Certified Foods System of Hyogo
I What are The "Certified Foods of Hyogo?"
A variety of agricultural and marine products typical of each region are produced all around the broad land of Hyogo Prefecture, making it a “treasure trove of tasty foodstuff.” In July 2004, Hyogo Prefecture established the Hyogo Foods Certification System through which Hyogo Prefecture accredits safe, trust-worthy, special and unique foods as “Certified Foods of Hyogo.”
Outline of the Certified Foods of Hyogo
- Ordinance Concerning Safety of and Confidence in Foods, and Dietary Education (implemented on April 1, 2006)
- Agricultural and marine products from Hyogo and processed foods which are made mainly from such agricultural and marine products.
- Hyogo Prefecture examines and accredits the eligible foods under these standards 1 through 3, based on the opinions of third-party organizations.
- Uniqueness or special features
The foods should have unique or special features, such as eco-friendly production methods or high quality. The foods should have at least one of the following:
- Unique or special features concerning production methods (environmental consideration, etc.)
- Unique or special features concerning quality (high sugar content, etc.)
- Unique or special features that have earned a high level of confidence from citizens (local specialty, eating method, etc.)
- Ensured safety
The foods should satisfy legal standards including those in the Food Sanitation Act. *Hyogo Prefecture carries out inspections at the application and shipment/retailing stages.
- Fostering confidence
Producers of the foods should have a traceability system for their production history.
- Implementing body (accreditation) : Hyogo Prefecture
- The Hyogo Foods Certification System Promotion Council (held twice a year) [Comprised of representatives of academic experts, consumers, distributors, producers and the media.]
- The Hyogo Foods Certification System accreditation examination committees〈Four committees meet 3 times a year.〉
Under the aforementioned Council, four examination committees are set up for separate food categories (i.e. agricultural, dairy, marine and processed foods) and are comprised of practitioners equipped with expert knowledge.
- Two certification food brands
Certified Foods of Hyogo can be classified into the two brands of “Hyogo Recommended Brand” or “Hyogo Confidence Brand” based on specific screening standards.
- Hyogo Recommended Brand
Hyogo Recommended Brand foods are produced through environment & health conscious methods, have excellent taste and texture, and have unique and special features. In addition, it signifies that the foods comply with the ordinance and come from a well-established production management system. The use of chemical fertilizer and agricultural chemicals for these agricultural products must be reduced to 30% less than conventional levels. Each agricultural, dairy, marine and processed food has an individual screening standard corresponding to its attribute, and also needs to be certified/accredited based on that attribute.
Hyogo Recommended Brand mascot: Hotto-chan
- Hyogo Confident Brand
On top of the Hyogo Recommended Brand screening standard, Hyogo Confident Brand foods must be produced with a 50% reduction of the use of chemical fertilizer and agricultural chemicals, as well as chemical residues, antibiotics and other chemicals limited to 1/10 of the national standard, thus guaranteeing their safety levels remain high. Also the accuracy of their shipment records must be thoroughly maintained to ensure the safety of the foods. The screening standard adopts the concepts of HACCP(*1) and traceability(*2).
HACCP : The internationally recognized Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points is an efficient and effective food hygiene control system that sets hazard monitoring methods to prevent possible hazards during the food manufacturing processes.
Hyogo Prefecture sets a traceability guideline using “lot management” to identify the food being handled.