What is “Tosa Akaushi” where the taste of lean meat shines

(Left: Kiichi Kobun, Right: Naoto Kawahara)

Driven by the growing Japanese black hair in the sashi-focused market, the number of Japanese brown hair that used to be raised the most in Kochi Prefecture is decreasing. However, the label “Tosa Akaushi” was launched by people involved in this crisis.

With the establishment of the “Tosa Wagyu Brand Promotion Council” in 2009, Kochi Prefecture has begun to develop the distribution and sales channel of “Tosa Akaushi”, which is a combination of the public and private sectors. With the registration of a regional group trademark in 2012 of this initiative, Tosa Akaushi, which is now widely known for its deliciousness and is branding “delicious lean meat”, has improved and the number of seed increased. We will pay attention to efforts on the production side.

Based on the Tosa Akaushi Propaganda and Improvement Project, based on Mr. Kiichi Kumon of the Livestock Promotion Division of the Agricultural Promotion Agency of Kochi Prefecture and Mr. Naoto Kawahara, Director of the Large Livestock Division of the Experiment Station. Livestock Kochi Province. We asked him to give details of the improvement “Tosa Akaushi” made by Kochi Prefecture.

Beef culture is also an age of diversity. The story of the birth of the brand “Tosa Akaushi”[Hành trình nông trại: Tỉnh Kochi]

To be “hunted” by many beef cows. Improvement and propagation of “Tosa Akaushi”

Currently, the majority of Japanese beef beef is black Japanese beef. It is distributed as a premium brand beef because consumers prefer the soft meat that is easy to get sashimi. In order to get closer to the features of the highly acclaimed Japanese Kuroge breed, Akaushi Tosa has been repeatedly selected for the purpose of being an easy cow for sashimi dishes.

“Currently, we are also conducting selections in pursuit of lean meat taste, which is what is unique to this breed. In the diverse market, we are looking for strategic innovations to correct this. target segmentation and meet their needs, Kobun said.

According to Mr. Kobun, the following conditions are set forth in the sire selection process, which is the basis for Tosa Akaushi to improve.

– Exclude breeding cows with a suspected pedigree from the list of genetic factors.
・ Choose cows with good reproductive performance as the “base cow” up to about 10% of the total herd.
Choose four bulls a year between the base cow and the bull that wants to keep the successor.
・ For selection, the genetic potential and economic efficiency required for improvement will be quantified and used as indicators of evaluation.

After that, it seems that the final decision has been made as to whether to actually use it as a sire by investigating the fertility test of the selected male and the meat production performance of the calf produced. by experimenting with a cow.

(Tosa Akaushi’s male. Unlike the calm and lovable impression of a cow, she has a rough temper and a huge body.)

As a result of the accumulation of selective methods in the past, it seems that while meat productivity has improved, the problem of large pedigree bias has arisen. So about 10 years ago, we implemented the following procedure to ensure that bulls breed with specific characteristics of intensity, fertility, lactation, and available feed availability.

・ Each offspring is divided into 8 strains by calculating the effect of ancestral genealogies.
– Add a characteristic female to the basic female as a breed cow.
– Mating sires of the same line to create new males (or females).

This effort is also known as rebuilding the lineage, and along with ensuring genealogical diversity, improvements are being made from a long-term perspective.

Average meat distribution and price of Tosa Akaushi

Next, let’s take a look at Tosa Akaushi’s “Pet Quantity”. The “number of pets” of the Japanese brunettes in 2011 was 702, but in both 2014 and 2015 it was 367, and Akaushi Tosa’s “pet population” is on a downward trend (* 1). ..

“One of the reasons is that the herd of cows has decreased in the first place, but since 2013, the cows have been fattened, which should be used as breeding cows to produce calves. It is also related to the fact that it gradually remains in the producer’s barn, temporarily the number of cattle transported will decrease further, but in the long run, the number of cattle raised will increase and eventually the number amount of cattle exported. It will increase. It could be said that this was a phenomenon that happened since cows were only raised in Kochi prefecture. “(Mr. Kobun)

Around 2014, when the number of animals decreased, it was also when the attractiveness of Tosa Akaushi began to be assessed in the market. As a result of the recent boom in lean meat, a brand that Kochi Prefecture has agreed to, and efforts to expand sales, the average meat price of Tosa Akaushi was 1,366 yen in 2011, but in 2012 It increased to 1,515 yen and 1,745 yen in 2013. In 2014, it was 1,964 yen, and Tosa Akaushi eventually exceeded the 1,933 yen average for Japanese black hair. (* 2)

Around 2014, when the number of Tosa Akaushi’s animals declined, it was time when the market for Tosa Akaushi was increasing and the number of orders was increasing. However, a small number of shipments leads to a loss of sales opportunity.

Future Problems of Akaushi Tosa

The current challenge for Akaushi Tosa is to ensure that the out-of-products can meet the needs of the target market, improve meat quality and pursue deliciousness. As a result of recent efforts to secure seed numbers, numbers have begun to increase and it appears that the results have been achieved through future yield increase efforts.

On the other hand, improving quality will require a challenge for the current system. The bottleneck is the evaluation of Japanese meat. Currently, the rating of beef in Japan is defined by a standard, mainly assessing fat passability (BMS, etc.) on a 12-point scale (* 3).

However, “Tosa Akaushi” is a beef that competes with the taste of lean meat rather than fatty sashimi. Unfortunately, we have not set up a system for rating this taste. The evaluation of existing systems does not convey the exact assessment of quality.

So in order to convey the deliciousness of the meat, media strategies like letting Tosa Akaushi really taste it and the sales strategy is key. However, when actually eating Tosa Akaushi, there were unexpected responses, such as “This is the first time that such lean meat is so delicious” and “It tastes sweet and taste different from black hair” , and manufacturers are feeling feedback. Was.

“The value of Tosa Akaushi will increase, and we can expect a steady income to support the lives of the breeders. And if the number of new farmers increases, the number of farmers will increase. It would be great if both the seller and the restaurant could create a humidifying condition. “(Mr. Kobun)

Tosa Akaushi’s reviews are soaring, and it’s one of the ingredients in many restaurants’ attention. The passion and effort to “get rid of beef cattle that are unique to Kochi Prefecture” probably made Akaushi Tosa flourish.

Beef culture is also an age of diversity. The story of the birth of the brand “Tosa Akaushi”[Hành trình nông trại: Tỉnh Kochi]

* 1 Breeding in Kochi province 2011 FY2015 * 2 Breeding in Kochi province (2016)
* 3 Japanese Meat Classification Association

1 Kochi Prefecture Agricultural Promotion Department Livestock Promotion Division, 2016 “Livestock Kochi Prefecture”
2 Kochi Prefectural Homepage http://www.pref.kochi.lg.jp/
3 Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Department of Statistics Office of the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, July 4, 2017, Livestock statistics (as of February 1, 2017)
4 Kochi Shimbun “Trademark registration of Tosa Akaushi” August 16, 2012
5 Kochi Shimbun “Selling Akaushi outside the prefecture” January 8, 2013