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Canadian beef seminar with well-known cooking expert
Canada Beef International Inc. (CBII) Japan organized a Canada Beef Seminar at Nadia Kitchen Studio ( in Tokyo on November 17, 2021. More than 40 media and influencers participated in the two-hour seminar.

The seminar began with a presentation by Yuko Onizawa, associate marketing director, CBII Japan. It included an overview of the Canadian beef industry, the quality attributes of Canadian beef and the promotion and marketing services available to end-user customers.

Strong demand for Canadian beef in Japan could add up to a record year for exports. Japanese consumer awareness of the quality and safety of Canadian beef has also been increasing.

This presentation was followed by a Canadian beef cooking demonstration and tasting presented by Aya Osada. Osada is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, food stylist, food writer, columnist, and mother in Tokyo. She is also the cookbook author of recipe books targeting young mothers and her artfully-styled food shots come with captions describing how she balances parenting with food preparation. Her cooking demonstration featured Canadian beef and was widely covered by the media attendees.

Japan COVID-19 Update
COVID-19 daily case counts in Japan were down to 200 by mid-December, compared to 25,000 last August when outbreaks peaked. Japan's economy continues to open cautiously with social-distancing restrictions in place.

Sales in the foodservice sector began to rise following a sharp fall in COVID-19 cases throughout October. Late night openings and a return to alcohol sales further increased demand.

Japan is still balancing bringing the pandemic-hit economy back on track and preventing a resurgence of infections. Restaurant sales in October were about the same year-over-year (YOY). Fast-food outlets were the only bright spot with sales up 5.4% due to strong demand for takeout.

Grocery sales in October were up 1.7% YOY and up 5.9% compared to the same period in 2019 (pre-COVID-19). Retailers continued to expand shelf space for sliced cuts to accommodate seasonal demand. In early November, imported and domestic retail prices were up 6% and 2% compared to an average year while both pork and chicken prices were down 1%.

Japan’s total beef import volumes in October were 64,145 tonnes, up 9% YOY. Imports from Canada reached 5,424 tonnes, a 36% increase YOY, to mark nine consecutive months of growth.

South Korea COVID-19 Update
In December, the number of daily COVID-19 infections increased dramatically to 5,000-7,000 cases per day. The government is imposing stricter social distancing rules including reducing the maximum number of people allowed at private gatherings to six and implementing a vaccine passport system that allows only fully vaccinated individuals to visit restaurants, cafes, and other facilities.

Although many restaurants had increased sales in November, restaurant owners are now worried as many customers cancelled their reservations for year-end parties and dinner gatherings.

There are no restrictions on business hours and the number of customers allowed at retail outlets and hypermarkets are seeing increased sales of food and beverage products, including beef.

Korea’s total beef imports in 2021 (January-November quarantine statistics) were 413,793 tonnes, up 9% YOY, and imports from Canada were 10,659 tonnes, up 104.7% YOY. Canadian ribs are the leading export cut, representing 60% of the total volume.
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Japan Team
Yuko Onizawa, Ichiro Kiyotomi, Takako Toyama

Suite 146, 6715 – 8th Street NE
Calgary, AB Canada T2E 7H7
Tel: (403) 275-5890
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