Aleph island tour - King Island Courier

Wednesday 1st of December 2010

Aleph directors and senior managers visited King Island last week with Greenham, their supplier of quality grass fed beef. Principles and family restaurants don't usually go hand in hand unless you are thinking of Aleph.

King Island farmers know Aleph as a program under which Greenham buy cattle. You may have seen some signs on farm gates or indigo ear tags on cattle signalling that they comply with the Aleph requirement of only two drenches before one year of age, no antibiotics and no hormone growth promotant.

The more you find out about Aleph, the more impressive it is.

Aleph is a family owned Japanese company, running the 'Bikkuri Donkey' family restaurants selling steak and hamburgers, which began 1968, it now has over 300 outlets in Japan.

As Aleph developed its business, its focus shifted away from being merely another restaurant chain towards including agriculture and the environment as core concerns. “We are transforming ourselves from a traditional food chain to an unprecedented one. Our efforts will be more interesting," the company says.

Aleph president Akio Shoji has a profound belief that the food industry should be all about improving the quality of life. His company's aim is to take responsibility for the quality of their products by encompassing an extensive "total food industry" vision that covers both agriculture and the restaurant chain industry.

So everything from their ingredients in their sauces, their lettuce leaves and their beef is sourced from environmentally sound locations with strict conditions attached. The approach extends to recycling table scraps and garbage, restaurant energy consumption and operating a biogas plant, recovering methane gas from livestock manure and beer residue from the company's farms and beer plants.

For Shoji, providing safe and high-quality food is the minimum responsibility that everyone engaged in the food industry should fulfil. To make good on his commitment, he established a farm to deepen the company's understanding of how meat is produced, and to build up its relevant knowledge and experience by promoting the creation of healthy soil and pastures while selecting and improving breeds.

"Agricultural products in Japan are drenched in agrichemicals. We needed to seek a way to secure safe food on our own initiative, so we could confidently offer menus that are good for the health," says Shoji of his motivation. He also explained his management philosophy - "Decisions based on right or wrong, rather than on gain or loss," and "Human logic leading the bottom-line logic."

Aleph has been a Greenham customer for some time and is purchasing an increasingly large volume of Tasmanian beef.

During their brief tour of King Island, the Aleph group visited Scot Wright's farm and Waverley Station.

Peter Greenham said his company was proud to be associated with Aleph and welcomed their annual tour of Tasmania.

I’ve been cooking for 20 years and these are the best eye fillets I have ever tried.

Philip Edwards, Moo Moo The Wine Bar + Grill
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The Botanical, 169 Domain Rd  South Yarra VIC

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Lakehouse Daylesford

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Coppersmith Hotel
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