The National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (JA Zen-Noh) will process and sell wagyu beef in the U.S. It has set up a local affiliate there to process beef for sale for the first time. Production will start around March. The growing popularity of wagyu overseas is ramping up Japan’s wagyu exports. JA Zen-Noh hopes to broaden its global reach in the other parts of the world by first establishing the beef processing firm in the U.S., where beef is in high demand.
A JA Zen-Noh subsidiary in the U.S. set up P&Z Fine Foods with Poseidon Group International, a Californian-based food wholesaler, with an estimated investment of 500 million yen, which includes the installment of processing equipment.
JA Zen-Noh hopes to tap beef demand in local retail and restaurant businesses in the U.S. through the establishment of the local affiliate. To meet the specific needs for various cuts used in traditional Japanese cuisine, such as sukiyaki and sushi, it will provide sliced beef besides supplying beef for use as steak.
Wagyu exports reached an all-time high in 2017, registering a 40% year-on-year increase to about 2,700 tons. JA Zen-Noh, the largest wagyu exporter, is also looking to set up local beef processing firms in Asia and Europe to expand business there. (Abridged)