Mr Kei Shimatani is Auckland Branch Manager of JFC Group’s JFC NZ LIMITED, an affiliate of Kikkoman, and he supplies local Japanese restaurants with Japanese Sake and food products. He also works to promote Japanese food culture through Japanese Sake and food, making efforts to promote Japanese food outside of Auckland city in places where it is not well known. The Consulate General of Japan is also carrying out activities to promote Japanese food products and Japanese Sake, and with the help of Mr Shimatani held a Sake promotion event with 7 Sake breweries at the Consul-General’s residence in October 2017, attended by member of parliament, business and restaurant representatives.
Mr Shimatani explains a little about the popularity of Japanese foods and sake recently. He says Japanese food is extremely popular in New Zealand and the number of companies that JFC trades with has increased in recent years. The same is true of Japanese Sake with the number of products JFC carries increasing from 90 last year to 150 this year. The Food and Sake Expo held by the company in October 2017 proved popular with around 5000 visitors and around 45 vendors. In addition, some of the proceeds from the expo were donated to the Starship Foundation. Mr Shimatani expects that the Japanese sake and food boom will continue in the same way.
Mr Shimatani smilingly explains that his future goals are for people of the various nationalities that live in New Zealand to try Japanese food and say “It’s delicious!”. He and his colleagues carry out their daily operations imagining this scenario.
JFC NZ LIMITED plans to present Japanese Sake and Food products at the Fine Foods event to be held in June 2018. Preparations are also underway for a second Sake Expo to be held in 2019. Through these kind of events, JFC is continuing its efforts to promote Japanese Sake and food products.
In the future Mr Shimatani would like to contribute to the exchange and development of food culture as a bridge between Japan and New Zealand with the corporate philosophy of providing New Zealanders with "reliable products and attentive service".