Japan is facing a fast shrinking and aging population. The power of community is weakening. Disparities and poverty are increasingly serious. Consumer co-ops are making efforts to solve the challenges in their communities by working with local governments and organizations.
Also, major natural disasters have occurred in the last 10 years in various parts of Japan, including the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. Consumer co-ops have been working on reconstruction activities together with co-op members and the communities, by making use of their disaster response experience. On this featured page, we introduce leading cases by JCCU and its member co-ops addressing social issues in line with the seven actions declared on "Co-op Action Plan for SDGs".
It is a statement adopted by JCCU and its member co-ops at the 68th Annual General Assembly in 2018 to affirm their commitment to play major roles in achieving the SDGs.
We will participate in creating a society where everyone can live with a sense of security.
Delivery to remote islands
Consumer co-ops provide various shopping supports to members with shopping difficulties. LaLa Co-op promotes home delivery business in remote islands in Nagasaki Pref. In October 2015, it extended its business area to cover a town in the northern part of Goto Islands. Since the beginning of this service until 2019, it delivers products to 900 members in the town every week.
“Slow-Checkout Counter” by Kyoto Co-op
Kyoto Co-op works on shopping support for elderly people and people with dementia in cooperation with Kyoto City since 2016. Volunteers help them shopping in the co-op’s stores. Also, priority checkout counters for elderlies are introduced at its Ujishinmei store responding to requests from aged members. At the counters, you can take time to make a payment at your own pace.
32 consumer co-ops run a total of 197 mobile stores in Japan for people with shopping difficulties.
Nara Co-op started its 4th mobile store truck in January 2019. Their mobile store trucks stop at 168 places in Nara as of March 2019.
Subsidy program by JCIF for community building
Since 2012, Japan CO-OP Insurance Consumers' Co-operative Federation (JCIF) has supported community-building activities by consumer co-ops in cooperation with the local communities with subsidies. In 2018, they granted a total of 21.2 million JPY to 44 organizations.
2019 World Para Nordic Skiing World Cup Sapporo presented by JCIF
From March 13 to 17 2019, 2019 World Para Nordic Skiing World Cup Sapporo was held in Sapporo City, Hokkaido.
“Symbiosis Care” for the elderly and small children
In 2014, Palsystem Tokyo opened a new type of nursery school. It is established together with a care service facility for the elderly. Nursery school children and users of the facility enjoy exchanges over generations through daily activities and events. In 2018 a second one was opened.
Meal delivery service
As of June 2018, 48 consumer co-ops operate meal delivery service and a total of 144 thousand meals a day are delivered all over Japan.
In June 2018, Okayama Co-op launched meal delivery service for the elderly living alone in a mountainous area of Mimasaka City. It is a part of “Independence Support Project on Diet” initiated by the City. It also serves as a watch over activity.
35 consumer co-ops operate funeral service. Some have their own funeral halls and others provide services in partnership with local companies and organizations. They aim to provide one-stop service to respond to members’ requests, e.g., cemetery, inheritance support and belongings sorting, pre-departure cleaning, and end-of-life seminar.
Consumer awareness activities by Co-op Toyama
Co-op Toyama together with 9 other organizations operates “Community Watch-over Promotion Committee” commissioned by Toyama Pref. In 2018, they held 26 study sessions on various themes such as ethical consumption, consumer trouble, food waste, etc.
We will continue to review and improve our products and lifestyle for a sustainable production and consumption.
JCCU launched a new sub-brand for infants "Kirakira Step"
JCCU on April 1, 2017 launched a new sub-brand "Kirakira Step" for infants between 5 months to 3 years old. This initiative is carried out to support child-rearing families.
JCCU is promoting environmental initiatives from four perspectives on plastic packaging materials used in CO・OP Brand Products: "Reduce (reduce usage)", "Reuse (repeated use)", "Recycle (recycling and regeneration)" and "Biomass (the use of plant-based materials)".
In October 2018, Co-op Kobe conducted a food waste reduction campaign in 34 stores asking consumers to purchase products that have expiration date closely approaching. The co-op also contributes to local food banks.
Inquiry and Complaint Management System
From 2016 JCCU and its member co-ops together operate Inquiry and Complaint Management System that shares information to help detect risks and prevent accidents. In 2018 they also held an emergency drill on the assumption that they got a product accident. 46 people from 12 consumer co-ops participated in the drill.
Palsystem Consumers’ Co-operative Union has promoted animal welfare long before the idea spread in Japan. It does not impose existing European standards on livestock farmers in Japan but ensures the best environment for the animals by discussing and studying the animals' conditions with the farmers.
We will expand health promotion and promote welfare services and mutual help.
Small-scale multifunctional in-home nursing care facility by Co-op Mirai
In March 2019, Co-op Mirai opened a small-scale multifunctional in-home nursing care facility “Co-op Yume Mirai Kitamoto” in Saitama Pref. Users are provided with 24-hour, 365-day support while living in their own homes.
Law salt activities by health and welfare co-ops
Japanese Health and Welfare Co-operative Federation (HeW CO-OP JAPAN), which is affiliated to JCCU, promotes law salt activity “Sukoshio” which means “healthy life with law salt”. As part of encouraging its member co-ops’ activities, it holds recipe contests for individual members yearly. It also published a recipe book co-authoring with Kagawa Nutrition University.
“Farmer Challenge” by Co-op Shiga
In 2016, Co-op Shiga started farming experience program in cooperation with JA (agricultural co-op) in Shiga Pref. Participants can exchange directly with producers and deepen their understanding of local agriculture and environment. There is a specialized course for members who want to learn more about agriculture.
Introduction of 10 Basic Care by Co-op to consumer co-ops nationwide
On May 22, 2018, JCCU announced the full-scale introduction of the "10 Basic Care by Co-op", which is the basic guidelines for nursing care and welfare businesses by consumer co-ops nationwide.
We will eliminate poverty and hunger from the world and promote support for children.
Support to UNICEF
Responding to ICA’s call, consumer co-ops have been working on fundraising activities for UNICEF since 1979, the International Year of the Child. The contribution in 2018 was 289.8 million JPY and the amount of money contributed since 1983 reached about 9 billion JPY.
“Community Cafeteria Nakamichi Komichi” by Co-op Kobe
Since June 2017, a group organized by Co-op Kobe’s members has been providing free supper for children of junior high school age or younger once a week in cooperation with an NPO. They also accept elderlies living alone. The free supper program also functions as a chance of exchange over generations. Co-op Kobe funds the activity partially and provides hygiene instruction.
“Mommy Staff” by Miyagi Co-op
Miyagi Co-op has been operating a temporary childcare system “Mommy Staff” for more than 20 years. Members, who have completed lectures by the co-op, babysit children while their parents participate in member activities or seminars. The aim is to ease loneliness of mothers who have small children and to let them participate in society. In 2018, 143 members were registered as “Mommy Staff”.
“Kosodate Hiroba” held on a regular basis
Consumer co-ops offer their meeting rooms to co-op members and residents holding activities such as Parenting Circles. In December 2011, Osaka Palcoop started “Kosodate Hiroba (salon for babies, small children, and their parents)” on a regular basis. It is run by its members, open twice a week, and can be used without prior application. In addition to preschoolers and their parents, pregnant women are also welcome.
CO•OP × Red Cup Campaign donation ceremony held
JCCU and its member Co-ops in cooperation with the Japan Association for the World Food Program (JAWFP) launched the “CO•OP × Red Cup Campaign” from October 1 to November 20, 2018 to raise funds to support the “School Meal Program” in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
CO-OP Core Non Smile School Project donation presentation held
JCCU and its member Co-ops in cooperation with the Japan Committee for UNICEF had launched a UNICEF donation campaign under the theme “CO·OP Core Non Smile School Project” to raise funds to help improve the education environment for the school children in the Republic of Angola since 2010.
We aim to achieve social equity and improve social infrastructure by developing and distributing fairtrade products and ethical products and educating consumers.
Children's Future Action
"Children's Future Action" is an initiative launched by JCCU's "Study Group on Poverty of Children" in FY 2016, aiming at capturing the social problems of children including poverty, through learning sessions and deepening understanding to broaden the circle of sympathy for children issues.
Food drive activity is spreading nationwide as one of consumer co-ops' activities.
U CO-OP's traffic safety classes
U CO-OP first launched "traffic safety classes" for the local kindergartens and nursery schools in fiscal 2011. Based on the experience gained the co-op has since expanded the program to elementary and junior high school students, elderly people, people with disabilities, and now the program has become diversified.
We will promote activities to eliminate nuclear weapons and to achieve the world peace.
2019 Peace Action in Hiroshima and Nagasaki held
This is the 74th year since the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Every August, co-ops across Japan hold various peace-related events such as peace parades and lectures. These are collectively called “Peace Action”.
From March 27 to 29, 2019 JCCU and Okinawa Consumers’ Co-operative Union co-organized the 36th Okinawa old battlefield / American Military base tour for co-op members. 220 members from 33 consumer co-ops participated.
In April 2016, the survivors, known as Hibakusha, launched a signature campaign to call for an international treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons.
We will spread the use of renewable energy and promote Global Warming Countermeasures.
In 2017, JCCU called on consumer co-ops with the goal of producing 450 million kWh of renewable energy annually in 2030 and 1 billion in 2050.
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No. of Facilities
No. of Facilities
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As of March 2019
Greenhouse gas reduction
Consumer co-ops work on the reduction of CO2 emissions from their business operations. The 2020 goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by 15% compared to FY2005.
The total of CO2 emmision of 55 consumer co-ops and business federations including JCCU
We will promote gender equality and create an inclusive society.
Co-op Human Resources Connection
JCCU works on Co-op Human Resources Connection. This is an initiative to promote employment through referrals among consumer co-ops for those who quit their co-ops due to moving out and seeking for a job in the new place. This initiative also secures human resources of co-ops across the nation. 53 co-ops and one related organization participate in this initiative as of the end of March 2019.
Exchange Event for Women Leaders
JCCU holds exchange events for women staff in co-ops nationwide. In 2018, JCCU held an Exchange Event for Women Leaders and 68 leaders from 36 co-ops attended the event. Following the seminar by a female executive of another company and assertive communication training, the participants shared their worries and challenges.
Consumer co-ops deliver products weekly to individual homes, groups, and workplaces.
Consumer co-ops operate various types of stores: supermarket, small-sized supermarket, mobile store, etc.
JCIF provides various insurances for consumer co-op members all over Japan.
Consumer co-ops work on community building in cooperation with local governments and organizations.
Consumer Citizen Society
Consumer co-ops work on networking of consumers, exchange opinions with administrative organs, and hold seminars (study sessions) for consumers.
JCCU in cooperation with its member co-ops develops and distributes CO・OP Brand Products that respond to ethical consumption reflecting on co-op members’ opinions.
Consumer co-ops work on waste reduction and recycling.
JCCU manages the quality and safety of CO・OP Brand Products. JCCU also makes policy proposals to the national and local administrations in cooperation with consumer co-ops.
Consumer co-ops have worked on Sanchoku since 1970s.
Consumer co-ops operate welfare business mainly focusing on home care services.
Consumer co-ops implement health promotion from the viewpoints of diet, exercise, and social participation in cooperation with universities and local governments.
Consumer co-ops work on food education to raise awareness of co-op members for food.
JCCU and consumer co-ops work on various international cooperation.
Secure Place for Children
Consumer co-ops work on community-building activities that make children live with a sense of security.
Food Bank/Food Drive
Consumer co-ops work on food drive activity to support food banks.
Child Care Support
Consumer co-ops support families raising children, in cooperation with local communities.
JCCU and consumer co-ops work on peace activities under the slogan "For Peace and Better Life".
JCCU and consumer co-ops work on environmental activities in cooperation with local communities.
JCCU and consumer co-ops aim to realize the goal of decent work for diverse people in various employment forms and life stages.