"Inochio comes from a Japanese word 'inochi' meaning 'life'," says Inochio's CEO Isao Ishiguro. A glimpse into this life the company demonstrated via their participation in the GLOBALG.A.P. photo campaign.

Indeed, life abounds at the Inochio Farm at Toyohashi. The farm boasts Japan's largest cherry tomato greenhouse, covering almost nine acres. The farm's annual cherry tomato production tops two tons per acre per year.

Efficiency and productivity

"We use a heating system called Geo-Max, which utilizes wastewater from a nearby treatment facility as a heat source" said Inochio's Public Relations representative Toru Kawahata.

The Geo-Max heating system saves 30% on fossil fuel usage over conventional methods.

Other efficiency-boosting technologies include a high-wire layering system, computerized irrigation and climate control, and hydroponic solution recycling.

Inochio Farm uses the PDCA cycle to optimize production: Plan, Do, Check, and Action. Every week technicians plan, apply, check, and adjust the greenhouse climate and growth schedule as needed.

The goal is to reach high photosynthesis levels and balanced growth of the tomato plants while saving energy, water, and nutrients. Constant monitoring and tweaking allow the best efficiency, quality, and productivity.

Taking care of workers

But Inochio Farms is about more than tons of tomatoes.

"We develop human resources for agriculture" states their vision statement. "...[W]e want our employees to feel, grow, and connect the lifeforce of this industry to the future."

Fan suits are one way Inochio looks after their people's wellbeing.

"Since it gets very hot during the summer months in Japan, we provide our workers with cooling fan jackets and gloves" explained Kawahata. "Here in Japan, it's common to use masks and arm covers, which gives the workers their ninja appearance!"

Click here to see what a fan suit looks like in operation.

Inochio Farm's commitments to their workers and their consumers make them a natural fit for the GLOBALG.A.P. farm assurance program.