Experiences around the globe
While attending the IEC Bruges 2017, Fons Visschers, Regional Director Latin America, learned that Japan would be the host next year, and instantly had the idea of bringing Brazilian customers to Japan. His reasons were not only because it is good to see how foreign customers organise their operations, but also because of the special connection that exists between Brazil and Japan. Fons explains: “Brazil has the largest Japanese community outside of Japan. There are some 1.5 million people with Japanese ancestors, and they have a strong presence in the poultry sector. There are several poultry farms in the town of Bastos (with a total of +/- 25 million chickens) and the Brazilians in the majority of these companies are of Japanese origin. This year alone, we will install new machines at our customers Granja Yabuta, Ovos Hayashida and Granja Katayama. The IEC seemed to be the perfect opportunity to bring these customers back to their Japanese roots.”
“Whenever I am abroad, I go into the supermarket to see how the eggs are presented. Every country tackles this in a different way.
Fons travelled with a group of 16 customers on a trip that involved more than just business… The group arrived in Tokyo on the Tuesday, and a tourist route was mapped out the next day, including time to visit two Japanese supermarkets. This is something Fons often does: “Whenever I am abroad, I go into the supermarket to see how the eggs are presented. Every country does it differently. I am always very curious how the eggs are presented and what we can we learn from it. In Japan, a visit to the supermarket is an experience in itself. “We spent two hours in two different supermarkets - the Lidl and Albert Heijn of Japan so to speak - and what we saw was quite surprising. Everything is tightly organised in Japan, and clean. Very, very clean!”
A business visit was scheduled for the Thursday to a new IKN packing station. IKN first gave a presentation about the company and its processes. The Brazilian customers then explained how their companies work. This created good interaction between the customers according to Fons: “The difference in working method became immediately clear, and it worked as an ice-breaker which resulted in great conversations afterwards.” In the afternoon, Fons and his group were permitted to view the Moba machine. Fons: “According to proper Japanese etiquette, we were asked to exchange our shoes for Japanese slippers, then we were taken to a skybox from where we had a beautiful view of the machine. It was like being in a hospital. Everything was so clean! The same is true of the eggs, which were washed and checked several times. It was very informative for our Brazilian customers to see how the operation was organised in Japan because they were not familiar with these methods.”
It was a good example of cooperation between the different Moba offices and our Brazilian agent MRE. Our Japanese office arranged everything for us, from fantastic tourist trips to educational business meetings.
In the second week, the group attended the International Egg Commission (IEC) seminar. The IEC is a network platform for key decision-makers within the egg industry. It was an educational meeting for our Brazilian customers according to Fons: “The presentations at this congress were focused on trends and developments within our sector worldwide. Our customers need to know what the future will bring so that they can respond to market changes.”
Fons describes his stay in Japan as a special and successful trip. “It was a good example of cooperation between the different Moba offices and MRE, our Brazilian agent. Our Japanese office arranged everything for us, from fantastic tourist trips to educational business meetings. It was nice to see how that all came together during this trip.”
By Fons Visschers - Regional Director Latin America