Ethical by CO-OP Ethical by CO-OP

JCCU and its member co-ops promote ethical consumption by co-op members and consumers in Japan. We see ethical consumption as “what consumers can do for a sustainable society through shopping,” in other words, “purchasing goods and services giving consideration to community, environment, society, and people.” Japanese consumer co-ops, with individual co-op members, have been aiming to make the society and life of the people better through the production and consumption of CO·OP Brand Products.

In 1960s, we launched environmentally friendly detergents in response to river pollution problems nationwide, and since then we have released a large number of environmentally friendly products.

1969_detergents CO·OP detergents in 1969

In the 1970s, paying special attention to food additives problems, we launched unbleached foods, and have been continuously working on "food safety.” There are many other various social issues we have been working on through our businesses and activities, such as "Sanchoku" direct transaction with producers to support local agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and livestock industries.

sanchoku Sanchoku activity

With regards to this, we think that the characteristic of consumer co-ops has a close relation with ethical consumption. "Ethical by CO·OP" features our efforts to realize ethical consumption through CO·OP Brand Products from four points of view.

Four wishes

We enrich the communities.

CO·OP Brand Products aim to support domestic producers through expanding the use of domestic raw materials.

CO·OP Brand Products aim to support domestic producers through expanding the use of domestic raw materials. Products with the labels use raw materials from designated areas in Japan or domestic raw materials. Buying these products leads to the support for domestic producers.

Production area designated

Domestic raw materials

Domestic raw materials Label

Production area designated

CO-OP fried and candied sweet potato

CO·OP Sanriku
Seaweed Stem

“CO·OP Sanriku Seaweed Stem”

“CO·OP Sanriku Seaweed Stem” is a seasoned seaweed stem, popular product from the Sanriku Coast. The supply of the Sanriku seaweed stem was once stopped due to the damage caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011, but it was resumed in March 2013 as the reconstruction of the production area progressed. The stable supply and purchase of the product lead to the support for producers and local people in the disaster areas as well as the development of their successors.

We protect and preserve
the environment.

Environmental consideration is the biggest theme in the history of Japanese consumer co-ops. We tackle environmental issues through the development of eco-friendly products.

Our environmental activities through CO·OP Brand Products

We approach environmental issues through CO·OP Brand Products from various perspectives such as the global warming, waste problems, and resource problems.

To conserve marine resources

We expand the use of marine resources produced by sustainable fishing and responsible aquaculture practices.
The global marine fisheries catches continue to increase with about 30% of fish stocks overfished and about 60% maximally sustainably fished. Besides, a growing number of farmed seafood is produced every year. The aquaculture industry affects the ocean and surrounding environment, and the natural fish resources used as bait, and it can also raise social issues such as inadequate working conditions for people involved in the industry.

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture

Marine Resource

*This graph is made based on the Fisheries Agency website on the FAO’s State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2018.

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture

Marine Resource

*This graph is made based on the Fisheries Agency website on the FAO’s Fishstat (Capture Production, Aquaculture Production) and statistics by Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

We actively develop and distribute MSC, ASC, or BAP certified products. Purchasing goods with these labels will lead to the use of sustainable and well-managed marine resources. JCCU aims to raise the sales of ecolabeled seafood products such as MSC and ASC certified products in the CO·OP Brand fishery products to more than 20% by early 2025 and to more than 30% by 2030. Also, on July 25, 2018, JCCU joined the GSSI Global Partnership as a Funding Partner, becoming the first cooperative to join.

CO·OP Brand Products certified
CO·OP Cod Roe

CO·OP Seasoned Cod Roe

CO·OP Fish Sausage

CO·OP Fish Sausage

CO·OP Fried Fish

CO·OP Fried Fish

CO·OP White Leg Shrimp

CO·OP White Leg Shrimp

MSC mark
What is MSC?

The Marine Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organization founded in 1997. Its aim is to protect oceans and fish stocks for the future by promoting well-managed and sustainable fisheries through certification and ecolabelling program.

ASC mark
What is ASC?

The Aquaculture Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organization founded in 2010. Its aim is to promote environmentally and socially responsible aquaculture for the future generation.

BAP mark
What is BAP?

Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) is a seafood specific certification program that addresses the four key areas of sustainability-environmental, social, food safety, and animal health & welfare-at each step of the aquaculture production chain.

To protect the natural environment and support people working in forests

We aim to protect the ecosystem of forests and improve the labor environment.
In cacao plantations, the forests have been cut down for intensive cacao cultivation, and habitats for wildlife have been destroyed. Pesticides can also pollute land, rivers, and waterways and pose threats to people’s health.


We actively develop and distribute Rainforest Alliance certified products. Purchasing an item with Rainforest Alliance label leads to the encouragement of sustainable agriculture. We will keep increasing the number of items which are certified by Rainforest Alliance.

CO·OP Brand Products certified
CO·OP Chocolate Cacao 70%

CO·OP Chocolate
Cacao 70%

CO·OP Chocolate with Rum-soake Raisins Cacao 70%

CO·OP Chocolate
with Rum-soake
Cacao 70%

CO·OP Decaffeinated Tea

CO·OP Decaffeinated Tea

CO·OP Macadamia Nuts

CO·OP Macadamia Nuts

RFA mark
What is Rainforest Alliance?

The Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization working at the intersection of business, agriculture, and forests. They aim to create a better future for people and nature by making responsible business the new normal.

What the Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM Seal Means

RFA flow
  • Farms are certified by Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Agriculture Standard.
  • Products are identified and separated from non-certified and non-controlled material by the Chain of Custody(CoC) Certification.
  • You can learn more about Rainforest Alliance here.

To protect forest resources

We help to protect the forests as well as people and creatures that live in them.
Japan ranks third in the world in annual paper production and consumption. The annual consumption of paper per capita amounts to about 210kg. Most of those raw materials are wood imported from abroad. Deforestation is accelerating rapidly around the world, and it is estimated that one football field of natural forest is being lost every 3.5 seconds.

We contribute to protecting forest resources through CO·OP Brand Products with FSC® label.

CO·OP Mixed Carrot Juice

CO·OP Mixed Carrot Juice

CO·OP Almond Florentin

CO·OP Almond Florentin

CO·OP Tissue

CO·OP Paper Towel

CO·OP Tissue

CO·OP Tissue

In 2017, we began to use FSC certified packaging materials (paper boxes and corrugated cardboard). By 2020, we aimed to switch 80% of the total amount of paper or pulp used for CO·OP Brand Products to the use of recycled or FSC certified materials, and we achieved our target of 82.6% in 2019.

The number of certified CO·OP Brand Products and the total sales

FSC mark
What is FSC®?

FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) is an independent non-profit organization, which aims to promote responsible forest management over the world. The organization runs an international forest certification system. It creates a mechanism which enables consumers to protect forest resources through the consumption of certified products.

To support sustainable palm oil production and more

We provide support for projects such as sustainable production of small-scale palm farms in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.

CO·OP Brand Detergents use palm oil, like many other detergents. The uncontrolled expansion of farmland for palm oil is a major factor of deforestation. Especially small-scale farmers tend to cut down valuable forests immoderately aiming to expand farms to improve productivity. We donated more than 34 million JPY to an environmental project in Borneo Island, Indonesia and local environmental organizations from 2011 until 2017. Since 2018, we have provided support through the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Japan for projects which promote sustainable production of small-scale palm farms and more in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.

Environmental Donation Campaign through CO·OP Brand Detergents

borneo project

0.5 yen from the sale amount of each target CO·OP Brand Product is donated.

The 2021 campaign period:
From May 21, 2021 to May 20, 2022

Donation in 2020:
3,262,882 yen

Target CO•OP Brand Products (example)
CO·OP Sefter Antibacterial

CO·OP Sefter Antibacterial

CO·OP Sefter High Power

CO·OP Sefter High Power

JCCU joined RSPO in October 2017 with the aim of contributing to the realization of a sustainable and eco-friendly society through the procurement and usage of RSPO certified oil. We are switching palm oil used for all the CO·OP Brand products to B&C (Book & Claim) and MB (Mass Balance) certified palm oil.

You can learn more about RSPO supply chains here.

RSPO mark
What is RSPO?

RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) is a non-profit organization with the aim of the realization of sustainable production, manufacturing, logistics, and consumption of palm oil. It was established in 2004 with the aim of solving environmental and labor problems in Malaysia and Indonesia caused by the disorderly development of palm oil plantations.

To reduce plastic wastes and utilize limited resources

JCCU and consumer co-ops nationwide promoted reduction of plastic wastes and economical use of natural resources since before plastic wastes became a social issue. In recent years, we are working on reducing plastic wastes by improving packages of CO·OP Brand Products environmentally friendly. By 2030 we aim to reduce the use of plastics as container-packaging materials on a weight basis by 25% (approximately 5,195 tons) compared to 2016, promote utilization of recycled plastics and plant-based plastics, and increase the total use rate by 50%.

Amount of collected materials
by consumer co-ops nationwide


4 goals of CO·OP Brand Products

Make packaging materials simpler, thinner and smaller

Produce wide variety of refillable products

Reprocess recyclable materials

Promote the use of plant-based plastic

Plastic reduction in CO·OP Brand Products (examples)

CO·OP Carbonated Water

Introduction of half labels for plastic bottles

Expected to reduce about 18 tons of
(from January 2020 to January 2021)

CO·OP Seasoned and Salted Cod Roes

Partial material change to recycled PET

Expected to reduce about 30 tons of petroleum-based plastic
(from April 2019 to March 2020)

CO·OP Boneless
Boiled Fish

Partial material change to plant-based plastic

17% of package material changed to plant-based PET

We build an equal society.

We aim to achieve social equity and improve social infrastructure by developing and distributing fairtrade products and ethical products and educating consumers.

Our social activity through CO·OP Brand Products

Red Cup
Core-non Smile
School Project

School meals for hungry children

Children can eat and learn by going to school.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO), about 690 million people of the 7.7 billion people in the world, or 1 in 11 people, suffer from starvation. Among them, the effect of hunger on children, women, and people living in rural areas is particularly serious.

WFP_Myanmar1 WFP_Myanmar2

Since 2014 JCCU has been supporting WFP Red Cup Campaign. The “CO·OP × Red Cup Campaign” is an initiative by JCCU and its member co-ops in cooperation with the Japan Association for the World Food Programme (JAWFP) to extend support to the “School Meals Programme” in selected countries for the meal supply to school children. This initiative is now being carried out in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar for a period of 3 years ending 2022.

CO·OP × Red Cup Campaign

Redcup Campaign

1 yen from the sale amount of each target CO·OP Brand Product is donated to JAWFP.

The 2021 campaign period:
From Oct. 1 to Nov. 10, 2021

Total donation in 2020:
5,047,714 yen

Target CO•OP Brand Products

CO·OP Instant Noodle


CO·OP Instant Mini Noodle


CO·OP Instant Corn Soup


CO·OP Instant Soup
Variety Pack

  • ・ Enabling children to eat school meals results in the improvement of their nutrition and the increased attendance rates.
  • ・ Children with high attendance rates are provided with foods to take home, which leads to the increased attendance rates for girls.
  • ・ Procuring ingredients for school meals from local farmers helps support their businesses.
  • ・ Children who have acquired academic skills can shape their future with variety of opportunities.

WFP official website:

We support the "living" of diverse people.

We support diverse people (women, persons with disabilities, and so on) by developing and distributing ethical products, etc.

Support by developing and distributing CO·OP Brand ethical products
Support to
Para Nordic Japan
Junior Team
Support to
Pink Ribbon Campaign

To support people distressed by breast cancer

We promote awareness of breast cancer, along with supporting patients and their family. One in nine women in Japan is affected by breast cancer. Early detection is one of the most important keys to curing breast cancer.

Types of malignant neoplasm in women in Japan


Source: Patient Survey (2014), Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

The five-year survival rate of breast cancer patients in Japan


Source: “Statistics of Cancer 2014”, Foundation for Promotion of Cancer Research

JCCU supports the Pink Ribbon Campaign of J.POSH, an Approved Specified Nonprofit Corporation, through a campaign of ethical products. Every item of CO·OP Brand cosmetics and brassieres in the CO·OP mail order catalog is subject to this campaign.

CO•OP × Pink Ribbon Campaign


1 yen from the sale amount of each target product is donated to J.POSH.

The 2021 campaign period:
From Sep. 1 to Oct. 20, 2021

Total donation in 2020:
1,572,804 yen

Target CO•OP Brand Products (example)
CO·OP Brand Cosmetic Products

CO·OP Brand Cosmetic Products

brassieres in CO·OP mail order catalog

Brassieres in CO·OP mail order catalog

What is J.POSH

J.POSH (Japan Pink-Ribbon of Smile and Happiness campaign) is an Approved Specified Nonprofit Corporation. Its main activities are enlightenment about breast cancer and support for breast cancer patients and their families. They promote educational programs, call on hospitals nationwide for Sunday breast cancer tests for women who are too busy in business days, operate a scholarship program for children of breast cancer patients, and so on.