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Rakuten: A Case Study on Communicating Food Sustainability Information to Consumers

  • Published on April 26, 2022

UNEP, WWF and GlobeScan have developed a series of twelve case studies presenting efforts by companies and labels to communicate food sustainability to consumers. Read on to find out more about Rakuten, the 5th case study in the series.

About Rakuten

Rakuten Group, Inc. is a Japanese technology company providing a range of services in e-commerce, fintech, ad tech, digital content and communications, founded in 1997. Rakuten Ichiba is one of the largest online shopping marketplaces in Japan and provides a platform for 55,000 merchants selling a diverse range of products from food to homeware and beauty products.


Launched in April 2017, Rakuten Farm is a platform focusing on organic food produced in Japan. The launch of Earth Mall with Rakuten followed in 2018. Earth Mall highlights a selection of Rakuten Ichiba’s sustainable products to consumers. 

Rakuten’s objectives

The objective of Rakuten Farm is to grow the market for organic Japanese produce, thereby supporting a shift to more organic Japanese agriculture, revitalising communities and making organic products more accessible to consumers. Rakuten Farm grows its own products and also lists those grown by other producers.

Earth Mall with Rakuten aims to make it easy for Japanese consumers to find and purchase sustainable products online. The site also seeks to increase consumer understanding of sustainability and how individuals can use their purchasing power towards more sustainable consumption. The platform was launched following an internal materiality assessment in which Rakuten decided to focus more on promoting Goal 12 of the Sustainable Development Goals, ‘Responsible Production and Consumption.

To learn more about Rakuten's approach to communicate food sustainability information to consumers and learn about the challenges and successes, download the full case study here.

Project background

Under the umbrella of the One Planet network Consumer Information Programme, UNEP, WWF and GlobeScan developed a research project to improve our understanding of how the provision of sustainability information can influence consumers’ food choices. This case study is one of twelve case studies showcasing approaches by companies and labels to communicate food sustainability information to consumers. Stay tuned for more articles in the series published every Tuesday and Friday over the coming weeks.

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