Horsham hay exporter Johnson Asahi is celebrating their 25th anniversary in business.
In 1995, Australia's J.T. Johnson and Sons signed a joint venture agreement with Japan's Asahi Industries.
The company now exports an average of 100,000 metric tonnes of oaten hay, from the region each year .
Johnson Asahi operations manager Tony Huebner said they celebrated the milestone online due to COVID-19.
"We had a morning tea with the workers here and then we went into our conference room and spoke to Yoshihiko Kubo, one of the directors of Asahi Agria in Japan," he said.
WANT TO READ MORE OF TODAY'S NEWS? CLICK HERE
"We would like to thank all of our growers and suppliers, since we couldn't have them join in the festivities."
Johnson Asahi has growers from Bordertown, Hopetoun through to Horsham and Ararat.
"We bring it in and reprocess it into hay that we can fit into 40ft containers that go to Melbourne port. They are then sent through to China, Korea and Japan," he said.
"The majority of our products goes to Japan and China.
"Japan imports a lot of fodder products because of the size of their country. They haven't got the broad acreage like Australia has.
"We also do straw for the horse industry which is quite a big industry in Japan."
Managing director Mark Johnson said they were very proud of the milestone in the company's history.
"We have built excellent relationships with our growers and service providers in the Horsham region, and that has helped us to get to where we are today," he said.
"Unfortunately we couldn't enjoy a celebration dinner together due to COVID-19 however, we will do something in the future to mark the occasion."
Mr Huebner said they were grateful to continue working as an essential service.
"That's good for everyone here ... we have 32 people who work for Johnson Asahi in Horsham," he said.
"We have been lucky enough through the Melbourne port not to have any issues with getting containers and sending containers, that has been positive.
"We haven't had any issue with processing as far as production is concerned."
Mr Huebner said the company plans to expand and have recently invested in the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal at Dooen.
"We are always looking at continuous improvement. In Japan its called kaizen," he said.
"That means if a worker can see something that will help them in their workplace, no matter how small it is, we look to continually improve it across the whole production site."
Do you have a story to share? Get in touch - email@example.com.
Did you know you can receive updates straight to your inbox? To make sure you're up-to-date with news from across the region, sign up below.
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to the Wimmera Mail-Times, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling the Wimmera's story. We appreciate your support of local journalism.