ITOCHU announces merger of I-FOODS, ITOCHU Rice Corp.

by World Grain Staff
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MINATO-KU, TOKYO, JAPAN — ITOCHU Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer Masahiro Okafuji announced on Aug. 9 a merger agreement between its wholly owned subsidiaries I-FOODS Co., Ltd. and ITOCHU Rice Corp.

On Oct. 1, 2011, I-FOODS and ITOCHU Rice will merge together as I-FOODS. On the same date, the name of I-FOODS will be changed to ITOCHU Food Sales and Marketing Co., Ltd.

The severity of the operating environment surrounding the domestic food commodity marketing industry is predicted to continue to increase due to many factors including the shrinking and aging of the population, sluggishness of consumer spending caused by the recession, effects of the Great East Japan Earthquake which struck on March 11, and the future intensification of domestic market competition caused by the continuing progress of free trade worldwide.

In addition, for the same reasons, operating conditions for business partners — domestic food distributors and manufacturers — are becoming more severe and consequently their demands for supply chain of food commodities are becoming increasingly sophisticated and diverse.

In this state of affairs, ITOCHU has decided to merge its two wholly owned subsidiaries, I-FOODS and ITOCHU RICE to strengthen its domestic marketing business in food commodities such as sweeteners, wheat, fats and oils, rice, confectionary ingredients and beverage ingredients. The synergies produced by this merger are an increase in the number of products that can be provided to business partners as well as a sharing of information transmission systems, customer bases, and management resources.

Through these synergies, an efficient system for providing a stable supply of services and safe foodstuffs that our business partners can be confident in will be established. By intensively committing ITOCHU’s management resources in the business of domestic food commodity market to ITOCHU FOODS, a system will be established that better meets the needs of consumers and business partners nationwide in hopes of achieving sales of 300 billion yen.
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