by from 1 to 5 percent.

Horticultural Materials

Commodities Sold as Horticultural Materials

The commodities sold as horticultural materials include steel materials, covering materials, and related device materials, primarily used in greenhouses for fruits and vegetables, as well as seedling facilities and related materials. The major products are listed below.

Covering materials Agricultural vinyl films, PO films, polyethylene mulch, biodegradable mulch, etc.
Horticultural facilities Pipe greenhouses, steel-framed plastic greenhouses, glass greenhouse, heaters, etc.
Materials for horticulture Seedling pots, seedling boxes, netting, sheeting, supports, mats, watering materials, etc.

Sales Trends of Horticultural Materials

Since FY2002, we have been promoting the construction of low-cost, weather-resistant greenhouses.

ZEN-NOH Fruit and Vegetable Facility Construction Costs
ZEN-NOH Fruit and Vegetable Facility Construction Costs

Goals for the Horticultural Materials Business

Agricultural PO films

Unlike vinyl chloride, the raw material in polyolefin films for agricultural use is a polymer comprised of carbon and hydrogen, and does not contain chlorine.

Low-cost, weather-resistant greenhouses

These are improved, reinforced versions of the conventional multi-span type greenhouse, built with the strength to withstand winds of 50 m/second and snow in volumes of 50 kg/m². Cost reductions of about 30 percent can be achieved versus the construction costs of rigid plastic greenhouses with the same degree of strength.

Biodegradable mulch

This mulch is made from biodegradable plastic or paper that is broken down by microorganisms. It can be mixed into the ground after use to prevent the production of plastic waste.

Appropriate disposal of used plastic

Working in partnership with industries and relevant organizations, ZEN-NOH is promoting the appropriate collection and reuse of used plastics as well as waste control. We are also promoting methods of reusing agricultural vinyl in construction materials and agricultural PO and poly as fuel at cement plants.