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Japanese Retailer Launches Responsibly Sourced Processed Oysters

30 November 2016

JAPAN - One of the largest retail chains in Japan, Kasumi Co. Ltd., which operates 178 stores in the north region of Kanto Plain, has introduced certified responsibly farmed processed oysters sourced from a local farm.

To highlight the new assortment of ASC and MSC labelled seafood, an exclusive in-store promotional display was launched at their flagship store, Food Square Tsukuba Style in Tsukuba city.

The marketing display will be a permanent fixture in the store and has been created in collaboration with MSC Japan and features a new set of claims. The claims have been developed to be easily understood by all age groups, in particular children, to give consumers a better understanding of the certified seafood products they purchase.

"We believe that the consumers in our region are highly conscious about environmental issues. So we focus on providing products that reflect this demand such as ASC certified oysters with processed packages," said Hiroyuki Akao, Kasumi's Manager of Fish Merchandise section.

"We are expecting that our customers will response stronger to the added value of ASC certification. As we operate in a limited area we can also quickly offer a wider assortment of seafood which meet the customer's demand in our region. This sets us apart and allows us to create originality in our stores."

"We applaud Kasumi's decision to launch ASC certified farmed oysters in its flagship store. This is a clear sign of the growing awareness and importance of responsible aquaculture in Japan. We see a growing demand in Asia for seafood that can be traced back to a farm that uses responsible methods and care for the environment and its employees. Consumers increasingly want to feel confident that they are making a responsible choice when they eat fish, and retailers such as Kasumi are providing them that opportunity," said Satoshi Maekawa WWF Japan.

Three ASC labelled products are now on sale at the Food Square Tsukuba Style store, steamed oyster in tray pack, smoked oyster in tray pack and jarred oyster confit.

The oysters are produced in the city of Ishinomaki, Miyagi prefecture, in the north east of Japan that is still recovering from the devastating Tōhoku earthquake disaster five years ago.

In recent years, the oyster farms have improved their environmental performance to gain ASC certification. Their efforts have been great for the ecosystem of the region and those who work on the farm and it has resulted in this new sales opportunity. The Kasumi's certified seafood assortment also include Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) labelled products.

Kasumi is planning to expand its certified product range to more stores with a step-by-step approach. They have a strong relationship with their seafood supplier whose support has been instrumental in helping Kasumi launch their new line of certified seafood. Kasumi have plans to launch ASC certified Atlantic salmon and Whiteleg shrimp in store soon.

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