Rice-Based Food Manufacturing Industry in Niigata
In respect of the revitalization of the local economy in Japan, the creation of a locally-based industry on the basis of local products has vital importance. In this context, the food industry which processes indigenous agricultural products is one of the promising areas.
The rice-based food manufacturing industry in Niigata Prefecture presents an excellent example of how to create a competitive business through the extension of the incubation support, which was mainly technological one from the public research institution in this case.
In the process of their development, the rice product producers in Niigata built competitive advantage over the producers of other areas, and this success of them can be explained by adopting the so-called Diamond Model advocated by Professor Michael Porter.
Through the case study on this Niigata rice product industry, this paper intends to induce a model which can be of value for the same kind of serious trials being undertaken in many areas in Japan with the hope of regaining the energy of the local economy and the society.
In Niigata’s case, the rice-based food industry has not only shown its strength by occupying a remarkably high market share but also started a trial of expanding its business coverage to such fields as health care and geriatrics, using the research results produced through the close cooperation among businesses, university laboratories and the relevant public bodies.