2014 BBA Winner Profile: Fermenstation (Community Contribution)

Dec. 9, 2014

The seventh British Business Awards were held on 14th November, 2014 at the Hilton Tokyo. Fermenstation, led by Rina Sakai and based in Iwate, took home the award for Community Contribution.

Fermentation's President Lina Sakai has worked closely with the people of Oshu, Iwate, to develop a "circular economy" business model. Since 2009, Lina's vision has seen her work with farmers, local businesses and the community, to manufacture rice enthanol. The rice ethanol is sold as is as well as being used to create soaps and airfresheners sold in major retails stores. And a byproduct of the process is used to feed egg-farm chickens.

Fermenstation was nominated for a BBA by Yoko Kudo from BCCJ Corporate Plus member Ernst & Young ShinNihon LLC after Lina worked with their Winning Women programme aimed at boosting female entrepreneurship. The company's award was collected by Yoko on behalf of Lina who was overseas.

Fermenstation impressed judges with its commitment to a sustainable business model and its plans to apply their successful model to other parts of rural Japan. 

Last year they were able to expand their community work by hosting eco tours and workshops. So far 80 people have taken part and the ultimate aim is to boost entrepreneurial spirit in Oshu and allow people to be inspired and educated by Fermenstation's success.

Judges also admired the company's long-term vision of self-sufficient regional economies, with Fermenstation being at the centre of a supply chain within the local community.