Bob’s Japan Visit Report 2024 Part 2

Part 2 Bob came.


February 2024 Bob came to Kyushu for the first time in several years.

Kyushu’s co-op is buzzing after coming to Japan for the first time in a while. I would like to report on the 3rd and 4th day of the 4-day storm.

Written by: Misato Sanekane, Daily Products Department

Favorite Bob’s product: Bob’s sushiage

This time, for the first time, I was able to accompany you on a visit to a co-op in Kyushu.
I was very surprised at Bob’s popularity, which is comparable to that of an idol!
When I’m nervous, such as on Instagram live or reporting on a visit to a production area
Thanks to Bob’s kindness, I was saved!



Co-op Kumamoto

On the morning of the second day, Bob was surrounded by a total of 39 people at the Suikosha main store, including association directors, family association management committee members, and 36 Co-op Kumamoto staff members.

Mr. Minoru gave a report on his visit in 2023 and held a study session, followed by an exchange between the union members and Mr. Bob, focusing on the questions collected in advance. We received many questions, such as “What are the difficulties in producing soybeans and wheat?” and “How do you mow the grass?”


We also had a tour of the Suikosha main store.
The day's events are also featured in the April issue of the official newspaper ``Hotto Smile.''



Co-op Kagoshima

Bob and Amanda traveled by Shinkansen on the afternoon of the second day. We spent about an hour and a half interacting with Bob at the Kashin Training Center, where everyone from Co-op Kagoshima was waiting. This was their first visit in four years, and when Bob and Amanda arrived, there was a big round of applause!


The event started with a greeting from Chairman Bob Matsuzono, and after tasting Bob’s new prepared food products made with tofu, we headed to a question corner for the association’s member directors.

A variety of questions were asked in the limited time available, including questions about production status, genome editing, varieties for Japanese tofu, and climate change.



The day’s events are also featured in the April issue of the official newspaper “Mai-Kopu”.



Written by: Masaki Kondo, Daily Delivery Products Department

Favorite Bob products: Stone oven raisins & cranberries

I first met Bob in 2014, but this year we had the opportunity to visit a co-op in Kyushu together, and we had a lot to talk about.
Next time, I announced to Bob that I would like to show him the night view of my hometown, Nagasaki!



On the morning of the final day, we met with 12 members and directors at LaLa Co-op’s LaLa Place Atago store.

A total of 27 LaLaCo-op executives and employees interacted for about an hour and a half.

Mr. Sanekane from Co-op Kyushu Daily Delivery Department reported on his visit in 2023 and held a study session.

Afterwards, the union members and Mr. Bob had an interaction based on the questions collected in advance.

In order to socialize, we all had lunch catered by a long-established Japanese restaurant in Nagasaki. Bob and Amanda looked very interested in the

“Are you feeling the effects of climate change?” “I’m glad that Japan, which has a low self-sufficiency rate, can eat soybeans from the United States (Mr. Bob). Labor shortages are a big problem in Japan, but what about the United States? We were asked many questions at the reunion after such a long time, such as “What do you think about family business?”

After interacting, the two went to the store.

In the tofu corner, there are many pop-up pops made from Bob’s photos, and Bob and Amanda are smiling at the display that lets you know at a glance that “Bob’s products are made with soybeans.” We were taking pictures together.


Co-op Saga Co-op

On the afternoon of the final day, we visited Coop Saga Co-op’s Shinei store. Here, we held a networking session with 9 member directors and 5 executives and employees in the store’s networking room.

While we received questions about issues that are becoming more and more serious in Japan, such as, “In Japan, it’s difficult to find a successor, what is the situation like in the United States?” We were able to have a lot of interaction, even asking questions that made the atmosphere more relaxed.



There were also nice pops posted at the store.

Information about interactions at Co-op Saga is featured on the bulletin board in the April issue of Kusunoki, the official newspaper.

These are Bob, Amanda, and interpreter Mari Shimizu, who met many people during the four-day trip. It must have been a long and difficult journey.

Bob commented, “It reminded me of how warm it was to interact with the members who use the service.”

Click here for a report from Bob’s perspective! “New Generation Farmers Support Group


Bob and Amanda, thank you for coming all the way to see us. We are waiting for wheat and soybeans from Kyushu that we can continue to use with confidence.