Meiwa Sangyo
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Meiwa Sangyo Co., Ltd. is founded.
The marketing of distiller's spent grains starts.
The Yamazaki Office is opened (within the premises of the Suntory Yamazaki Distillery).
1965 The manufacturing and marketing of "Bacterial Cell Powder S" starts.
1969 The Kyoto Office is opened (within the Suntory Kyoto Brewery).
1972 The manufacturing and marketing of bag-packed brewer's grains starts.
1973 The Hakushu Feed Company is founded as a joint venture with Suntory.
1974 The manufacturing and marketing of "Shogen", mixed feed consisting of spent malt grains and yeast culture concentrate, is started.
1975 The Nagoya branch office is established (within the Sun Grain Chita Distillery).
The marketing of "Maize-lees", a grain whisky distilling byproduct, is started.
1978 The manufacturing and marketing of "Beer-lage", bag-packed dehydrated brewer's grain product is started.
1981 The Musashino Office is opened (within the Suntory Musashino Brewery).
1982 The Tonegawa Office is opened (within the Suntory Tonegawa Brewery).
1986 The manufacturing and marketing of "CaroteneMix", natural carotene containing mixed feed, is started.
The development of the "RUMENFIBE" product is started.
1988 The Tokachi Stock Point is established.
1992 The manufacturing and marketing of "RUMENFIBE" is started.
The manufacturing and marketing of "C.A.B." is started.
1995 A patent for "RUMENFIBE" is acquired.
1997 A patent for "C.A.B." is obtained.
2003 The Kumamoto Office is opened (within the location of the Suntory Kyushu Kumamoto Plant).
2004 The Obihiro Office is established.
2009 Sales of animal feed products using spent tea leaves (green tea and Oolong tea) produced by Suntory are started.
2010 Accumulated sales of 800 000 units of "RUMENFIBE" are achieved.

Dawn of Meiwa Sangyo

Meiwa Sangyo has a long history. Its origin can be traced back to the 1880s, when a merchant named Tobei Nagamori from a small village in Kyoto Prefecture pioneered beer barley (Nijo or two-row barley) production in Japan.

After his success in cultivating two-row barley, many farmers began to copy the practice under his guidance and leadership and this special variety soon became a common agri-product nationwide. As an ambitious businessman, Tobei started a business involving distribution of the barley products to beer production companies, bringing prosperity to his fellow farmers and himself. Inspired by his achievements, many producers followed his example, and associations of beer barley producers were founded consecutively. Tobei himself established one called the "Nagamori Association" and actively engaged in purchasing products, also from non-affiliated farmers, and trading them to beer companies. 1889 saw the founding of "Firm Nagamori".

In 1923, Tobei concluded a contract with a liquor production company named "Kotobuki-ya" (the former body of Suntory Limited), who had just embarked on the production of whisky in addition to their popular wine product called "Port Wine". The unique aspect of this partnership was its back-and-forth nature: delivering the barley and receiving its crude spent malt grains. After World War II, however, the focus on barley as a raw material for whiskey and beer gradually shifted to imported products, and the national barley trades were integrated under the control of central organizations such as agricultural cooperatives. "Firm Nagamori" took this opportunity to upgrade its operation to the specialized collection and distribution of brewery and distilling byproducts, paving the way for the business of Meiwa Sangyo today.

A monument in the Kyoto Agricultural Cooperative Training Center attests to Tobei's meritorious achievements.
A pot still (single distillation still) used by Suntory when they started whisky production in 1923 was also the starting point for Meiwa Sangyo.
In 1941, the Dai-Nippon Beer Company sent a letter of commendation to Tokichi Nagamori for his great initiative in beer barley production.
As a Processional Spent Grain Distributor

Tobei was a pioneer, Tokichi, the great successor, and the third generation Masamoto was an innovator, who developed a means of effectively using brewery and spent distilling grains to make feed products. Masamoto founded Meiwa Sangyo in 1960.

Meiwa Sangyo continued to grow steadily and extensively promoted the distribution of spent grain feed products, providing immediate solutions to feed issues affecting the cattle farming industry. However, after these issues had virtually been resolved, baseless arguments denying the merit of spent grain feeds arose, severely impacting the business of Meiwa Sangyo and other spent grain distributors. It was in the 1980s, several years after Shotaro, the fourth successor had assumed the presidency.

Shotaro was adamant. He assigned Yasuyuki Takada, Senior Executive Manager of the company and a D.V.M. (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) to conduct research and tests to calm misunderstandings on the part of the general public. With special cooperation by an institute affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (the most authoritative in Japan), the effectiveness of spent grain feeds as well as their optimum feeding methods were studied. After a series of field tests, finally the truth was revealed: the use of spent grains as animal feed was very effective and efficient, even enhancing farming productivity.

In the words of the saying, with adversity comes opportunity. Meiwa Sangyo used this experience to establish its unique distribution system combined with regular lecture and seminar sessions and field guidance for customers to promote spent grain feeds and secure their status as an efficient moist-type product.

The next challenging project for Meiwa was the promotion of liquid-type feeds (especially based on the excellent properties of the residual concentrated liquid generated in whisky distilling), which was still a new concept in Japan. Concentrated liquid was used to compensate for the moisture loss in the dry feed manufacturing process and to develop an innovative semi-liquid (wet-form) type product, in which the maximum nutrition level could be maintained. This was just an example of the original Meiwa spirit, even transcending established ideas.
Advancing through a Storm of Liberalization

In 1991, the Japanese government liberalized beef imports, greatly affecting the national cattle farming business. Breeders of high-grade Wagyu (Japanese-bred species) had a competitive advantage due to its superior quality; however, those of other species such as Holsteins suffered a huge blow. Their only option for survival was to enhance the meat quality and provide the market with a taste superior to that of imported beef products.

One of the key factors to enhance beef quality is "marbling", only produced in animals bred for extended years. However, the longer the breeding period, the more fibrous feed was required, which now brought new issues: the difficulty in sourcing a continuous and stable supply of such feeds and soaring costs incurred by farmers. Despite the enormous demand for fibrous feed, Japan imports most of it, which tends to make it more expensive than concentrated types. Moreover, feeding fibrous feed to cattle requires extra labor, which is an additional cost.
RUMENFIBE, an Innovative Solution

Meiwa Sangyo was determined to tackle such issues together with customers, and after many years of laborious R&D, they created "RUMENFIBE", an innovative solution for the welfare of the livestock industry in Japan. It was approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as a veterinary medical product in 1992.

RUMENFIBE is a mechanical rumen stimulating brush device, designed to substitute the function of fibrous feed such as straw and dried forage, which is essential to promote rumination in the rumen of ruminants. Generally speaking, active rumination requires said feed in bulk, but RUMENFIBE can change this completely. With a single administration, the rumen stimulating effect continues throughout the animal's lifetime, enhancing productivity and management efficiency, as well as slashing costs.

With its market launch, RUMENFIBE became a hit product, receiving remarkable responses from cattle breeders nationwide. Hectic follow-up production to refill stock continued. As of 2010, more than 800,000 units had been marketed, and more than 270,000 beef bodies bred with RUMENFIBE have been shipped. For further product enhancement, Meiwa Sangyo continues advanced R&D.
RUMENFIBE is the crystallization of enduring R&D efforts. Since its market launch in 1992, more than 800,000 units have been sold.
The spirit of Meiwa that says "Nurturing our customers' prosperity through our products" has been passed down from one generation to another, now succeeded by its fifth president, Tadashi Nagamori and his employees. Positioning themselves not only as specialized cattle feed suppliers, but also a comprehensive livestock business pioneer for tomorrow, Meiwa Sangyo marks a constant and steady stride ahead, day by day, into continued future growth.