• Kanzaka Seminar Students of Soka University’s Faulty of Economics: Selling Non-standard Fruit and Vegetables on Campus


Kanzaka Seminar Students of Soka University’s Faulty of Economics: Selling Non-standard Fruit and Vegetables on Campus

    On December 10 (Tuesday) from 12 noon to 3 p.m., three students from Kanzaka Seminar of Soka University’s Faulty of Economics, Ms. Saori Kasuga, Ms. Kaon Goto, and Ms. Kae Kawaoka, held a “daytime market for students” and sold non-standard fruit and vegetables in front of Student Hall. With cooperation from JA Hachioji, they sold non-standard fruit and vegetables that cannot be sold at stores, along with products from farms in local areas of Hachioji City.

    The market is part of the learning process used for Kanzaka Seminar in the form of tackling solutions to society’s problems. Ms. Kasuga and others researched and focused on the topic of the low intake of fruit and vegetables by students, which was gleaned from a hearing at the JA Hachioji Gardening Center. There, it was learned that the main reason why students do not often purchase such produce are because prices are too high and that it is bothersome to travel all the way to a local market or to the grocery store just to buy them. As a solution to this, they tried selling fruit and vegetables that are non-standard, which means that the taste is no different from items sold at regular stores but that such produce cannot be sold due to an inferior shape or color. At the market, they also displayed simple recipes using fruit and vegetables and called out to students that were passing by.

    A male student that made a purchase (Faculty of Letters, senior) commented: “I came to the store because I heard from my friend about this market. It’s very convenient to be able to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables on campus. I feel assured also because there are detailed labels. I will make a radish-based meal tonight using the ginger that I just purchased.” A person in charge from JA Hachioji, who cooperated in this event, said: “I am surprised because many more students than I imagined stopped by. I am so happy that this market is becoming widely known by students.”

    Ms. Kasuga and others who planned the market said: “We continued to steadily conduct hearings and analysis and pondered solutions as to why students simply don’t eat fruit and vegetables. Listening to farmers, I felt that the way in which farmers pour their hearts into their work was just not being relayed to consumers, and so we decided to hold a daytime market for students in cooperation with JA Hachioji. With as many as a total of 111 students, staff, and faculty purchasing fruit and vegetables, I really felt the need for such opportunities. Many expressed expectations for the next market event, and I am extremely happy. The daytime market for students came from the idea of how non-standard fruit and vegetables would be a great avenue for exploring how to increase the intake of fruit and vegetables by students, and I believe that this can contribute to the promotion of health and a reduction of wasted food products, which the United Nations uphold as part of its SDGs. I want more students to know about the daytime market for students, and I want to expand our activities. I am deeply appreciative to everyone at JA Hachioji and all the university staff that cooperated for this event.”