Iwate Consumer Co-operative（Iwate Co-op*) is working on the creation of the "Co-op Forest" with the participation of its members in order to preserve the rich forests in Iwate Prefecture.
On October 3, a total of 49 co-op members and their families cleared the weeds in the Co-op Forest in Kuzumaki town and played a treasure hunt game in the forest.
children mowing weeds in the Co-op Forest in 2021
Since 2010, Iwate Co-op has been trying to expand people's interests in forests, nature, and the environment through forestation with the participation of its members, and to contribute to the reduction of the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and mitigation of global warming through the following "Co-op Forest" activities.
1. Co-op Forest in Kuzumaki-machi, Iwate
Tree Planting in Co-op Forest Kuzumaki 2019
Since 2010, Iwate co-op has rented a forest in the town of Kuzumaki, and with the cooperation of the Kuzumakimachi Forest Owners' Cooperative, their members and full-time staff have been planting trees every June and cutting the weeds in October. They have also organized acorn picking and other activities to get familiar with the forest. Over the past 11 years, around 20,000 trees have been planted and more than 1,400 co-op members have participated in the activities.
2. Co-op Forest in Maesawaseibo, Iwate
last tree planting in Co-op Forest Maesawaseibo 2019
Starting in 2014, Iwate co-op has been working to create a forest of Japanese maple trees that will grow enough to color Hiraizumi town after 100 years from now. With the cooperation of the Seibo Producers and Forest Owners' Co-operative, about 180 trees were planted over a six-year period. The nursery trees were grown locally from seeds of the Japanese maple tree, which is designated as a national natural monument. Some of the nursery trees were grown in co-op members' homes and in co-op office facilities. The last planting was completed in 2019, and they plan to continue with mowing and other maintenance activities.
3. Co-op Forestation Fund
In 2012, the "Co-op Forestation Fund" was established to accumulate profits from paper cartons collected for recycling by co-op members, a portion of profits from the collection of home delivery leaflets, and donations from projects sponsored by co-op business partners. Revenue for FY2020 was 1.97 million yen.
*Iwate Co-op is a Consumer Co-operative located in Iwate Prefecture in the Tohoku region of Japan, with a membership of about 269,000, a household subscription rate of 50.7% in the prefecture, and retail sales of approximately 44.6 billion yen.