“Ozaki beef” raised by rancher Muneharu Ozaki is a brand name beef well known both in Japan and abroad. Originally, it was sold as Miyazaki beef as well as locally produced beef. Why is Ozaki beef out of Miyazaki beef? Mr. Ozaki, who calls himself a “cowherd”, has started to expand the Ozaki beef sales not only in Japan but also around the world. We asked Mr. Ozaki, who challenged the world with beef, about his philosophy.
Ozaki style was founded from American breeding method
Mr. Ozaki took over his father’s farm and began raising beef cattle in Miyazaki City in 1984, when Mr. Ozaki was 24 years old. Before that, Mr. Ozaki worked on an American farm for two years.
“I was approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries through the rice-growing training system and went to the US On a US farm, I manage 16,000 cattle with 4 people and work 22 hours per day. Salary 200,000 Yen. I saved 30,000 yen on meals and 170,000 yen on school fees, and studied nutrition and genetics at an American university during the last six months of my trip to the US Working and studying without I received 1 yen from my parents. It was two years after dawn. “
What I learned at ranches and universities in the US is how to fatten cattle quickly. They export beef with antibiotics, preservatives and growth hormones to Japan and Asia, but those who do them do not eat cows that are fattened in this way.
“That’s strange. If you’re a cowherd, make the beef you want to eat, a beef that your family and friends can confidently eat.” Mr. Ozaki said that he made this decision on the plane returning from the United States.
From “Miyazaki beef” to “Ozaki beef”
For 20 years after returning to Japan, Mr. Ozaki continued to study food and breeding methods by himself and sold his own cow as Miyazaki. What is the reason for Mr. Ozaki to change “Miyazaki beef” to “Ozaki beef”?
“Around 1995, I participated in an exhibition at a bull contest called the Miyazaki Brand Co-Promotion Society. I completely believe in my bull, but the result is 2nd. I can’t convince myself, and the contest after the contest is the last. I was thinking about retiring as a cowherd, but when the competition started, my bull was more expensive than the championship cow. That is usually not possible. “
Mr. Ozaki was told by contractors and buyers that he competed because he thought Mr. Ozaki’s cow was the best. This case, he decided to continue raising cows. Then, in 1997, Mr. Ozaki’s cow became the big champion in the beef cattle category of the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Award.
Mr. Ozaki, who became confident in his method of breeding, continued his research. I was pushed back when certified by a prestigious sukiyaki restaurant in Kyoto as “the best meat in Japan”, and since 2000 I started selling my own beef as “Ozaki beef” instead of ” Miyazaki beef “. It was.
Ozaki beef sales policy
Ozaki beef has become the most delicious beef in Japan. To maintain the brand both in terms of name and reality, Mr. Ozaki has a solid sales style. For example, about the selling price. Beef Ozaki sells grade A5 and A3 grade marble for the same price range. The reason is that even if the ranks are different, the love of feeding and the cost of feeding will not change. In addition, when the purchase price of calves increases, it is unlikely that other costs will be suppressed and the selling price will not be the same.
“If you want to cut costs without raising the selling price, you have to cut down on feed costs, shorten farming time, but that does not maintain the quality of meat, so the buyers. Explain the reason for the price increase and promise to always deliver the same quality ”.
In terms of the number of shipments, the number of Ozaki cows that can be transported is limited.
“Branded, originating beef can be purchased from many producers when there is a large order. However, Ozaki beef can only be produced per month for 40 heads and buyers have been determined. We cannot sell despite receiving a large number of orders. However, we plan to increase the number to 20 units next year so that we can meet the maximum demand of customers. “
Protect people related to the local Miyazaki and Ozaki beef
Mr. Ozaki treasures the local farmers and craftsmen related to Ozaki beef. Originally, Miyazaki prefecture was a thriving land for calf production, but since there were no heirs of livestock households, the number of calf farmers decreased, and now it seems that companies are working on calf production. . ..
Mr. Ozaki seems to buy calves from local farmers even when the prices are high, as he wants the farmers to have a stable life in the land where they were born and raised.
In addition, many people are involved in the introduction of Ozaki beef. There are 12 craftsmen, including herders, slaughterers and organ washers. “All work with pride. I have a mission to protect the jobs of those 12. Japanese manufacturing is a team competition. Beef Ozaki says,” The product sells because of the price. high. I am traveling the world, thinking “must do” is my role. “
Sold not only in Japan but also in other countries! Challenge the world with Ozaki beef
Mr. Ozaki is expanding his Ozaki beef sales not only in Japan but also worldwide.
“To compete in the world, you have to stand out, and some people like Ozaki beef and others don’t like it. There are pros and cons, but I want to satisfy the needs of those looking for Ozaki beef. . I want to be happy. No one can be happy if they are afraid of being hated and they cannot win the game. “
“Ever since the cow I named myself, the Ozaki cow, has been widely known in Japan and around the world, it has become my only and greatest weapon,” Ozaki said.
Modern Japanese cowboys are challenging the world with Ozaki beef as a weapon. To beat myself, and make my family, staff, friends and consumers eat and happy. Ozaki beef, carefully bred with such thoughts will continue to be loved not only in Japan but also around the world.
* Photo provided by Muneharu Ozaki