DUBAI: The Consulate-General of Japan and the Global Sustainability Network organized a Table for Sustainability food event on Jan. 10, in order to open up the floor for new discussions on food security.
Japanese dishes were served at the event using local fish and ingredients as well as traditional food preserving and cooking techniques from Japan.
NOBORU Sekiguchi, Consul-General of Japan, told guests during a speech at the dinner that it was “a commemorative event to honor the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the UAE and Japan.”
He said the theme of the event focused on achieving sustainability through food culture, with three subthemes: ensuring food security; accelerating decarbonization and a recycling-oriented society; creating decent work opportunities.
Several Japanese food companies were present, showcasing their environment conscious techniques in line with GSN’s goals.
Speaking to Arab News Japan, Yukinori Shitautsubo, Chief Executive Officer at Kita-Sanriku Factory, gave a glimpse of what the future of sea urchin farming could look like.
“The ecosystem in the marine ocean, the quantity of seaweed is dying out,” he explained. “The seaweed is taking in the carbon dioxide more than anything else on the ground.”
The CEO said that the main reason the sea is seeing less seaweed in its waters is due to sea urchins, or uni, are largely consuming it.
Shitautsubo’s farming technology involves two phases, the first is feeding baby uni his feed formula to help it grow. “In 10 weeks, the uni will be grown and put in the market.”
The second phase, once grown uni is harvested, he said he expects it will continue to grow.
“We would like to start this project by asking for investors and attracting interest on a global scale to begin,” he said.
The project will kick off in Australia in April, and once harvested, they will begin exporting. Down the line, Shitautsubo said farming may take place in the Arabian Gulf as well.
Another company working on achieving sustainability through food is Kunihiro Inc. Kohei Kawasaki, the company’s General Manager, told Arab News Japan that they have been around for 60 years.
“We buy and supply, export to around Japan and we are popular for our fried oysters. We now export to 18 different countries,” he said.
Kunihiro uses a system in which the inside of the oyster is eaten, and the outside shell is reused to purify water.
“In Africa or Arab countries, it’s not so easy to get pure water. We have the technology and we would love to export it to the region,” Kawasaki said. “The farming tech is easy when you have the sea, and farming oysters cleans the sea water, making it sustainable.”
Also at the event, Japanese tea instructor Hiroe Miki showed guests the beauty of green tea, showcasing products from Maikotea Japan.
The TFS event was held at the residence of GSN Trustee and CEO of Petrochem Yogesh Mehta the night before the two-day conference kicked off at Dubai Expo City from Jan. 11-12.