Here is Shimanto city, my grandmother’s home. Kochi in March, in the early morning around 4 o’clock, chickens are clucking,and people wake up. Walking along the river, people are cutting grass, plowing a field and picking rape blossoms. They work hard under the shining sun, on their head with sweat. Around noon My grandmother harvests rape blossoms and got on the car and went to JA to sell product.
The JA staff examines her product and put them price tag and they would be sent supermarket in Kochi city and other cities. After that, I was back in Kochi city and went to the supermarket, found rape blossoms made in Shimanto city were lined up on the shelves. Not only rape blossoms but also many kinds of vegetables, fruits, meat and fish which are made in Kochi are sold in supermarkets. Looks fine and cheaper than other things which is made in other places. We can easily understand where it is from and made by whom from ravel on the pack.
These days, it seems that local production and consumption is getting more popular. As follows this, the local produce and consume program is supported by 177 local producers and 166 restaurants. First of all, What is local produce and consume? It means to consume products which are produced in the local area. The aim of the project is to try to be more close between our consumers and producers.What cause this project starts,a few years before, faced import production problems since then. The consumer was worried about these problems and they began to demand safety and reliable things.
As a promoting,local production and consumption contribute people to many good things. For example,it is possible to realize a healthy life through eating.Makig good connection between producer and consumer. And more and more people will be concerned about seasonable food and food culture,to protect the environment and to promote activation of local industry.
The number of restaurants which participate in local produce and consume in Kochi is bigger than I expected. I pick two of them. The first, “Kachinen”, is a Chinese restaurant in the Kochi city. It’s familiar to all Kochi residents. All dishes are not real Chinese food, Chinese and Japanese dishes are mixed up. Further more, There are some dishes which are made of seasonable vegetables each month. What I was surprised at ease, chefs go to meet producer to research the way to produce and have an interview with the producers. A reader of chef says, Using product made in Kochi, we would like to let many people know producer’s life and feeling and the serious problems our city has. And our Kachinenn have to help to connect consumer and producer. We hope to have some good connection between consumer and producer.
Anyway, why did they start to use local products in dishes? A few years before, facing serious problem of import products, people became concerned with foods and they come to seek healthy and safe things. There would be different values and thinking to get materials from where. But they have got domestic ones so they didn’t rely on import ones from when Kachinnen was opened.(華珍園HP)
The second shop is Manger-salsa, maybe you know that, it’s a famous for sweet shop in Kochi. Inside of the showcase there are many cute sweets. All of them are made by using flesh fruits and vegetables produced in Kochi. The aim of their is to connect producer and consumer with full of smiles and through making sweets, hope to be restored economy of Kochi. (Manger-see HP)
My grandmother talked about her life as a local product.She produces pepper, sudachi and so on What she productive things are sent to Kochi city and other prefecture.She is proud of her work.
“When I get a good impression about my production from consumers, I become so happy. Her job is not just to produce vegetables,to produce everyone’s happy and support their health too. “ I always try to produce to make everyone happy.”
She hopes to do face to face selling.
“I have no chance to meet with consumer so I would like to sell at where can I see consumer by myself and talk each other”.As she sells products herself,she can be able to receive the feeling of consumer and find how to improve her products .I was impressed with her enthusiasm about the job.
In conclusion,I think of my position as a consumer,I hope that things to eat is good for our health and environment.There is no bad thing all is good. When I go to buy vegetables I prefer to buy local one than another one since I knew about local produce and consume project. As chefs and local producer say, connection of consumer and producer is important.Even if has no chance to face to face both of them,but our consumer have to image that how did the producer make that one,or how do they feel. I believe.Gets dark outside and farmers are going back their home.Fresh vegetables and fish are on the table. My grandma, aunt, cousin are sitting around the table and eating foods with full of smiles on our faces. We are talking like this “We picked up this Sudachi today, you try it”
“It tastes great”, my grandmother says, “you should eat more”
by M. Imahashi