Japan's Norinchukin Bank and the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations, or Zen-Noh, will jointly invest 57 billion yen ($545 million) in the FamilyMart convenience store chain to sell farm products through the store's nationwide network.
The investment by two core members of JA Group, an agricultural collective, is aimed at bolstering distribution of domestic farm output. Until now, the bank has done this mainly via direct loans to farmers.
Norinchukin and Zen-Noh will buy a 4.9% stake in FamilyMart after trading house Itochu completes its takeover of the chain.
Zen-Noh's products will replace imported ingredients in FamilyMart's carryout foods with its own homegrown ones. The two will also attempt to develop products for FamilyMart's private brands.
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