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Connecting the world through Flowers

Fresh cut flowers and foliage from over 25 countries

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HISTORY

Otani Trading or, in Japanese, Otani Shokai, was founded in 1923 in the city of Niigata, the biggest Japanese city facing the Sea of Japan. The founder of the company, Shozo Otani, had a keen interest in modern industrial products and the company’s activities ranged from wholesaling and retailing pumps, electric motors to V-belts and many other industrial products. The company was incorporated in 1950 and a new head office was built in 1975. In 1974, second generation Masao Otani, currently company chairman, had already taken over the management of the company. New divisions for plant equipment, technical design, and maintenance were established successively.

A new chapter was opened in 1997 with the inauguration of the Otani Flower Division near Tokyo’s Narita Airport. Today, the Flower Division of Otani Trading imports flowers and foliage from more than 25 countries around the world. The company has grown into one of the major cut flower importers in Japan with its own building near Narita Airport. In 2005, third generation Albert Wetzler and fourth generation Robert Wetzler took over the management to lead the company into a new era of growth. Also in 2005, a Food Division was established in Tokyo with the purpose of exporting and importing food products from and to Japan. Otani Trading now employs over 100 people in 7 locations inside and outside Japan.

In order to handle the ever increasing quantities of flowers, the Flower Division, in 2011, moved part of the operation into a new state-of-the-art distribution centre near the South Gate of Narita Airport. With our own cooling, repacking, and distribution facilities, along with a modern IT infrastructure, we are set to offer competitive services to all our suppliers and customers.

image description Albert Wetzler President of Otani

Greetings from the President

As a trading company with activities in fields as different as machinery and cut flowers, our primary concern is maintaining our competitive edge by providing speedy and reliable service to our customers. As to our flower division, we are blessed with the additional pleasure of handling a natural product that brings arguably more joy to the world than the average man-made consumer product. While technological progress and international trade has brought unprecedented material wealth to the world, human activities have also created an environment that is increasingly becoming a source of concern. With this in mind, we hope that mankind will never forget that the beauty of nature will always be superior to any product created by humans. We hope that the natural beauty of the flowers we sell on a daily basis will not only be measured as a material contribution to our society but also as an enrichment of our lives in a spiritual and artistic way

Services

What we do
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We import regularly by air at the major airports of Tokyo-Narita (NRT), Tokyo-Haneda (HND), Osaka (KIX), Nagoya (NGO), and Fukuoka (FUK), by sea at the ports of Tokyo-Yokohama, Osaka, and Hakata (Fukuoka). We are strictly operating as a wholesaler only and we do not cater to end users

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We ship original boxes directly to auctions and other wholesale and retail customers around Japan. We also have well established state-of-the-art repacking facilities for repacking flowers into small size dry boxes, or into aqua-packs

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Inland transportation is by truck and by airplane. All major areas of Japan are served from Hokkaido to Okinawa, throughout the year. Exporting is still on a spot basis only and limited to a few popular varieties but we hope to expand this market segment in the years to come

Worldwide

Suppliers in over 25 countries

Flowers are produced and consumed in almost all corners of the world. Matching supply and demand is our daily business, involving countries from Argentina to Zimbabwe. Production cost differences and opposite flowering seasons of the two hemispheres are the two major driving forces of the international flower trade. Add to this the ever growing availability of air and sea cargo space and you know why this industry is flowering without an end in sight. As a rule of thumb, the best flowers are supposed to be grown in high-altitude areas near the equator. This gives countries like Ecuador, Colombia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malaysia a clear advantage. Nevertheless, depending on the type of flower, countries like South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Chile in the South, or Italy, the Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, and China in the North, play important roles in the international flower trade. Orchids are produced in large quantities in South-East Asia but, when it comes to foliage production, the situation is different again. Countries like Costa Rica, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and China all play important roles. Please have a look at our map showing major countries of supply.

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Customers all over Japan
Customers all over Japan

The core of our business activities is importing fresh cut flowers and foliage into Japan. Our customer base ranges from flower auctions to wholesalers, major retail florists, bunching operators, and mass market customers. We are also in the process of expanding our customer base outside Japan beginning with the US, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, China, and Taiwan

Long Term Relationships
Long Term Relationships

We value long-term relationships or strategic alliances both with our suppliers and our customers. Our relationships with many of our suppliers and customers can be measured in decades rather than years. We make no compromises when it comes to quality and, therefore, the relationship with our suppliers is based on professionalism and a high degree of mutual trust. The rewards for this strategy come from our customers in the form of a high degree of loyalty towards our company and our products. We are endeavouring to develop our existing network further and look forward to new relationships in this exciting industry, which stretches over almost all continents

Speed and Reliability
Speed and Reliability

Working in an industry which is operating along the flight schedules of the international air carriers, which is influenced by weather conditions like heavy snow fall or typhoons, by flight delays or even closed airports and harbours, by delayed ship arrivals, you name it, our staff, in constant cooperation with our forwarding agents, stands ready to get your perishable cargo from A to B, on roughly 360 days of the year. It is a fast-moving industry with little room for slow thinking. It is decision-making like clock-work, on a daily basis. This is our environment and we like it

Customer Satisfaction - Our Passion
Customer Satisfaction - Our Passion

We take our company history of 90 years as an obligation to add another 90 years, and more, to it. What other value could achieve this better than customer satisfaction. Finding out customer needs and ways to meet them is what we think makes our young team of target-oriented professionals special. As we are operating in a very competitive environment, we try to focus on quality of service and product quality rather than just targeting quantity

Suppliers

If you wish to become a supplier of Otani Trading, the first step is to receive information on import procedures in Japan, terms of trade, and market trends by registering your company below. You will then have access to basic information about the technical aspects of exporting to Japan

Buyers

If you are a buyer outside Japan and wish to import flowers from Japan, the first step is to contact us via this website, or by telephone. Japan has a very large flower production base, one of the largest in the world, but the production is highly fragmented and exporting cut flowers has only caught the attention of the growers quite recently. Growers are therefore not yet used to large-scale orders, insect-free production, and export packing. Japanese specialties include Gentians, Tweedia, Gloriosa, Sweet Pea, Lisianthus, to name but a few. We have gained our first experience in exporting Japanese Gentians to the Netherlands more than 20 years ago and welcome inquiries from overseas buyers