Mr. Dr. Fang He, Research & Development Dept. Manager Takanashi Milk Products Co., Ltd.
Theme: "Dairy Cooperation between Japan and Finland"
Dr. He started his presentation with an overview of Takanashi, which is the 6th largest (by milk intake) dairy company in Japan, still family owned. Their largest product is drinking milk, but also ice cream is a very large item for them where they actually are the biggest maker in Japan. Main reason for this is that they make all Häagen-Dazs ice cream for the Japanese market through a joint venture with Suntory and General Foods (in which Takanashi holds 10%). Another famous brand which they manufacture is Starbucks coffee sold in e.g. convenience stores.
The cooperation with Finland and Valio (the largest Finnish dairy company) started in 1992. The cooperation led to Takanashi licensing the use of Lactobacillus GG (the GG stands for its US inventors Gorbach and Goldine), which hade been developed and commercialized by Valio. LGG is one of the most important brands for functional fermented milks and probiotic products and according to Dr He, LGG lives well in Japan and continues to increase its share in the yogurt market.
Dr. He praised the good cooperation with Valio and the University of Turku, where he was Visiting Senior Research Fellow from March 1999 to March 2000 with the support of Valio. Takanashi has learned a lot from Valio, and also about the market and marketing of LGG products.
Images from the event
FCCJ President Marko Saarelainen starts the proceedings.
Kinji Yasu comments to a question from the chair regarding the Japanese impression of President Obama's visit.
Isao Nishimura, FCCJ Board of Trustees member, introduces the speaker and explains how he managed to recruit Takanashi to become a FCCJ member.
Dr. Fang He starts his presentation.
From left: Shigeyoshi Noto, Hiroaki Sugawara, Pekka Laitinen, Vesa-Pekka Aaltonen, Mika Mäkinen (front), Naota Kusumi and Yoshinori Sano.
From left: Kinji Yasu, Isao Nishimura, Yukio Sakurai and Sakari Romu.
From left: Tetsuro Urabe, Masahiko Atsumi (Takanashi), Mitsuo Okabe and Shingo Nishiguchi.
Mika Mäkinen asks a question.
Dr He responds.
Sakari Romu got the funny side of it.
Some more serious faces... front Yukio Sakurai.
The meeting, held at Hotel Okura, was attended by 19 members and guests.