We process raw milk drawn from cows that eat nutritious pasturage and live healthy lives while it is fresh so as not to compromise the properties.
Soil improvement is essential to grow good pasturage. We thoroughly analyzed even the properties of rocks underlying the farm soil with the instructions of geologists, and were astonished at the wide variations that exist among different topographical features and water flows within the same farm. We have made the following improvements depending on soil properties:
Applying lime derived from natural rock, for example.
Cutting into the underground “mat layer” to ensure the harmonious spread of temperatures, light and water below the ground (cutting into the clay layer to facilitate air and water permeation).
Soil microorganisms can actively work in soil that is regularly taken care of without using agricultural chemicals, e.g. herbicide.
The production of high-quality cheese requires amino acids and the calcium in raw milk to be combined.
The “energy material” that helps the process is obtainable only from pasture-derived calcium. Hence, it is necessary to prepare soil whose calcium will be absorbed in pasturage.
Creating Bocca’s ideal pasturage
By Bocca’s ideal pasturage we mean pasturage that contains all the nutrients required by cattle and helps produce high-quality milk products and promote our customers’ health. We believe that cattle become healthy by eating good pasturage and raw milk from healthy cows makes milk products more delicious, thus ultimately leading to the health and happiness of people. Suitable pasturage varies depending on soil types. We ensure that pasturage that naturally grows without undergoing difficult soil improvement will be maintained in favorable conditions, rather than our choosing the pasturage we want to develop. There are a myriad of grass species in grazing lands: graminaceous weed consists primarily of orchard grass and also includes timothy, Perennial grass and so forth; leguminous weed is primarily made up of white clovers and also includes red clovers, for example. Since we do not use herbicide, weed also grows, but cows choose the grass they want to eat.
Bocca’s cattle are very healthy. They graze as much as they please in approximately 50 ha of grazing land and walk several tens of thousands of steps daily back and forth between the grazing land and milking parlor alone. Their economic life is slightly longer than the average economic life of milking cows in Japan. Bocca’s cows are beautiful with well-shaped bodies and legs as they are exposed to natural showers, i.e. rain, and their hoofs are naturally trimmed while walking. They are also gourmets. They always look for high-quality pasturage because they know the taste of truly delicious grass. Since our cows remain unfettered and can freely move around, their interacting with one another is important as in human society. However, they must work in groups from time to time while grazing. We are training them how to communicate through our work by treating them gently yet disciplining them stringently whenever necessary while taking advantage of their characteristics.
Angler cows are indigenous to Northern Germany. Being good walkers, they are suitable for grazing. They are gentle to their owners and easy to handle. They produce high-fat, high-protein milk.
Generally speaking, Holstein cows are easy to raise in barns. They have been improved to produce a large quantity of milk. Since we are grazing them in the same manner as the other two breeds, they produce smaller amounts of milk but are very healthy. We aim to produce milk that is high in solid content.
Milking puts the finishing touch on our efforts to create pure raw milk.
It is essential to carefully clean the nipples of each and every cow. This will help significantly reduce contamination and make cows feel relaxed while being milked. Since we perform advance milking* without fail, we can find cows with high somatic cell counts, and which are suspected to have mastitis, very early.
Our milking parlor is very hygienic. We not only clean the parlor but also thoroughly wash milking instruments and the milk line every day.
We also have an array of testing equipment, e.g. Fossomatic (somatic cell count measuring instrument) and MilkoScan (milk constituent measuring instrument), and are controlling milk quality in conjunction with our Quality Control Office. We always maintain a high level of milk quality because we keep our instruments well maintained at all times.
*Advance milking: expressing some milk from four nipples (per cow) by hand before using a breast pump
Every morning, raw milk is delivered to our processing plant, where the freshness and high quality of milk for dairy products are considered a top priority, not only from our farm but also from dairy farmers under the jurisdiction of JA Date. All the raw milk is fresh and high in quality, meeting our stringent criteria.
Our processing and manufacturing policy is to have high-quality raw milk produced with the minutest care undergo the minimum necessary processing in a hygienic environment while it is still fresh so as not to degrade the milk quality and to ship it in the form of safe products. As for drinking milk, we do our utmost to commodify and deliver raw milk as soon as possible.
Our raw milk constantly maintains one of the highest sanitary milk qualities in Hokkaido. Hence, our high-temperature pasteurization is performed at 95℃ at the highest for 15 seconds to minimize the denaturation of raw milk, and we commodify raw milk within seven hours of receiving it according to the HACCP method (in case of drinking milk).
Yomen Chaya Bocca Date, which celebrated the 10th anniversary of its foundation in 2009, is located inside Date Rekishi no Mori (Date’s History Forest) roadside station. The building was modeled after a barn, and welcomes visitors with its splendid decoration. It also offers a variety of goods designed to be friendly to both the environment and to human health. Flea markets, workshops and other events are also held here.
Address: Umemoto-cho 57-1, Date, Hokkaido
Business hours: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
Open 7 days a week
Free parking available
This constitutes the core business category of our cooperative company, Aleph Inc., and is a hamburger restaurant chain that considers using safe and secure ingredients a top priority. We have participated in the franchise management and are providing Bikkuri Donkey with dairy products for commercial use that use local high-quality raw milk (e.g. milk, Yodel and soft cream mix), thus contributing to their provision of safe, secure and pleasant foods.
Our quality control roughly consists of the following three categories:
(1) The first category is for environmental management and improvement concerning processes ranging from raw material procurement to manufacturing and to shipment. We attach importance to the sanitary supervision of the milking parlor/instruments and process control on the farm. At the plant, we have employed a HACCP-based sanitary supervision method and are certified by HACCP. *
(2) The second category is for a broad range of testing works from production to manufacturing and to sales. Since we want to be certain about the products we deliver, instead of simply observing pro forma safety and security, we inspect as many as 23 items for milk for dairy products as opposed to the six quality control items as stipulated in the Ministerial Ordinance concerning Compositional Standards, etc. for Milk and Milk Products. We are therefore very strict in ensuring safety.
(3) We also perform educational activities to increase the awareness and improve the technical capabilities of all our employees. Specifically, we hold sanitary seminars and inspection tours to facilities and restaurants for our staff. It is our firm belief that safe products are created and guaranteed by the awareness of employees, not by machinery or systems.
*: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare/ Hokkaido Regional Bureau of Health and Welfare No. 0801001
We have often heard the expressions “local production for local consumption” (having fresh local foods consumed by local residents) and “body and earth in one” (the foods long cultivated in a locality are the healthiest for the people living there). Our sales policy coincides with these expressions: We would like to provide products cherished by local residents first, thus doing our bit to contribute to their health promotion.
We launched a home delivery business in 2006. The number of customers choosing our brands has been increasing every year.
Starting in August 2000, we have provided milk containing raw milk from dairy farmers under the jurisdiction of JA Date for school lunches at local elementary and junior high schools. We had a sobering experience as a manufacturer when the students, who had become used to the taste of UHT milk, sensitively responded and said that the taste of milk had changed. But the number of students who left milk undrunk gradually decreased, prompting us to feel pleased that they understood the “taste of fresh local milk.” As of now, we are delivering fresh, safe and secure local milk to approximately 4,000 students at about 30 schools in neighboring municipalities (as of April 2014). This is a pleasure and also a source of pride for local dairy farmers and us as a dairy products manufacturer.
Address: 201-292, Inui-cho, Date, Hokkaido
Free parking available
April - October
Business hours: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Open 7 days a week except for closure on
Tuesdays and Wednesdays in April and October
This is the company farm. As a facility where customers can feel free to drop by, we open the milking parlor and part of the premises to the public. Its elevated location allows visitors to enjoy sweeping views of Mt. Usu and Uchiura Bay, and the petting corner with its calves and rabbits is also a popular attraction. Inside the building are many exhibits presenting snippets of information many exhibits presenting snippets of information experience programs are also available.