Our ranch is located in the Tohoku foothills, characterized by clean air, natural and clear water, rich nature, and four distinct seasons. Our ranches are kept clean and spacious, and designed to maximize the comfort of the cattle. The quality of the environment and food given to the cattle is crucially important in maintaining healthy cattle, as factors such as stress and illness have a direct impact on the quality of the meat. Our advanced breeding technology, developed through years of experience, is very successful in breeding many cattle throughout the year. Additionally, all cattle are kept on ranches directly managed by us, and their living environment and food are customized based on their characteristics in order to minimize their stress and maintain the highest meat quality. In order to deliver the meat in the best condition, we also directly operate the processing facilities, and the meats are processed based on customer orders and delivered fresh. The product distribution system is very simple, and by cutting out unnecessary middlemen and operating the entire system by ourselves, we are able to supply the meat quickly and directly. Our beef comes from reliably grown cattle processed through our own technology, with temperature variations through the entire processing and distribution processes kept to a minimum, leading to fresh and high quality meat.
About 700 cross-breeds are purchased and raised for about 28 months at the Zao Kogen Farm at the foothills of Zao, a winter sports heaven that is highly regarded overseas. Its unique nature, characterized by ice monsters and a caldera lake, is the home of our HACCP facility for Zao beef, developed through 70 years of research and process management. Our Zao Beef is a unique brand of hybrids produced by the Takahashi Livestock Group's Zao Kogen Farm, and in Japan, the trademark is registered by Takahashi Beef inc.
Our delicate, delicious Kuroge Wagyu Yamagata beef is the product of Yamagata’s unique environment, characterized by very hot summers and bitingly cold winters. This large seasonal variation triggers the cattle to slowly grow larger and adapt to the seasons, leading to beautifully marbled, tender beef that has a distinct sweetness and almost melts in the mouth. The Takahashi Group sells Yamagata Beef from cattle grown on our Yamagata No.2 Farm and Yamagata Zao Farm. Enjoy our fresh, delicate, and high-quality beef.
High conception rates, brought about by experience and technology from In-house artificial inseminators, enables a stable supply of high-quality beef. Breeding seeds are at the heart of the integrated group system. We carefully observe the interactions between the cattle to determine the best fit, and closely monitor all cattle every day. We currently have on average, over one birth per day, Particularly well performing females are designated as breeding cattle, and the number is increasing every year.
In order to improve the safety of livestock products, it is important to improve hygiene management at individual livestock farms and conduct consistent hygiene management from farms to consumers.Each ranch of Takahashi Livestock Group has become a certified farm of "farm HACCP" recommended by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. We will work on hygiene management to delivery and more secure.
Our certified facility (Yamagata beef center) houses accredited cutting specialists who will prepare cuts based on the customer’s needs while also coordinating packaging from professional perspectives. Additionally, our processing facility at Zao (Zao Kogen Meat Factory) is open to orders for all types of customization and processing. By responding to detailed requests as much as possible, we help to improve efficiency in preparing the beef.
Since a single cut can drastically change the taste and texture of beef, we take great care in ensuring that we sell the best possible cuts, in easy to cook setups.We have more unique products as well, focusing on rarer and more special meats, only made possible through our unique and complete infrastructure ranging from our directly managed ranches to directly managed processing facilities.
Focusing on freshness and safety, we will the primary processing such as bone removal, fractionation, and shaping. We have obtained ISO 22000 certification as a food safety management system, and all work is proceeding with freshness priority, in accordance with international safety standards.
Zao Meat Factory cuts, slices, boxes, etc. from the primary shaping of high fresh meat directly sent from the "Yamagata Beef Center". According to customer's requirements and standards, select part and meat quality, and shape it according to the application. In addition, Meat Factory has facilities of proton freeze , which can provide freezing technology without destroying cells, so it is possible to deliver the best taste to customers even in frozen shipping .
To further grow the appeal and realize the potential of our beef, we regularly hold product development meetings led by expert staff. Customer feedback plays a central role in this process, and we strive to match the changing dynamics and consumer values for food, aiming to develop products that will put smiles on our customers’ faces.
Approximately 300 Yamagata beef cattle are shipped from our Zao farm each year. At the time of shipping, Yamagata beef are approximately 30 months old. Wagyu beef cattle born on our Zao highland ranch are then moved to our Zao Farm, and are grown to become Yamagata beef. In March 2019, our Zao Farm received the J-GAP certification, a certification given to farms making strides towards high food safety and environmental conservation. Our integrated production system from breeding to operating company-owned stores allows us to maintain a stable and reliable distribution system. Additionally, in order to directly reflect reviews from our customers to our beef, all employees of our company can share company information and customer reviews. Our customized cattle food consists mainly of corn, barley, and bran among other ingredients, and is a result of years of independent research and experience. Furthermore, rice straw and feed rice from local farmers are also blended into the food, and the hay we use is also produced and harvested by ourselves. In terms of cuts, our ISO22000 certified facility (Yamagata beef center) houses accredited cutting specialists who will prepare cuts based on the customer’s needs while also coordinating packaging from professional perspectives. Additionally, our processing facility (Zao Kogen Meat Factory) is open to orders for all types of customization and processing. By responding to detailed requests as much as possible, we help to improve efficiency in preparing the beef, as well as help brainstorm the best ways of preparing the beef.
Our zao beef is not a regional brand, but is rather a producer-specific brand, shipped only from a single producer (Zao highland ranch). The uniqueness and total control that the producer has is reflected in the beef, and leads to a unique, reliable, and stable supply. The pedigree of Zao beef is Kuroge Wagyu and Holstein. The balance between these two has been refined over years of trial and error, research, and care to give the best combination of fattiness from Kuroge Wagyu and leanness from the Holstein. The qualities of the hybrids are maximized to yield the best beef, combining the distinctly sweet fattiness and juiciness from the two. Bold but light, our Zao beef is an intricately balanced specialty that we confidently offer.