The South Canterbury region of New Zealand is an agricultural oasis. Dairy, meat and produce companies across the region are surrounded by rivers, lakes, the Pacific Ocean and the Southern Alps, with the fertile land producing a variety of quality produce.

Japan has a desire to secure quality food sources to nourish its own and other populations. In 2014, one of Japan’s largest trading houses, Sumitomo Corp. invested in Juice Products New Zealand Limited (JP-NZ), having already sourced carrot juice from the company for the Japanese market.

“The country’s natural goodness, clean water, fertile land, quality produce and stable business environment convinced us to invest in New Zealand,” said Akira Yabuuchi, chief executive officer of JP-NZ.

“Most importantly, the relationships we have fostered with our experienced growers, employees and customers swayed our decision.”

JP-NZ produces and sells pure-concentrated juices with no sugar or additives. The juices are used as ingredients in food and beverage products. Carrots represent 90 percent of the company’s production of concentrated juices but JP-NZ also produces feijoa, beetroot, boysenberry and black currant juices and concentrates.

While more than 80 percent of JP-NZ customers are in Japan, Sumitomo’s investment and technical expertise has led the company to more sales in international markets.

As consumers become more health conscious, the company is exporting to Australia, North America, Southeast Asia and China.

“Demand for our products is on the rise and we are considering new investments to increase our capacity and expand our product range to include greener types of vegetable juices and purees,” said Yabuuchi.

JP-NZ’s mission is to enrich and nourish the lives of people by bringing healthy, natural and high-quality products to its customers and their valued end users. New Zealand’s fertile land and exceptional produce will undoubtedly contribute to the company’s future successes.

“Japan and New Zealand have a fantastic working relationship,” said Yabuuchi. “I believe that with the growth of the affluent and health-conscious middle classes in China and Asia, we have a bright future ahead of us.”