Last week, March 11e I was honoured to attend the Event Commemorating the Coming into Effect of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement led by organiser Mister Isamu Kibe.
In the program was the Certification of Japanese Food and Ingredient Supporter Stores Overseas given to 6 TOP restaurants in The Netherlands followed by a presentation of the First Artificial Seeds Sustainable Aquaculture to Arrive in Europe and we closed with Japanese Food and Ingredients ( Seafood) Cooking demonstration and tasting.
What is the Japanese Food and Ingredient Supporter store Certification System? Director Yoshitoku Takahashi of JETRO Amsterdam explained it very well.
It is a system, based on guild lines decided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, to certify overseas restaurants, retailers and other stores which proactively use Japanese’s foods and ingredients as Japanese Food and Ingredient Supporter Stores. The 6 stores that had the hour of receiving this certification are : YAMAZATO ( Hotel Okura) SAZANKA ( Hotel Okura), RAKU Restaurant, EN Restaurant, SHIRO and last but not least HOKKAI kitchen. The got the certificate as they USE Japanese ingredients, the DISPLAY the food so people can see what they use and they also create PR to promote the Japanese food and ingredients. But also the heritage and promoting the Japanese lifestyle and ambiance is important. Promoting Japan as a brand, so to speak. Always using the very best quality available, the story behind the products or dishes, the sense of season which is underlined so clearly in the Japanese Culture as an inspiration for the dishes and lifestyle. I plan to visit all of them shortly so I will keep you posted.
The certification ceremony has taken place since 2017 and has travelled the world to France, Hong Kong, Mexico, Paraguay, Los Angeles, Manilla and now in the Netherlands
The President and CEO Masahiko Ariji professor at the University of Kindai, had a very interesting presentation about Artificial Seeds Sustainable Aquaculture concerning yellowtail ( BURI) and sea bream. All new JAS certified products. Japan is very concerned about robbing the ocean of all fish with the growing demand of fish needed for popular Japanese dishes like sushi and Sashimi.. So the Food Culture and Market Development Division of the ministry of Agriculture has taken appropriate steps to make sure there will still be fish in the ocean for many many years to come. There now is a ministry of Aquaculture!
The farming of Sea Bream ( Shoku) is not new to Japan as they have a 100 year old history. They just scaled it up in recent years. Researchers at the University developed a technique and system that enables to farm yellow fish and seabream on a larger quantity at SHOKU EN Co. SHOKU EN implements sustainable production of full circle aquaculture, from EGG to FISH. Shoku and Buri has higher DHA ( revitalizes the brain )and EPA ( improves blood circulation) content than salmon with contribute to great flavour and a healthy diet.
Go to one of the 6 certified restaurants and be sure to taste the unique flavours that the Japanese cuisine has to offer.
A large shout out to JETRO for giving me these very interesting insights in the world of Japanese food supporters. Especially the most interesting topic of Aquaculture, I am sure this is the way to go in the future if we want to keep enjoying these wonderful dishes and keep feeding the world in a sustainable way.
CW: More articles on this subject to come in further detail.