The future we see is a new way of life for the livestock industry and agriculture.
With food self-sufficiency and environmental issues being discussed, the state of the livestock industry is about to change.
The issues surrounding the livestock industry are many and varied, ranging from environmental problems to management issues.
We will continue to explore new ways of being in the livestock industry and agriculture, while adopting sustainable, recycling-oriented agriculture, and even looking to boost tourism in Okinawa through wagyu beef, which is representative of the local Okinawan beef industry.
Values we hold dear
Taking care of the community
Employees come from inside and outside Okinawa. Backbones vary from children who joined the company after graduating from an agricultural school in Hokkaido to employees who previously worked in the sake wholesale business in the Kanto region.
Some family members were born and raised in the local area and all their siblings work at Motobu Ranch.
The company has a warm, Okinawan atmosphere, with smiling faces in a wide variety of workplaces, such as on the farm and in restaurants.
Not afraid of failure
This may be close to a belief that has not changed since the company was founded.
The use of Orion beer pomace was also the result of trial and error, with failure being taken as experience. A culture of 'trying things out' has taken root, with daily improvements to the daily management of raising good cows and even down to the smallest gram of feed.
Because we are implementing recycling-oriented agriculture - raising cattle, having them eat well and returning them to the environment - we are very particular about taking responsibility from start to finish.
We raise Wagyu cattle every day that we can deliver with confidence, safe and secure only because we raised them ourselves.
What makes our company unique
- Mums and dads raising children
- Siblings who join the family
- Employees come from the mainland
As the organisation expands, we are building systems and structures to suit individual careers and working styles. We want our employees to be able to work for a long time, which is why we are building an organisation that considers their own work comfort and the happiness of their families.
- Sharing know-how in raising cattle
- Active communication between stores
A culture of thinking and helping each other is deeply rooted in the company. There is close proximity to the president, and there is a team spirit where you can always talk to someone if you have a problem.
Creativity and innovation
- Fermented feed with Orion beer
- One of the largest-scale farming operations in Okinawa
- First award for Okinawa at the National Wagyu Beef Proficiency Show
As a result of constant creation since the establishment of the company, we ended up in the sixth industry, which is where we are today.We are constantly exploring what we can do to make more people aware of Motobu beef.
Interview with the President
How Motobu Farm was established
I first became involved in ranching when I was supporting my mentor and heard that in Brazil, alcohol fuel can be extracted from sugarcane lees (bagasse) and cattle feed can be made from the squeezed lees, which is how I got my foot in the door of circular farming.
However, the world of biotechnology is not so easy. Cattle had diarrhoea when they ate bagasse that had not been broken down into fibre, and things did not go well at first. Then one of the chemists at a biotechnology company in Okayama helped us find a fermentation bacterium that could break down sugarcane pomace. We found that by adding that fermentation fungus, the fibre of the sugarcane was broken down, so the cows didn't get diarrhoea anymore.
I had come to Okinawa with a revisit to the idea of getting sugarcane squeezed lees, but when I actually tried it, I found that collecting sugarcane squeezed lees was more difficult than I had imagined. The next solution was, 'If we ferment Orion beer lees, maybe we can use that as bait?' Luckily, there was an Orion Beer factory a 20-minute drive from the farm, where we experimented and found that the fermentation bacteria worked well. From there, I thought, 'Instead of sugarcane pomace, let's use beer pomace instead!' and that was our start with fermented feed.
Motobu Farm's path to sixth industrialisation.
The cycle of 'produce, distribute, sell' that we are now engaged in is what has been called 'sixth industrialisation' in the last few years, but from our point of view, sixth industrialisation was a product of necessity and a result of the measures we had to take each time.
First we made the feed, then we bought the cattle from the market, fed them, raised them and shipped them out, and when we compared the feed and labour costs we spent with the cattle sales, we found that it was not always profitable.
That's when we realised, 'Why don't we distribute it ourselves and sell it there!' and this led to the restaurant business we run today, and when we were always working to solve the problems in front of us, we ended up with a sixth industry.
When you travel, there are places you want to see and things you want to eat, and 'food' is a big part of 'having fun on your trip'. That is why we want to create something that the locals can be proud of, such as 'We have such delicious wagyu beef in Okinawa!' I want to create something that the locals can be proud of.
Building a store is building people. A workplace where employees learn how to live.
What I do to make the company attractive is to respect the person. What the top management should do is not to dignify them by wielding authority and privilege, but to take responsibility.
As well as when an employee makes a mistake, I believe that the CEO is also responsible for helping the employee to grow as a human being. For example, if we teach sociology, psychology, business administration, etc. to help them grow, and if we respect each and every one of them, I believe that the company will become a place where everyone can play an active role, their lives will be fulfilled, and this will result in the company's strength.
If I had an employee's life as an adult, getting married, having children, having grandchildren again, I want them to be able to do the things they want to do. I want them to have a life in which they can do what they want to do when they want to do it. I think it is the role of management to make arrangements for this.
The kind of person we are looking for
As long as you work with your colleagues, we don't want you to fight or squabble. As long as you are considerate and respectful of others and cooperative, we believe that the rest is up to everyone to improve themselves, so anyone who is interested is welcome.
No matter how far away the restaurant is, people will drive here if the food is good. People say they want to stay in their hometown and work here even if they can't go to the city, or they want to live in Okinawa because they want to work at Motobu Ranch, even if it's far away.
Just as our business has become a sixth industry as a result, it would be exciting if we could all enjoy the time we spend together, each time thinking, 'What can we do next?' and enjoying that time together would be exciting, wouldn't it?
We want those who join our company to spend their finite time meaningfully, thinking 'work is fun'.