Interview with Quality Meat Co.
Buddy FOOD #03 We interviewed Mr. Tashiro, Director and General Manager of Quality Meat Corporation, which processes the pork thighs for our pork thigh recipe. Quality Meat Corporation is a company in Kagoshima City, Kagoshima Prefecture, that handles everything from pig production to processing and sales as a whole group.
Q First of all, please tell us about Quality Meat Corporation's commitment to processing.
Thorough sanitation and temperature control are our company's distinguishing features.
First of all, in terms of hygiene, we have acquired ISO 22000 certification for our entire facility. While there are still not many companies that have obtained this certification, even if it is limited to processing plants, it is very rare to have the entire facility, including everything from receiving the products from farmers onward, certified. In addition, from receiving to shipping, work is conducted in a conduit that is not exposed to outside air at all. In addition, staff hygiene is strictly controlled, and while it is common practice to conduct a stool inspection once every two months, we do so once a month to maintain a hygienic work environment.
Next is temperature control. From the beginning to the end of the processing process, we keep the temperature of the meat at 3 degrees Celsius or lower to prevent the growth of bacteria. The longer it takes to process the meat, the higher the temperature will rise, so it is important to keep the meat in the processing line and to make it flow quickly. This is why the processing skills of our staff are so important, and many of our staff have been with the company for many years (some for over 20 years!). This enables us to process in a short period of time.
These thorough hygiene and temperature controls enable us to ensure a shelf life of two weeks for our products, as opposed to the typical shelf life of 10 days.
Mr. Tashiro, Director and General Manager
Work at the processing center
Q Could you tell us about the pork thighs used in Buddy FOOD?
A The main* pork leg used in Buddy Food is "Sweet-ripened Pork Nangoku Sweet" produced in Kagoshima Prefecture. The characteristic of "Sweet Mature Pork Nangoku Sweet" is the way it is raised. The pigs are raised on low-protein feed for a longer period of time than usual (7 months, usually 6 months). By raising the pigs slowly over a longer period than usual (seven months, usually six months), the pigs are not overloaded, the flavor is deepened, and the fat content is suppressed. The pigs are raised in the "top standard" size, which is considered to have the best meat quality, and pineapple lees are added to the feed to give the pigs a strong sweetness and aroma.
We also use Kagoshima white pigs, which are characterized by their low fat content.
In addition, we always visit contract farmers once a month together with feed makers to exchange information on the state of growth. We believe that it is not a simple "transactional" relationship, but rather a "joint effort" with the producers that leads to the maintenance of high quality and uniform conditions. The Kamichiku Group has accumulated know-how in cattle production and processing over many years, and we utilize these group-wide synergies in our production.
Q What is your vision for the future?
A As we enter our 10th fiscal year, we would like to build a system that enables us to deliver our products directly to customers even more than before. By connecting directly with our customers, we will be able to receive their feedback directly, and we will also be able to deliver the thoughts and commitment of our farmers directly to our customers.
Buddycare Harada talking with Mr. Tashiro, Director and General Manager
Q Please give a message to those who purchase Buddy FOOD.
A The meat used in Buddy FOOD, like our other products, is exactly the same meat that people eat. Naturally, the meat is safe and tasty for human consumption. Our entire staff works very hard to produce it, so please feel free to feed it to them!
With Mr. Tashiro