ITOCHU Announces Collaboration with the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations in the Field of Decarbonization Solutions

March 31, 2023

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Sakae Noguchi, President & CEO, Board of Directors; hereinafter, “JA ZEN-NOH”) regarding the establishment of a strategic partnership under which the use of ITOCHU’s decarbonization-related solutions will be considered in various initiatives connected to the Smart Agri Community (the JA Group’s version of the smart city initiative) that JA ZEN-NOH plans to begin building in fiscal 2023.

JA ZEN-NOH has established the Smart Agri Community concept in the field of community symbiosis and revitalization in its Medium-Term Plan for 2030. This is an initiative supporting regional living and farming through agricultural production infrastructure for the realization of a comfortable, livable living environment, support for agriculture and lifelines, and the realization of a decarbonized society at a time when the farming community is expected to change greatly due to the progress of digitalization and carbon neutrality and the decline in the local living environment reflecting the decrease and aging of the population, the concentration of the population in urban areas, and other factors. Specifically, Gunma Prefecture (including Maebashi-city and Takasaki-city) will be the model district where demonstration experiments will be conducted, starting from projects related to daily living. Later, the range of services will be expanded gradually into farming-related areas and collaborations with local governments.

ITOCHU has been developing a range of hardware, software, technologies and business models within the Power & Environmental Solution business segment, with a focus on distributed power resources. ITOCHU understands that cooperation with a partner with a broad customer base will be important in the social implementation of the developed solutions. This has led to the signing of the MOU regarding establishment of a strategic partnership with JA ZEN-NOH, which has a network of more than 500 local farm cooperatives and more than 10 million union members all over Japan.

Specifically, ITOCHU and JA ZEN-NOH will collaborate in the sale of Smart Star series Energy Storage Systems for residential use, which enable the remote control of charging and discharging, and an electric power interchange project*1 featuring local production for local consumption that leverages P2P electricity trading technologies. Through these and other projects, ITOCHU and JA ZEN-NOH will contribute to connecting*2 energy circulation and economic activities within a community. ITOCHU will use the signing of the MOU with JA ZEN-NOH as an opportunity to implement a wide range of initiatives, including the creation of demonstration experiments for the realization of the implementation of solutions in society, leveraging the many opportunities for collaboration in the Smart Agri Community as a JA ZEN-NOH partner.

  • *
    1. P2P power trading concept

  • *2. Concept of connecting the energy circulation and other economic activities within a community