Directly involved in
Okra Production in
Philippines to ensure both quality and food safety for Japanese market
Revolution in Philippine Okra Industry
Japan has been importing okra for more than 30 years.
Watari started importing fresh okra from Philippines in 1998, after so many years of experience in Thai Okra business. Back then, the Okra industry in Philippines was not very organized and had so many issues such as poor quality, poor packaging, etc. We tried our best to solve all the issues as an importer but it was impossible, especially food safety concern. Then, in 2007, we decided to set up our own new company, called "Greenstar Produce Philippines Inc." in Tarlac, Philippines. We immediately built our own facilities (packhouse) which were up to modern standards including hygiene levels and employed whole new set of quality standards and procedures including fair work conditions for workers and fair contracts for growers. All our efforts have revolutionized the Philippine Okra Industry and resulted in the success of Philippine Okra in Japanese market. As we import fresh okra from Philippines by air 7 days a week during season, they say our Philippine okra is as fresh or even fresher than domestic okra in Japan.
Our Persistence to Freshness
Our operations of fresh okra in Philippines are very thorough from fields to packhouse and to Manila Airport. All our okra are washed with sanitized water in our packhouse for freshness as well as cleanliness. And we transport our okra by our own reefer truck to Manila Airport. Most of all, we import our fresh okra from Philippines by air 7 days a week during season. That's why they say our Philippine okra is as fresh or even fresher than domestic okra in Japan.
Focus on freshness—Delivery to stores in Japan two days after harvest
At Watari, our principal focus is on maintaining freshness. Okra is imported daily from the Philippines by air. The shortest time it takes for Watari's okra produced in the Philippines to reach supermarkets in Japan is only two days after harvest. This is the reason why Watari's Philippine Okra is so fresh in stores.
For Stable Supply & Sustainable Agriculture
Watari is always concerned about Stable supply of fresh produce and Sustainability of agriculture. In Philippine Okra, Greenstar Produce is dedicated to the sustainability of okra farming by supporting the contracted growers as well as our own farms. Our specialized production team goes around okra farms daily to check the farm conditions such as plant health, pest or disease infestation, irrigation or fertilization and advise the growers to ensure stable production. And daily communication & teamwork between Watari and Greenstar contributes to well coordinated supply and demand in Japan. However, bad market often happens for fresh produce, which troubles growers in any country. Growers have a lot of difficult times with unstable markets in the world, which hinders sustainability of agriculture. Watari / Greenstar never stop buying okra from the contracted growers even in the time of bad market in Japan. Therefore, our contracted growers can focus on farming okra, which lead to the stable supply of quality okra for Japan. That's how we work on "Stable Supply" and "Sunstanable Agriculture".