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-op 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 hope to enrich the communities.

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

The average age of Japanese farmers is 66.8 (as of 2016). Aging of agricultural workers is a serious problem in Japan. Training of successors is an urgent issue.

Percentage of workers over 65

Source: Thematic Survey No72, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

CO・OP Brand Products aim to support domestic farmers 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 farmers.

Production area designated

Production area designated

Domestic raw materials Label

Domestic raw materials

CO-OP fried and candied sweet potato

CO・OP Imokenpi

A Community-supporting CO・OP Brand Product
“CO・OP Imokenpi (strips of candied sweet potato) from Kyushu"

The raw material of the product is Koganesengan, sweet potato originated in Kyushu area. Once this potato was a fuss-free but less profitable cultivar, mainly processed to Shochu (Japanese traditional hard liquor) and starch. Later it began to be used as a raw material for the production of CO・OP Imokenpi (strips of candied sweet potato), the higher quality got demanded and accordingly the price rose, enabling the farmers to raise successors.

We hope to 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 conserve marine resources by limiting catch and fishing season.
As global catch is getting higher, the number of fish species driven to the brink of extinction is increasing.

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture

Marine Resource

This graph is made based on the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2012 - FAO

We aggressively develop and distribute MSC or ASC certified products. Purchasing goods with these labels will lead to sustainable and well-managed marine resources. JCCU aims to raise the sales of the MSC certified products and ASC certified products to more than 20% in the CO・OP Brand fishery products by 2020. Also, on July 25th, 2018, JCCU joined the GSSI Global Partnership as a Funding Partner, becoming the first cooperative to join globally.

CO・OP Brand Products certified
CO・OP Cod Roe

CO・OP Cod Roe

CO・OP Fish Sausage

CO・OP Fish Sausage

CO・OP Simmered Maccarel Miso

CO・OP Simmered
Maccarel Miso

CO・OP Simmered Maccarel Mizore

CO・OP Simmered
Maccarel Mizore

MSC mark
What is MSC?

The Marine Stewardship Council is an international non-profit organization founded in 1997 to promote sustainable fisheries. Its aim is to bring about change in fishing method. MSC targets restoring the marine resources, supporting fishers, and protecting the marine environment

To protect tropical forests and indigenous people

We wish to improve the labor environment and protect the ecosystem of farms in the world.
Today, 20 to 30 hectare of tropical forests are disappearing every minute, driving many animals and plants to the brink of extinction. One of the causes of diminishing forests is the expansion of farmland by the slash-and-burn method. Sustainable agriculture is necessary to enable local people to live affluently, while conserving the forests and protecting biodiversity.


We aggressively develop and distribute Rainforest Alliance certified products. Purchasing an item with Rainforest Alliance label leads to the encouragement of sustainable agriculture. As of October 2017, 80% of CO・OP Brand coffees and teas use ingredients produced in Rainforest Alliance certified farms, equivalent to 230 million cups. We will keep increasing the number of items which are certified by Rainforest Alliance.

CO・OP Brand Products certified
CO・OP Chocolate

CO・OP Chocolate
Cacao 70%

CO・OP Chocolate

CO・OP Chocolate
Cacao 85%

CO・OP Coffee

CO・OP Coffee



RFA mark
What is Rainforest Alliance?

Rainforest Alliance is an international non-profit organization with the aim to protect tropical forests. Its aim is to build strong forests, healthy agricultural landscapes, and thriving communities.

What the Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM Seal Means

RFA flow
  • Farms are certified by SAN (Sustainable Agriculture Network) Standard.
  • Products are identified and separated from non-certified and non-controlled material by the Chain of Custody(CoC) Certification.

To protect forest resources.

We hope to prevent illegal logging and conserve forest resources in the world.
Although around 70% of Japan is covered with forests, the timber self-sufficiency rate of Japan is around 20% and Japan imports timber to cover the rest. A large number of trees are cut down all over the world to be exported to Japan.

Wood Demand and Supply Chart 2007

FSC chart This graph is made based on "Wood Demand and Supply Chart 2007", the Forestry Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

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

CO・OP Chocolate Dipped Biscuit

CO・OP Chocolate Dipped Biscuit

CO・OP Mixed Carrot Juice

CO・OP Mixed Carrot Juice

Cardboard case

Cardboard case

CO・OP Tissue

CO・OP Tissue

From 2017, we began FSC certification of packaging materials (paper boxes and corrugated cardboard), and by 2020, we aim 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. We also aim to make 50% of the cardboard FSC certified.

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

FSC bar graph number of items
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

In 2018, we provide support for a project which helps sustainable production of small-scale palm farms in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.

CO・OP Brand detergents use palm oil, like many other detergents. The expansion of farmland for palm oil is a major factor of deforestation in Borneo Island. Especially small-scale farmers tend to cut down valuable forests immoderately aiming to expand farms to improve productivity. We have donated more than 34 million JPY to an environmental project and local environmental organizations since 2010. In 2018, we started to support sustainable production by small-scale farmers near worthy forests.

CO・OP Environmental Campaign Fund

borneo project

0.5 yen from the sale amount of target CO•OP Brand Products is donated.

The 2018 campaign period:
From May 21st, 2018 to May 20th, 2019

Donation in 2018 (As for January 2019):
2,433,341 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. To get prepared for the affiliation, we have developed three commitments.

  • 1. We will promote switching ingredient of all the CO・OP Brand food products to B&C (Book & Claim) certified palm oil by the end of the FY 2018.
  • 2. We will start supplying soap and cosmetics which uses MB (Mass Balance) certified palm oil.
  • 3. We will promote switching palm oil for all the CO・OP Brand Products to B&C or MB certified palm oil by 2020.

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.

Amount of collected materials and reduction rate of plastic shopping bag in 2017
plastic amount of collected materials
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 soda water

7 gram reduction per bottle (22.5%)

481 tons reduction per year
( From April 2017 to September 2018)

CO・OP toilet cleaner

Compactification of packages and partial material change to recycled PET

About 7 tons reduction per year
(including 5.4 tons oil-based)

CO・OP original blend coffee

3.6% of package material changed to plant-based plastic

We hope to 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

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 815 million people of the 7.6 billion people in the world, or 1 in 9 people, suffer from starvation. Among them, the effect of hunger on children, women, and people living in rural areas is particularly serious.

WFP Children WFP Children

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 Program (JAWFP) to extend support to the “School Meal Program” in selected countries to support the meal supply of school children. This initiative is now being carried out in the Kingdom of Cambodia for a period of 3 years ending 2020.

CO·OP × Red Cup Campaign

Redcup Campaign

1 yen from the sale amount of target CO•OP Brand Products is donated to WFP.

The 2018 campaign period:
From Oct. 1st to Nov. 10th, 2019

Total donation in 2018:
4,887,022 yen

Target CO•OP Brand Products
CO・OP Instant Noodle

CO・OP Instant Noodle

CO・OP Instant Corn Soup

CO・OP Instant Corn Soup

CO・OP Instant Udon Noodle

CO・OP Instant Udon Noodle

  • To provide warm meals in 9 states suffering food shortage.
  • To provide food scholarship or scholarship money to children whose attendance rate is over 80%.

WFP official website:

We hope to support the "living" of diverse people

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

Support by developing and distributing CO・OP Brand ethical products

By knowing about cancer, you will secure your future

We promote awareness of breast cancer, along with supporting patients and their family. One in four women cancer patients in Japan is a breast cancer patient. 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 promotes a campaign for ethical products to support activities of J.POSH, an Approved Specified Nonprofit Corporation. Every item of CO•OP Brand cosmetics is subject to this campaign.

CO•OP × Pink Ribbon Campaign


1 yen from the sale amount of CO•OP Brand Cosmetics is donated to J.POSH.

The 2019 campaign period:
From Sep. 1st to Oct. 20th, 2019

Total donation in 2018:
1,516,404 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 to breast cancer patients and their families. They promote educational programs, call on hospitals nationwide for Sunday breast tests for women who are too busy in business days nationwide, operates a scholarship program for children of breast cancer patients, and so on.