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Member Introduction Article: DeLaval ~ Turning Cows Into Cash Cows Through Automation Technology
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Member Introduction Article: DeLaval ~ Turning Cows Into Cash Cows Through Automation Technology

23 April 2020 | Written by administrator


Cows or cattle have played an integral role in our civilizations for many millennia. In the modern era, its nutritional byproduct milk has become a major global staple. But milk and other dairy products such as butter, cheese, and yogurt may not have achieved its ubiquitous position if it wasn’t for advancements in dairy farming technologies. SCCJ visited DeLaval K.K., the world leading maker of milking equipment, at their Shinjuku office to learn about the company and the future of the industry.


DeLaval is part of the Tetra Laval group—a world leader in the processing, packaging, and distribution of foodstuffs. DeLaval is a family-owned Swedish company originally established in 1883 by Gustaf de Laval. Its 2019 revenue stood at around 1.1 billion euros (around 131 billion yen). DeLaval has business operations in more than 120 countries and employees over 4,600 people. The company provides a full range of products for dairy farmers—everything from milking tubes to cow brushes to their workwear. Its most recent global market share was around 26%.


The company’s Asia-Pacific region is led by Executive Vice President Johan Ledel. He is a 25-year veteran of the Tetra Laval group and was previously DeLaval’s chief financial officer (CFO). This is the third time Mr. Ledel is based in the Asia-Pacific. Earlier in his career, he worked for Tetra Pak in China and Thailand.


“When I was based in Bangkok, I worked for our sister company Tetra Pak. There, I was a board member of the Thai-Swedish Chamber of Commerce. That was where I first learned about SCCJ.

We joined SCCJ for several reasons. One reason is education and networking. We wanted to provide our employees an opportunity to further their education and expand their network. Another is benchmarking. We would like to benchmark some of our approaches—for example our financial and HR strategies—with other Swedish companies in Japan. Finally, lobbying. We would like to receive some advice if we ever need to lobby governmental organizations”

said Mr. Ledel


As the regional head, Mr. Ledel oversees an enormously large geographical area. The markets he covers spans from Belarus in the far-west, Pakistan in the middle, to New Zealand in the far-east. “This region generates around 22% of our turnover. Of which, Japan makes up around 9%. The region is diverse in many ways, not only geographically. For example, in Oceania, grazing cows outdoors is still common. But in most other markets, including Japan, cows are usually kept indoors” added Mr. Ledel.


Vice President Kazuhiko Soga is the head of Japan at DeLaval K.K. Under Mr. Soga’s leadership, the company’s revenue in Japan has skyrocketed in recent years. “We have moved from the eighth biggest to the third biggest market within the company in terms of revenue. The two markets ahead of us are the US and Germany. Our market share in Japan is between 30 to 40%” explained Mr. Soga.


Mr. Soga highlighted the importance of the latest automation technology in Japan. This is because the industry has been facing a difficult-to-solve supply and demand conundrum.


“When we started our Japan business in 1956, the number of dairy farmers was around 283,000. Back then, each dairy farmer only owned one or two cows. Today, the number of dairy farmers has plummeted to around 15,000. But demand for dairy products has been steadily increasing. This means each dairy farmer now must look after tens and hundreds of cows. This is easier said than done. Around 95% of dairy farmers are small business owners and lack the resources to take care of big herds. Moreover, many of them are 60 years or older. For some of them manually feeding, milking, and taking care of  the cows is physically very strenuous. That is why I believe automation technology is important. We believe our automation equipment can support Japanese dairy farmers achieve the success they deserve” explained Mr. Soga.


The company’s latest equipment—DeLaval VMS V300—is an automated milking system par excellence. It not only milks the cow automatically; it also collects data from each cow and allows dairy farmers to remotely monitor and analyze each cow from their smartphones stress-free.


Mr. Shogo Nakano is the HR manager of DeLaval K.K. Mr. Nakano explained that only 10%of their 210 employees work from the Shinjuku office; the remaining employees work from the 26 sales offices located nationwide.


“Around 55% of Japan’s milk is produced in Hokkaido. That’s why we have 10 of the 26 sales offices there. Once the customer purchases our automation equipment, they bind a maintenance agreement. If there are any difficulties or problems, they can contract us at any time, and our staff will be there to provide support. This 24-hour after service is one of our company’s strengths”

explained Mr. Nakano.


We would like to extend a warm welcome to DeLaval K.K. as a member of SCCJ. You can find out more about them at:






デラバルのアジア地域は上席副社長のJohan Ledel氏が率いている。彼はテトララバル・グループに25年務めるベテランで、以前はデラバルのCFOを務めていた。彼がアジア地域で働くのは3度目で、以前は中国とタイのテトラパックで働いていた。