Cafe within OIST wins Food Action Nippon Award

Cafe within OIST wins Food Action Nippon Award

On December 2, staff members of the Yanbaru Harusaa’s Table Kaito+ celebrated winning an award in Food Action Nippon 2013. At the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology in Onna.

December 4, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

Yanbaru Harusaa’s Table Kaito+, a cafe located within the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST), has won the excellence award in the sales and consumer promotion section of Food Action Nippon 2013. Food Action Nippon is a project designed to recognize business organizations and individuals who contribute to the improvement of food self-sufficiency. The award ceremony was held on December 3 in Tokyo.

Kaito+ is a cafe jointly operated by bakery Pain de Kaito and the farming corporation Cooksonia in Nago. By serving local produce, its vegetarian menu conveys the charm of vegetables produced in the Yambaru area to overseas researchers at OIST. Kaito+ also sells vegetables at the cafe and uses items that remain in side dishes in an attempt to reduce waste to zero. It also helps provide farmers with stable revenue by buying their produce. They encourage local farmers to plant sweet herbs such as coriander, which in turn helps to expand the variety of produce that the farmers grow.

Kyoko Ishida, manager of the Kaito + said, “We also sell ingredients that researchers from Southeast Asia cannot easily get, so both Japanese and foreigners are happy.” Shinya Koizumi, a member of the Cooksonia staff points out a ripple effect, saying, “We can have a go at producing a wide variety of things. Stores that use these new vegetables in the region have also appeared. The link between the farmers and the restaurants has become stronger.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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