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In 2008 Matsuri launched a comprehensive environmental strategy. The Japanese restaurant chain has already removed from its menu the endangered Mediterranean bluefin tuna and replaced it with yellowfin tuna, farmed kingfish and mulloway, all of which are certified sustainable by Friend of the Sea.
Also in order to reduce pressure on marine resources, Matsuri offers certified Friend of the Sea amberjack, a very fine white fish, Coquille Saint-Jacques from the Bay of Saint-Brieuc and sustainable crab meat from the coast of Devon, United Kingdom.
"We do not intend to stop there. We are currently working on new supplies, such as organic shrimp, but it’s not as simple as that. Some prices of organic products are now too high. This applies, for example, to organic farmed salmon, which however would be ideal to meet the demand from our customers on product quality associated with environmental protection", says Eric Woog, CEO of Matsuri
Since late August Matsuri has been sourcing 100 percent organic rice. This has enhanced its environmental initiative launched in 2008.
"Our intention is to integrate environmental responsibility that goes along with the quality and flavour of our products. Our approach is to go as far as possible, with all our suppliers, product by product, to reduce our impact on the planet. To convert to organic rice was a milestone because rice is the basis of traditional Japanese cuisine," commented Eric Woog.
"Given the growth of our group - two restaurant openings are planned before the end of the year - we will be buying around 200 tons of organic rice in 2011. We always work with the same mill in Italy, distributed by Foodex, we have guaranteed our supply over two years and a quality of optimal polishing and sorting. We have, moreover, visited several organic rice mills this year with our Japanese chef Hiroyuki Ishikawa, a very rewarding experience which proves that a different approach is possible," says Bernard Landrin, purchasing and quality manager at Matsuri.
The rice variety used is Selenio Premium japonica, a specific short rice for sushi. AB certification ensures that no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides have been used to grow the rice. Soils, aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity are preserved with respect to the use of conventional agricultural practices. This sourcing has no impact on Matsuri‘s product prices.
In 2009, the 11 Mitsuri restaurants located in Paris, Lyon, Reims and Geneva and its 4 boutique restaurants, consumed 150 tons of rice.
In one year, Matsuri has also reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 16 percent and is committed to continuing on this path by choosing, among others, to recyclable packaging.
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