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Friday, July 14, 2023

TanboHiro: Ch 1 - Ep 22


Chapter 1

Episode 22: Farmers' Union


After a 20-minute drive, we arrived at a local farmers' union office.

In front of the office, there were several light trucks, vans, and other vehicles lined up.


"Is this where you sell your products, Jin-dono?"


Seram looked up from the passenger seat, her eyes fixed on the Union office building.


"Yeah, it's one of the wholesalers. This place is called the Farmers' Union."


"What is the farmers' union?"


"It's an organization that provides support to farmers. Each farm is small in scale. If we don't help each other, it will be tough."


"How do they help each other?"


"They help each other by buying and using fertilizers together and sharing farm machinery. Buying fertilizers together helps them get better prices, and sharing machinery reduces individual costs. Being part of a farmers' union also allows them to exchange valuable information with other farmers."


They can learn about and combat prevalent diseases, try recommended fertilizers and cultivation methods for better results, and exchange valuable information. It's one of the advantages of being part of an agricultural cooperative.


"I get it. It's like an Adventurer's Guild."


I nodded in response to her understanding, even though I wasn't familiar with the Adventurer's Guild in her world. As long as she grasps the idea, it's okay.


"So what does the farmers' union do for you?"


"They buy and deliver our fruits and vegetables to the wholesale market. No need to do any complicated paperwork or sales marketting."


"Well, that's very convenient!"


"But the union has its disadvantages."


"What's that?"


"We don't have the right to set the price."


Normally, you would be free to set your own product price. However, when you submit your products to the union, they can determine the price.


For instance, let's say you believe that the tomatoes you are about to deliver are of excellent quality and should be priced at 400 yen. But if the union evaluates the tomatoes and sets the price at 200 yen, that becomes the final price.


"That's a problem! So even if we produce high-quality products, they will be priced low!"


"The union isn't intentionally trying to be unfair. They assess prices based on local distribution and seasonal factors. In return, they allow small-scale farmers like us to sell our products. Additionally, even if we bring in a large quantity, they won't refuse to buy from us."


"I see. It has disadvantages."


"That's right. On the other hand, direct sales are the way to go if you want to sell high-quality products at a higher price."


"Your vegetables are delicious. Wouldn't that way be better?"


"But in return, I would have to handle all the paperwork."


You would need to handle all aspects of marketing, sales channel development, sales, price negotiations, web page creation, creating advertising materials, and documentation such as delivery slips and invoices on your own.


It would be pretty challenging and unrealistic to manage these tasks single-handedly.


"Even if you grow a large quantity of delicious vegetables, they won't be useful if they don't reach the customers."


It's not just about producing many delicious products without considering other factors.


As we continued our conversation, the car entered the premises of the union office.


Once inside, I exited the light truck and began unloading the tomatoes-filled containers.


Usually, I would handle this task independently, but with Seram's help, the unloading process went more smoothly.


After unloading all the containers from the truck, we left a slip of paper with the producer's information.


Our work at the union office was done, and we could have left then. However, Seram was curious about the delivery process, so we stayed.


Shortly after, a forklift truck arrived and began transporting our tomato containers to the pickup station one by one.


"Oh, whoa!"


Seram exclaimed in surprise upon seeing a machine that was unfamiliar to her. However, her excitement gradually subsided.


"...... Jin-dono, wouldn't it be faster if people carried those things?"


"The people in this world don't possess magical powers like you."


It may be slower and carry less than Seram expected, but it is very convenient and reliable for ordinary people. Please don't use your fantasy world as a standard.


The containers are placed on the conveyor belt and taken upstairs.


"Oh, our tomatoes....."


"Do you want to go upstairs and look at the fruit-sorting area?"


"Yes, I would love to!"


Seram seemed disappointed initially, but she smiled happily when I explained the situation.


Entering the worksite is usually prohibited, but it's allowed if you ask for permission and follow the rules.


I take the excited Seram up the stairs, get permission to visit and enter the area.


Numerous conveyor belts operate here, with several containers moving through them.


"So many tomatoes!"


"Because there are tomatoes from other farmers as well."


The quantity is enormous because all the tomatoes harvested by farmers in the area are gathered here at once.


However, this is just a tiny fraction of the total number of tomatoes in the country, which is truly amazing.


"Oh, there are our tomatoes!"


As we observe, a container passes in front of us. We follow it, and soon the tomatoes are taken out and brought to the sorters.


"The tomatoes are sorted based on shape, color, size, and blemishes. They are then categorized as superior, excellent, or good."


"What grade are our tomatoes?"


"Considering the good harvest we had, there should be a lot of superior tomatoes."


Staring at the sorters, I noticed many tomatoes were sorted into the excellent category.


"Yeah, the proportion of excellent items seems higher than before."


"That's a good sign."


Before long, the sorters packed the sorted tomatoes into boxes.


"I take pride in the tomatoes I grew. They look wonderful."


"Yup, they appear brighter compared to the other tomatoes."


The sorting staff chuckled as we praised our own tomatoes.


I grew these tomatoes with my own hands. Of course, they're the best from my perspective.

Once the tomatoes were boxed, they were automatically packed by a machine and transported via a conveyor belt to the first floor.


A large truck stood ready, and forklifts continuously loaded boxes of tomatoes onto it.


"And finally, they're loaded onto trucks and transported across the country like that."


"Oh, where is that truck headed?"


"I heard it's going to Kyushu."


"Is that far away?"


"It'll take more than 15 hours to get there by car."


"If it takes that long, even with your car, it must be distant. It's impressive that the union can transport them to a far destination."


"It may be faster to travel by plane or bullet train, but when it comes to transporting goods, it's a different story.


Selling individually to such distant places is not practical. One advantage of being part of the farmers' union is that we can reach such markets.


"Well, shall we head home now?"


Our tomatoes have already been loaded onto the truck.


I've toured the facility enough, and staying longer than this would be a nuisance.


We leave the union office and get into the light truck parked in the parking lot.



"Did you enjoy watching the delivery?"


"Yeah, I'm glad I got to see how the harvested vegetables were delivered. Thanks for bringing me along."


"I see. I'll take you again when we have some free time."


"Please do!"


I found a Female knight in a rice field in the countryside, they think she's my wife



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