“The happiness of the cow” is the highest priority A style of grazing fully oriented to the dairy paradise of Hachijojima

Hachijojima Dairy Industry’s Takayuki Uotani challenges the natural grazing of jersey cows on Hachijojima, located south of the Izu Islands in Tokyo. Your thoughts behind the statement that “the happiness of the cows is our top priority”? What is the complete grazing style you aim for in the dairy paradise, Hachijojima? I have heard the story.

Takayuki Uotani’s profile

-Please tell us about dairy farming of Hachijojima Dairy Industry.

We raise jersey cows at “Yuyu Ranch” in Hachijojima National Park. The Holstein breed, characterized by black and white, is active in Japanese dairy farming, but our farm only breeds jersey breeds, accounting for less than 1% of the total in Japan. It is about one size smaller than Holstein and less than half the milk yield, but is characterized by its high fat content and rich sweetness. In addition, the calcium content is 1.3 times that of Holstein.

Milking is done twice in the morning and in the evening. Freshly squeezed milk is factory sterilized at 65 ° C for about 30 minutes to make milk. In addition, we sell processed products such as pudding, cheese and yogurt.

– What commitments do you make?

There are three commitments. The first is the top priority for “the well-being of the cow.” Have you ever heard the word animal welfare? In summary, animal welfare is “animals that are mentally and physically healthy, happy and in harmony with the environment.”

Both animals and humans are alive, and they have sensations and feelings. The basic needs of animals other than human (physiological, environmental, behavioral, psychological, social) are shared with humans. Animals in captivity or in restricted environments because humans cannot meet these needs on their own. Humans have a duty and responsibility to make animals as comfortable and painless as possible.

In Great Britain in the 1960s, “five freedoms” were set up to improve poor livestock management and ensure welfare of livestock.

Our farm also incorporates ideas of animal welfare and natural grazing throughout the year. It is believed that outdoor planting with an open feel is less stressful than growing outdoors in a small cage.

In Japan, it is said that less than 1% of all livestock and dairy farming are grazing. Even in Hokkaido, where land is vast, there are only a few. Many cows are raised in stables and spend their lives in a space of about 3 tatami mats.

Our farm has no barns and only grazing so we have about 3,000 tatami mats per cow. However, I think it’s still small.

The second is that we are not using any genetically modified feeds. Japan is considered to be the number one importer of genetically modified crops in the world. GM crops are used in the feed of many animals, but our farm does not grow genetically modified crops. We carefully select and offer reliable feeds that are Non-GMO certified (non-GMO certified).

Third is to use a low temperature sterilization method when preparing milk. Low-temperature sterilization is the only sterilization method that can be squeezed. Japanese milk sterilization methods can be divided into two categories: “super high temperature sterilization method” and “low temperature sterilization method”.

“Ultra High Temperature Sterilization” is a method of disinfection at an extremely high temperature (135 to 150 ° C) for 1 to 3 seconds and it is usually processed at around 130 ° C for about 2 seconds. If you use this method, the expiration date will be longer, but you will smell what is called milk. At the same time, the fresh cream does not separate over time.

The “low temperature sterilization method” is performed by keeping the temperature low between 63 and 65 ° C for 30 minutes. It has a short expiration date, but it has no smell. In addition, many low temperature pasteurized milks use heterogeneous production methods that do not destroy fat particles. Therefore, over time, the fresh cream separates and becomes scaly. (Heterogeneous pasteurized milk does not cause skim. Heterogeneous milk is milk that contains heterogeneous milk fat)

Initially, milk is odorless and smooth like water. It can only be achieved by low temperature sterilization. Nearly 90% of milk consumed in Japan is processed by ultra-high temperature sterilization, so you may not see low temperature pasteurized milk at supermarkets, but we pay special attention to Pasteurized at low temperature and the original form of milk, we want to deliver the milk as it is.

-Please tell us the background behind Mr. Uotani’s pledge.

The impact of the East Japan earthquake was enormous. On the day of the earthquake, I was in Chiba Prefecture and, like everyone else, the cows were scared. So the milk I squeezed on the earthquake night didn’t taste at all. Chances are, the ingredients changed dramatically due to fear-induced stress. It’s really like drinking white water. At that time, I realized that the taste of milk was also influenced by the cow’s emotions, and started to care about the welfare of the animals.

– Tell us your future prospects.

I want to make Hachijojima a milk paradise. I think dairy farming is a niche industry for remote islands, not just for Hachijojima. Whether it’s agriculture or fishing, weather is very important. If the weather continues to be out of season, the transportation of goods from the island will be hindered.

However, grazing dairy farming is largely unaffected by the weather and doesn’t need any supplies. Furthermore, milk can be preserved by processing it into processed products such as cheese and yogurt.

Dairy farming is a way to benefit from milk and meat by making use of resources that are already local and difficult to use by humans. I think this process is a great way to grow insects and natural vegetation and create a landscape, like agriculture.

There was a time when Hachijojima prospered about dairy farming so it was called the dairy kingdom. Although the context of the times is very different from that, I want to add a new essence to the dairy culture rooted in Hachijojima and aim to be a dairy kingdom from the point of view of the children. cow, not an industrial dairy kingdom.