What We Do
- Overseas Operations
- Domestic Operations
The Akune Plant became a certified meat export facility for Macau in September 2009 and began exporting Wagyu beef. Currently, our seven domestic plants and partner plants export Japanese beef, pork, and other products to more than 30 countries and regions around the world, including the United States, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, Thailand, Canada, EU, Taiwan and the Middle East.
As part of our efforts to expand our export business, we have built a supply chain in collaboration with local meat companies in each export area. Through the distribution network we have built, we offer a wide range of products to food service and retail channels. We can provide cut meats and trimming style according to customer's requirement such as sirloin and tenderloin to shoulder and thigh cuts. We are working to penetrate overseas markets for Japanese meats by developing a wide range of products that are easy for customers to use, including support for detailed specifications and vacuum seal packaging.
We import various beef and pork parts from all over the world by utilizing our extensive procurement network, and sell them primarily to retailers, food service companies, and major processing manufacturers in Japan. We also work with meat packers to develop original brands, providing products such as long-term grain-fed branded beef and branded pork that is carefully selected for its feed and breed.
Our imported broiler is mainly sourced from Thailand, Brazil, and the United States and supplied primarily to processing manufacturers, food service companies, commercial wholesalers, and retail businesses in Japan.
Another focus is on importing primary processed products (such as sliced products) and secondary processed products (heat-treated products) from overseas, which are gaining attention thanks to tariff reductions implemented as part of economic partnership agreements. In addition to working with meat packers from various countries to develop products suited to the Japanese market, we check the quality control system at processing plants to ensure safety and reliability.
We have six overseas business locations, including Zenchiku (Australia) Pty. Ltd. (now STARZEN AUSTRALIA PTY LTD.), which was established in September 1972. In addition to exporting to Japan, we are expanding local sales in the United States, Australia, and countries in Asia. Together with local partner companies, we are working on developing high-value-added products and exploring new markets.
Moreover, in response to growing demand overseas driven by the popularity of foreign-produced Wagyu beef, we are engaged in the production of Australian Wagyu beef under our original brand. These products are sold both in Australia and overseas. Leveraging our procurement and supply capabilities, intermediary trade, supplying meat products from various countries around the world to consumer markets across the globe.
We have built a comprehensive supply chain which includes everyone from producers to customers.
This enables us to supply safe, high-quality meats and processed foods.
Production, rearing, and procurement
In addition to our Group farms, we have formed partnerships with farms all over Japan, particularly in Hokkaido, Tohoku, and Kyushu, to ensure stable procurement of domestically produced beef and pork. Furthermore, we are mounting a response to the decline in the number of farms for domestically raised cattle, including Japanese Wagyu cattle for which the situation is increasingly dire. To contribute to strengthening their production infrastructure, we engage in collaborative management of breeding farms and have established a fertilized egg research institute to produce Japanese Wagyu fertilized eggs and supply them to dairy farmers. With these efforts, we are leading the industry in solving problems.
With regard to domestic chicken, we source them from partner companies and affiliates. We also engage in joint product development.
Overseas, we have established long-term cooperative relationships with local meat packers in Australia, where we have been pioneering the importing business since 1955, as well as in the United States, Canada, EU, Brazil, and Thailand. We are striving to ensure the stable import of high-quality beef, pork, and chicken.
We have seven plants with slaughterhouses near production areas in Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, and Kyushu. The advantage of a plant with a slaughterhouse near production areas is that the meat can be processed without exposure to outside air. We place the utmost importance on creating a system to ensure the delivery of fresh, high-quality products. All seven plants have obtained international Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification for food safety and quality.
We provide safe, reliable, high-quality processing of beef, pork, and variety meats. Taking advantage of the fact that we own our plants, we also provide meticulous support, including processing according to customer specifications. To address labor shortages, we are promoting mechanization and automation. We introduced bone removal robots, ahead of the rest of the industry. Furthermore, each plant has been certified by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare as an export facility. When our partner plants are included, this allows us to export to 30 countries and regions, including the United States and the EU, which have strict standards for exports.
HAMDAS-RX automated deboning machine for pork ham
Manufacturing of Processed Meats
We utilize raw materials sourced in-house to manufacture processed meats such as ham, sausages, bacon, roast beef, roast pork, and hamburgers. In addition to production under our own brand, we manufacture products according to customer specifications. Our products are also widely adopted in popular menu items, including beef patties for a major hamburger chain and dishes like hamburger steaks and roast beef for large casual dining restaurant chains.
We also have processing centers all over Japan to address the recent labor shortage. For emporiums, supermarkets, and other retailers, we are working to contribute to reducing back-end costs and minimizing waste loss through extended shelf life by manufacturing packaged products of ready-to-eat items such as sliced meat and roast beef salads.
We have about 50 sales offices throughout Japan, from Hokkaido to Kyushu, and sell our products to various customers, including town butchers, emporiums, supermarkets, convenience stores, food service companies, and food manufacturers.
Our strength lies in our face-to-face sales, delivering products directly via our own trucks. This enables us to identify customer needs and market trends early on.
Based on the motto of sticking close to our customers, we work across divisions to solve customer problems as Team Starzen in order to ensure that they are happy working with us.
At the Starzen Group, we are promoting the acquisition of international Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification for ensuring food safety and quality in order to deliver products that our customers can enjoy with peace of mind. So far, the certification has been obtained at more than 50 of our business locations.
We practice safety and quality control in accordance with SQF at all of our business divisions and sites, from processing and manufacturing to distribution and sales. We also use the principles of SQF as a guide for safety and reliability as we work on continuous improvement in tasks such as daily cleaning activities, labeling and packaging, chemical management, and employee training.