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#About Japanese Milk

Information on Milk Production

Nutrient-rich raw milk is now an essential part of our lives.
Japanese dairy farmers strictly control hygiene and temperature from milking to shipping, ensuring the delivery of safe and reliable milk and dairy products to consumers.
In 2023, there are approximately 12,600 dairy farms in Japan, and three main dairy farming methods are used: (i) grassland dairy farming; (ii) mountainous dairy farming; and (iii) urban and suburban dairy farming.
Grassland dairy farming is the most commonly used method in Hokkaido, where vast areas of land dedicated to grass and pastureland are available, and where most of the grass and other roughages are self-sufficient. Most dairy farms in Japan are family-owned, but in recent years, advances in dairy farming technology, such as free-stall systems, milking rooms, milking robots and suckling robots, have led to the spread of large-scale farms. In addition to producing raw milk, dairy farming plays a variety of roles in our daily lives, such as producing meat and compost, preserving rich rural landscapes, as well as contributing to the conservation of the ecosystem through maintaining the balance in the food chain of insects, birds and other organisms living on the farm.

Dairy cows raised in Japan have a yellow tag called an ear tag. The tag has a 10-digit individual identification number on it, which registers individual data on each dairy cow, including date of birth, sex, breed, mother cow and place of birth. By entering this number on the tracking service system on the National Livestock Breeding Center's website, people can search for details of the cow, such as "when" and "on which farm" it was born and raised. Centralised management of dairy cows through this cattle traceability system is not only convenient for producers, but also leads to consumer confidence.

Raw milk carefully produced by Japanese dairy farmers is delivered to consumers mainly in milk cartons, which are also designed for consumer convenience.
For example, the top of the milk is indented so that people with vision impairment can distinguish unadjusted milk from other milk. Other packs allow milk to be stored at room temperature by using aluminium foil between the paper and polyethylene of the container to make it impermeable to light and air.
These are called LL milk (long-life milk) and are also used as emergency beverages in times of disaster.