Cooperation with the Mitsui & Co. Group

Mitsui & Co. Seafoods Ltd.
a food trading company handling fresh and marine products with Mitsui’s DNA coursing through the company

Ever since Toho Bussan was founded mainly by the former Mitsui & Co. members in 1947, we have carried on the DNA of the Mitsui & Co. Group. Starting with the transfer of the salmon business in 2005, all the marine product business has been gradually moved from Mitsui & Co. to Toho Bussan. Through this process, we have reinforced our foundation as a food trading company. Now that we made a fresh start as Mitsui & Co. Seafoods Ltd., we have renewed our commitment to stably providing safe and trustworthy marine products by leveraging Mitsui & Co. group’s information gathering capabilities and networks across the world.

What we can do within the Mitsui & Co. group supply chain

The Mitsui & Co. group has built a global business foundation that spans from food production, collection, and manufacturing to processing. Its business model is shifting to investing in production areas and commercializing food businesses. At the same time, we are actively moving forward with the introduction of digital technology and AI to cultivation ponds and processing plants and review/streamlining of the supply chain across the board from cultivation ponds to sales operations. Meanwhile, we have built a business flow that makes full use of Mitsui & Co. group’s supply chain. We will work to create new businesses that are not limited to supplying materials.


Organization of Mitsui & Co.Seafoods Ltd.

Our company consists of Sales Department 1 (shrimp), Sales Department 2 (salmon), Sales Department 3 (fish roe, product development for overseas markets), and Sales Department 4 (tuna, expansion into growth markets).


    Delivering safe, trustworthy, delicious foods selected with the discerning eye of professionals

    Our company consists of Sales Department 1 (shrimp), Sales Department 2 (salmon), Sales Department 3 (fish roe, products for overseas markets), and Sales Department 4 (tuna, product development).

    Efforts to develop new products, materials, and markets

    We work to procure seasonal materials while ensuring the sustainability of marine resources in partnership with customers and overseas producers, and import and supply carefully selected materials and processed foods. We also focus on the export of Japanese marine products to spread the attractiveness of Japanese foods among overseas customers. One example of such products is farmed shrimp. Working closely with producers, we give thorough and meticulous attention to feed, management of cultivation ponds, and processing methods. Such approaches have led to growth in demand not only from Japanese customers but also in overseas markets. As demand for marine products grows overseas, we will work to expand our business by actively visiting production areas and building a robust supply chain with strategic partners in order to meet customer demand.


    Our desire to bring smiles and satisfaction to consumers’ tables go beyond the borders. Our dynamic trading activities are supported by the various corporate staff departments responsible for administration, accounting, risk management, and product development and quality control (RQC). Based on the principles of “customer first” and “frontline focus,” we have vigorously engaged with imports, exports, and offshore trade for more than half a century. These departments play an integral role in these endeavors, albeit from behind the scenes. In particular, the Product Development and Quality Management Center is a specialist department unique to Mitsui & Co. Seafoods Ltd., and is responsible for product inspections/development and onsite audits.


Protecting the food you eat today

We stably provide safe products while accommodating unseasonable weather, fluctuations in exchange rates, disruptive world affairs, etc. Strictly adhering to the basics of trading is part of our mission. We carefully monitor and identify the supply/demand balance throughout the world and secure competitive products. Today, consumers are increasingly concerned about food safety, and we closely work with local producers and established the in-house Product Development and Quality Management Center to ensure the safety of the food we handle. Realizing food security, safety, and stability as given is a form of contribution to society unique to a food trading company.


Anticipating changes and creating the future

What consumers demand of and expect from food is growing more diverse as the transition of time and changes in lifestyles. For example, the needs of today’s consumers go beyond simply stuffing their stomach with food or experiencing delicious meals, they also expect their food to be safe, environment-friendly, easy to prepare, etc. To accommodate more and more fragmented consumer needs, Mitsui & Co. Seafoods Ltd. has taken various steps in its upstream and downstream operations. For example, we visit local farms and work directly with producers to examine measures to improve productivity and ways to reduce the environment burden, such as using less agrochemicals. One new initiative born from these efforts is our “herb shrimps” that have higher resistance to disease and greater productivity. In order to facilitate logistical and sales operations, and generate added value for consumers, we apply creativity in food processing. Going forward, we plan to actively propose unique ways to prepare foods and introduce recipes.


Synergies of accumulated experience and inquisitiveness

The marine products that we handle include numerous items that people find on their tables. We imports and sells marine products and processed foods, such as shrimp, salmon, tuna, and roe. We will continue to work on strengthening our competitiveness as a food trading company by combining our information gathering and product development capabilities with the comprehensive strengths of the Mitsui & Co. group.


Unique quality management system that ensures safety

We take safety very seriously as a trading company that handles a diverse range of marine products. That is precisely why Mitsui & Co. Seafoods Ltd. has introduced a thorough quality assurance (QA) system. Around 300 suppliers from more than 20 countries that meet our strict standards are registered in our independently-developed Supplier Registration System and managed in an integrated manner. Our designated teams visit local production sites and conduct regular audits to make sure their products meet the requirements of Japanese laws and regulations. Mitsui & Co. Seafoods Ltd. is also unique in that it has its own Product Development and Quality Management Center. Staff member who possess specialized knowledge conduct thorough inspections and verifications. “Safety first because food is at the core of a healthy life”. This philosophy never changes since the founding of the preceding company Toho Bussan in 1958.



Mitsui & Co. Seafoods Ltd.
also actively undertakes offshore trade.

Offshore trade is trade that involves a third-party country that is not directly importing or exporting goods/materials, but purchases the goods/materials from an overseas supplier and then sells them to an importer based on a purchase contract. This type of trade involves goods/materials being directly exported from overseas businesses to overseas importers. In recent years, many Japanese companies have expanded the local production approach, and demand for offshore trade is increasingly growing. An advantage of offshore trade is the low-cost and stable transportation between where items are loaded and where they are delivered, and this business model offers us new possibilities.

Export business
based on offshore trade by leveraging fostered trust

As a food trading company, we import safe and trustworthy marine products from throughout the world and deliver delicious products to consumers in Japan. As society grays and domestic demand declines, in addition to the import business, we will actively enter the export business. In doing so, offshore trade plays an important role. Trust is the most important element of offshore trade. We have the trust of a long-standing food trading company, the trust as a member of the Mitsui & Co. group, and the trust for “Japanese brand” based on quality management and processing technology. Leveraging these resources, we supply locally-processed marine products to Asian countries, North America, and Europe. A typical example of this approach is exports of shrimp produced in Ecuador to China. The volume of this type of business is growing every year.



Quality management that earns the trust of consumers using skills that are equivalent to food manufacturers

Because we are a food trading company that handles a wide range of marine products, we do not want to leave the measures to ensure safety and reliability up solely to local producers and suppliers. The Product Development and Quality Management Center is the driving force behind our quality assurance (QA) efforts. Aiming to implement quality management that surpasses that of typical trading companies, we have thoroughly adopted a method of customer satisfaction management that is in line with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and ISO9001 (quality management system). Our staff members participate in regular HACCP training to improve their skills and to obtain HACCP Inspector qualification. Quality management equivalent to that of food manufacturers is indispensable for not only observing compliance as a company, but also earning the trust of consumers as we aim to enter the processed food domain.

Frontline focused quality management
Taking on the new challenge of product development

When internally registering a new product, a specialty team first inspects the local production site and plant. We conduct business with more than 300 suppliers in over 20 countries, and our stance is always the same. For example, in the case of culture ponds for shrimp or other items, safety management checks the water quality, feed, and antibiotic substance used. In the case of processing plants, we conduct production checks and verifications of standard products, manage hygiene, and provide guidance. A new initiative taken on by the Product Development and Quality Management Center is product development from a consumer perspective.

We carefully select reliable products from throughout the world