Mar. 14, 2019
Sumitomo Corporation Invests in MARS Company for Refrigeration Technology Development
Sumitomo Corporation (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Representative Director, President and Chief Executive Officer: Masayuki Hyodo) has invested in MARS Company (Head Office: Takasaki-shi, Gunma-ken), a firm engaging in the research and development of refrigeration technologies.
Perishable foods lose their freshness quickly when refrigerated, and deteriorate in quality—and therefore the selling prices fall—when frozen. The transportation of perishables, particularly in countries or regions with no sufficient cold chain infrastructure, also often causes huge economic losses.
MARS Company develops and markets products that feature unique refrigeration technology, which allows perishables to be kept at temperatures under 0˚C without freezing and maintain their freshness. The company’s main product the “Kuraban” refrigeration system keeps foods fresh for a significantly longer period of time than a conventional refrigerator, while also being capable of preventing the growth of bacteria within, and even aging, meat. The company’s “sea snow” technology makes ice from seawater or salty water, whose temperature is −1.0˚C and salt concentration is 1%. The ice keeps appearance and freshness of fishery products in better conditions and for a longer period of time than ordinary ice. Kuraban and sea snow is attracting great attention from countries where the cold chain infrastructure is not well developed, and MARS Company has started, jointly with the Japan International Cooperation Agency, verification survey for its technologies in the long-time freshness preservation of fishery products in Morocco.
Sumitomo Corporation will work together with MARS Company to develop 40-feet container equipped with the same functions as those of Kuraban. The new container, which will be capable of retaining freshness of foods far more effectively than ordinary refrigerated containers, will lead to the expansion of the geographic coverage of marine logistics service providers as well as to the reduction of transportation costs as the container will eliminate the need to use air transport. These advantages are expected to enhance the demand for the container among countries and regions desiring to increase the export of perishable foods. Sumitomo Corporation will also cooperate with its Group companies, including SC Foods and Sumisho Global Logistics, to support the sales and lease of, and project management for, MARS Company’s products in and outside Japan in order to contribute to the expansion of MARS Company’s business.
In its Medium-Term Management Plan 2020, Sumitomo Corporation aims to create next-generation businesses. Through the partnership with MARS Company, Sumitomo Corporation will help drive the improvement of technology for food freshness preservation and the building of cold chain infrastructure to contribute to the development of local communities and industries.
|■Profile of MARS Company|
■Main product of MARS Company “Kuraban”
■Main product of MARS Company “sea snow”
■Sumitomo Corporation’s Material Issues
Sumitomo Corporation Group positions “Six Material Issues to Achieve Sustainable Growth with Society” as an important factor in developing business strategies and in the decision-making process for individual businesses. Going forward, we will pursue sustainable growth by resolving these issues through our business activities. This Project especially contributes to “Contributing to the Development of Local Communities and Industries”, and “Providing Diverse “Accessibility” ”.