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  • Writer's pictureBen Chu

Moving the Sun into Nara's hydroponic farm

When people talk about Japanese melon, Hokkaido is probably the most famous spot for this. In fact, Nara also grow high quality melon. How they compete with the unique natural quality and sunshine in Hokkaido? No they don’t compete. They grow it indoor! With pleasure, we MFE are the one supporting them to “move the sun into factory” and make the indoor growing possible.

Our client, Mr. Masuda, is a veteran startup businessman with proven track of previous successes. He is working with local expert to combine the traditional heritage of Japanese agriculture with indoor hydroponics technology. Before working with us, his newly developed Melon has already been well received by the customer (including the Nara Marriotts Hotel) and was asking him to increase his yield and growth in a bigger scale. Mr. Masuda came to us and we discussed about his target and plan. We took the chance to visit Nara his farm and discuss full detail in his Japanese style garden and tea house. The challenge came to us in 2 ways. First we need to find reliable suppliers for different components. Second, we need to find it quick - right time, right quality and right price. Let’s not also underestimate the difficulty in language barrier.

While never a product expert, MFE sourcing take pride of being a sourcing process expert. With our extensive network in China, we were able to quickly learn the requirement and challenge of the specifications. Being highly visible by suppliers, MFE gain trust and therefore able to receive serious response and engagement with capable suppliers who could either be highly seasoned industrial insiders or manufacturers. By talking to 2 to 3 serious suppliers we already know the keyword and industrial norm of the products. We were also able to negotiate on price and condition from our selected pool of capable suppliers. The sourcing process was completed within 1 week and delivery was able to made within a month, with even our people checked and wittiness of their out-going. Judy, our Japanese speaking Tokyo based Chief, actively involve in the business process. Trained as an engineer, she demonstrated her ability of understanding to details and commitment to delivery. Thanks to everyone effort, Mr. Masuda has established his reliable and cost effective supply chain to scale up his business.

We don’t normally accept payment other than cash for our high value service but in this case, we really don’t mind Mr. Masuda pay us with his melon. :)

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