On our recent trip to Hokkaido I had the unique opportunity to visit the Tokachi Alps Brown Swiss Dairy Farm and interview the farm owner Terry Hashimoto.
I am a huge fan of dairy products, especially those which are marketed by the farmers themselves direct to the consumer!
Tokachi Alps Ranch (Hashimoto Ranch) is unique in Japan for 3 key reasons:
- Natural grazing – The farm has been certified since 2010 as a grazing animal husbandry practice ranch. One of the requirements for certification is that there is at least 0.25 hectares (2,500 meters squared) grazing land per animal, and that the management of the farm is also environmentally friendly. You can see from the photos below the abundance of grazing land for the dairy cows and how happy they are!
- Brown Swiss cattle breed – there are just over 4000 Brown Swiss cattle in Japan, so it is a very niche breed in Japan. Tokachi Alps ranch specializes in Brown Swiss – they are wonderfully suitable for grazing, and they are strong to both cold and hot weather (which is important in Hokkaido as it is hot in summer and snows in winter). Furthermore, the milk is high in protein, giving it a rich and full-bodied flavor. Delicious!
- Ice-cream – you can order the Tokachi Alps ice-cream and milk jam online from their website. This is a wonderful way to not only order delicious ice-cream and have it delivered to your door in Tokyo, but it also means you are supporting the farmer Terry Hashimoto and his family with their wonderful business. See photos below for our ice-cream delivery. Such a great treat for the kids!
See the Tokachi Alps farm website for more information and to order ice-cream. If you can’t understand Japanese, email Terry the owner directly (Terry can understand English): firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you Terry so much for your time and for allowing me to interview you! We had a wonderful time visiting your property and tasting your dairy products. We will be ordering more ice-cream very soon!