Interview with NIKU NO MORIYA and MORI FARM
Buddy FOOD 01 Wagyu, which Buddy FOOD plans to launch in December 2021, will be made with black Wagyu beef from the best butcher in Southern Kyushu, NIKU NO MORIYA Co. We spoke with Moromai-san, manager of Moriya's Nishi-Sengoku branch, and Kawakami-san of Mori Farm, the company where Moriya raises its Wagyu beef.
We first spoke with Mr. Moromai at the Moriya branch.
Q First, tell us about Moriya Corporation.
A Moriya Co., Ltd. and Mori Farm Co., Ltd. raise approximately 5,000 head of cattle on four farms totaling 55 hectares, mainly in Terukita-cho, Kanoya City, Kagoshima Prefecture. They are one of the leading producers of Japanese black cattle in Southern Kyushu, shipping 2,500 head per year. Terukita Town is rich in nature and water, and natural water from the mountains is used for drinking and washing cattle.
Terukita Town Location
We are especially concerned about the quality and safety of the Wagyu cattle we raise. We continue to be concerned about delivering safe and secure cattle to you. This is a simple and obvious thing, which is why it is so difficult and challenging. That is why we continue to be sincere and value the spirit of aiming for the highest quality. Thanks to your support, we have won the Grand Champion at the 23rd, 24th, and 25th Kagoshima Black Beef Production Area Advertising and Sales Meetings held in Kagoshima Prefecture, inviting suppliers from all over Japan, and we are confident that the high quality of Moriya's beef is known to everyone to some extent.
After being raised at Mori Farm, the meat goes through a slaughterhouse, is purchased again at Moriya, and then shipped to various restaurants. Most of our customers are corporations, such as butcher stores and major restaurants, but we also sell to the general public via the Internet.
Mr. Moromai, Manager, Nishi-Senganishi Store, Nutoku no Moriya
Q Kagoshima's meat has won a gold medal at the Wagyu Olympics. Please tell us about the Wagyu Olympics.
A It is the National Wagyu Proficiency Show, where Wagyu cattle from all over Japan compete to see how well they have improved. This is also called the Wagyu Olympics and is held once every five years. For those of us involved in Wagyu production, it is a stage of flowers. In the previous competition held in 2017, our Wagyu won 4th place and we, Kagoshima Prefecture, won 1st place and the title of "No.1 Wagyu Beef in Japan". We believe this is a result of Kagoshima's rich natural environment, the knowledge and experience of farmers from tradition, and the high level of ability of producers in the prefecture to raise cattle. The next Wagyu Olympics will be held in 2022. We are striving to raise good cattle with the goal of Kagoshima Prefecture winning the Olympics again.
Q Please tell us about the characteristics of the meat that Moriya provides to Buddy FOOD.
A The meat we will be selling to Buddy FOOD is also sold to the general public as "small cuts of meat" on the Moriya's website. In Japan, meat is sold by parts. For example, even high-end parts such as filet and sirloin are difficult to sell at butcher stores and restaurants if there are only a few pieces left. Those meats are grouped together and sold as "small cuts". It is a delicious way to enjoy the taste of various parts of top-quality black Japanese beef.
Buddy FOOD uses meat from Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, or Okinawan black Wagyu beef. Depending on the region, time of year, and timing, which farms we serve may vary, but all are top-quality meats that Moriya is proud to sell.
The rice (feed) for our Wagyu is also produced in Kagoshima. When I heard that Buddy FOOD would be made using safe and secure ingredients from Kagoshima and other parts of Kyushu, I felt a great deal of sympathy for their philosophy. In addition, we agreed with their spirit of spreading their wings from Kagoshima to the rest of Japan, and decided to cooperate with them by providing meat.
This is the actual meat that we will be purchasing.
Q: Do you have any thoughts or messages for people who purchase Buddy FOOD?
A I think most people are a little apprehensive at first when buying a new product. However, we are thoroughly concerned about the quality and safety of the meat we produce, and we are proud to say that it is absolutely safe for your dogs. We would like to convey the message that Buddy FOOD, including our meat, is made from good ingredients.
Meat Moriya staff with other staff members
Next, we visited Mori Farm in Terukita-cho, Kanoya City, Kagoshima Prefecture, for a tour of the farm and an interview with Mr. Kawakami.
Q May I ask about the characteristics of your farm?
A. The Mori Farm farm in Terukita-cho, Kagoshima Prefecture, where I work, ships 100 head of cattle per month. Wagyu black cattle are shipped when they reach 29 months of age, and we raise them with great care in order to deliver the best Wagyu cattle until then.
Safety is the most important thing to us at Mori Farm, and we are especially concerned about safety, having obtained ISO certification.
Mr. Kawakami, Mori Farm
Q. What are you concerned about in order to raise the highest quality Wagyu black cattle?
A. Cattle are living creatures, so there are differences in pedigree and individual characteristics. What we are conscious of at Mori Farm is to raise the overall average. We are conscious of raising the average level of all cows in order to reduce the probability of having cows that cannot be raised well.
Currently, the percentage of A4 and A5 cows on our farm is about 83%. This is a higher percentage than most farms, but we would like to raise it even higher.
In order to raise the average, we are conscious of two specific things: first, we are particular about the rice our cows eat, and second, we are conscious of reducing stress as much as possible and creating a place where they can grow up comfortably.
For rice, we require our feed suppliers to be ISO-certified to ensure that no inferior feed is mixed in. We strictly control this point because it is of utmost importance to eliminate the risk of contamination by drugs or other unhealthy substances. In addition, we take steps to maintain the nutritional balance of the diet by changing the formulas according to the time of the year.
Stress management is extremely important. Cattle are very sensitive creatures, and if, for example, a farm has extremely poor sanitary conditions, they may become stressed and lose weight simply by being bitten by large numbers of fruit flies, and this stress will soon show up in their meat quality. Long-distance travel is also a major source of stress. We try to keep the cows comfortable and stress-free.
With Buddycare Harada and Nagai
Q Finally, please give a message to the people who purchase Buddy FOOD.
A. We are very concerned about the safety and quality of our products, and we raise our Japanese black cattle with great care. I believe that the diet is the first step to health for any living creature, and this is the same for humans, the cows we raise, and our dogs. We are sure that your dog will like our beef.