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The “World Mushroom Shop” Expands to Malaysia

With over 19 branch offices and 30 mushroom plants “Mushroom Centres” all across Japan, Hokto Corporation stands at the forefront of the ASEAN mushroom industry. Throughout the Japanese islands, from Hokkaido to Okinawa, Hokto supplies delicious mushrooms to households and businesses all year round, with over 2.5 million packages being shipped and consumed daily.

This means that almost all households in Japan eat Hokto mushrooms several times a week. However, as the market there seems to have matured, Hokto is expanding its market overseas, and aims to deliver its specialty lines of delicious, nutritious and safe mushrooms first to ASEAN and eventually to the rest of the world.


Technology

By nature, mushrooms are demanding fungi. They have a constant need for nurturing and require much attention. At Hokto, our technological advances have afforded us complete control over the cultivation process, meaning a consistent, safe, and delicious supply of mushrooms all year round.

Our state-of-the-art facility allows us to tightly control temperature, humidity, and light exposure throughout the mushrooms’ entire growing cycle. Much of the operation is fully or partially automated, using conveyor belts among growing rooms, cooling chambers, and our harvesting and packing facility.


Researching Mushrooms as a Key to Good Health

One of Hokto’s key strategies is its emphasis on researching the many beneficial properties of mushrooms. To this end, they established the Mushroom General Research Institute in Nagano, Japan which aims to research the many beneficial properties of mushrooms.

In addition to conducting its own research, the Institute also collaborates in various research programs with universities. One recent and particularly notable example was a joint research program conducted with Tohoku University, which found that an extract from certain Hokto mushrooms could induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in tumorous cells. This research was announced at an academic conference in December 2012 to widespread media coverage.

The Institute also works to research other issues, such as radioactivity in food which is a big issue in Japan following the events at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. Hokto mushrooms and growing mediums are regularly tested for radioactivity by a third party inspection institute using high-sensitivity germanium semiconductor detectors. No trace has ever been found.


Consumer Satisfaction = Customer Trust

Hokto’s business philosophy is based around a concept known as “The 5 Satisfactions”, a policy that aims to build a relationship of satisfaction and trust with Hokto’s consumers, suppliers, the local community, shareholders, and employees.

To this end, Hokto places paramount importance on protecting the health and safety of its customers and engages several innovative approaches to do just that. Foremost among these innovations is Hokto’s push to fully automate the process of cultivating, harvesting and packaging mushrooms as a means of ensuring the quality and hygiene of its produce.

From seeding, sprouting, growing, harvesting and packaging; every stage of Hokto’s mushroom production line occurs in a germ-free factory that is fully insulated from the outside world. With no risk of disease or bacterial cross-contamination from contact with human hands, dirt and other external sources, Hokto mushrooms are grown naturally in a healthy environment free from pesticides and other chemicals.


What is Hokto’s Goal?

Our goal is to be a company that primarily considers our consumer’s wellness. That’s why we automated our factory. Mushrooms are a very delicate food. Once dirt and bacteria get on the mushroom, it significantly loses its freshness and nutritive value.

By building a factory without the intermediary of human hands, we avoid cross-contamination and can and assure the safety, freshness and high quality of our produce. We ensure comprehensive implementation of hygiene control at our factory without ever using chemicals, and fully automated the final packaging process.

We even managed to fully automate the production and packaging of Maitake mushrooms by means of the “one root” cultivation method which has never been done by anyone before. As a result of our endeavours, there are many families with children who can safely enjoy our mushrooms.