Food & Drink Awards 2020 Page 25 LUX 2020 Food & Drink Awards As a comprehensive producer of sea vegetable products, KANERYO is involved in all production steps, from basic research to product development, production, and sales. To begin with, Hidenori provides us with a brief overview of the firm and offers more insight into its typical client base. “As one of the top producing lines in Japan, our cutting-edge production control methods, special equipment and machinery are all developed in-house. As you would expect, our sea vegetable professionals take care in their work and utilise special techniques to consistently provide delicious sea vegetable products to our customers. As a whole, my role is to introduce and sell our products overseas and to make them healthy. Naturally, the clientele of KANERYO tends to be importers and retailers across the globe, who so far have served us well.” The food manufacturing industry has always proved to be a competitive one to operate in, but as Hidenori goes on to explain, the business does not particularly have a direct competitor, but should they arise the team are well prepared. “Right now, we do not have a strong competitor, but if someone did appear, they would find it very difficult to make sea vegetable taste better than us. The key to maintaining our position in the market has to be the training of our workers and the modernisation of plant equipment, but above all else we must continue to listen carefully to our customer’s needs.” In food production quality control plays a huge part in the final product and as Hidenori points out, the staff here at KANERYO have a huge role to play in that process. “The work of the QC staff covers a wide range of duties, from regular microorganism and physiochemical testing, to sanitary supervision Founded in 1993, KANERYO is one of the largest sea vegetable (also known as seaweed) manufacturers and selling to all over the world. Following on from their success in the Food & Drink Awards 2020, we got in touch with Hidenori Akamatsu to find out more. Oct20404 KANERYO Sea Vegetable CORP. Best Sea Vegetable Manufacturer 2020 of production lines and the work environment. Nevertheless, the QC Department’s greatest and most fundamental mission is providing quality that exceeds the demands of our customers.” The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has presented many challenges to the Food & Drink industry, not least the hospitality sector with restaurant sales falling. Despite the pandemic, the firm are doing their bit to support these businesses as Hidenori confirms. “After COVID-19, the sales volumes for restaurants has obviously decreased, however we remain committed to doing our best to support their operations as much as possible.” Regarding recruitment, the firm prefer to focus on an individual’s personality rather than any qualifications they may have, as Hidenori explains further. “As a whole, we value their personality, language skill is not important. People who can affectively work together are highly valued here.” Finally, Hidenori commented on the future of the business and offered us his views on how firms can succeed in the Food & Drink sector. “Obviously, we expect our business to grow in the coming years and organising a tasting event should help us achieve our objectives. “From my experience, to be successful in this sector you should maintain a strong interest and make localised products for every country. However, it is important to remember the food culture and preference of a person can differ from country to country.” Company: KANERYO Sea Vegetable CORP. Contact: Hidenori Akamatsu Web: Yoshimasa Takaki CEO of KANERYO Sea Vegetable USA CORP. Yoshiki Takaki President of KANERYO Group