Aleph Wins the Japan Awards for Biodiversity
Our member company Aleph was awarded with the Excellence Award at the “Japan Awards for Biodiversity” by the AEON Environmental Foundation. Aleph was awarded for its efforts on sustainable sourcing of rice, which reduced use of agrochemicals and contributed positively to biodiversity.
Aleph started the challenge to source non-agrochemical rice in 1996.
In the beginning there were difficulties for farmers to suppress weeds and control the quality of crops without agrochemicals to secure the amounts needed. After sincere discussions with farmers, they had to reconsider the regulation to allow using only once herbicide.
In 2004 less agrochemical rice was served in all the directly managed restaurants. Even all franchised restaurants served them since 2006.
When the regulation was revised in 2016 the farmers supplying directly the restaurants had to start researching living-things more than once a year, define a ‘symbol life’ and report their efforts to enhance biodiversity in or around rice paddies. After this revision they set targets of biodiversity by various places and periods to strongly encourage farmers.
This award, established in 2009 as a domestic prize, has been conducted every two years. The aim of the Awards is to honor five projects carried out by organizations or individuals in Japan that made outstandingly contributions and had an impact on future activities for biodiversity, as the Grand Prix and four Excellence Awards.