`Toshiya Tada's Olive Japan - Olive Oil Times

Toshiya Tada's Olive Japan

By Liz Tagami
Apr. 16, 2012 20:34 UTC

Toshiya Tada

This morn­ing olive oil judges from Spain, Italy, Israel, Turkey, Australia and California are mak­ing their way across the world’s oceans to con­gre­gate in a nar­row two-story build­ing on a mod­est lane in the heart of one of the most lux­u­ri­ous shop­ping dis­tricts in the world — Tokyo’s ener­getic Ginza. Top tasters from Japan will join them to form four tast­ing pan­els at the head­quar­ters of the Olive Oil Sommelier’s Association of Japan for the First Annual Olive Japan International Competition.

The Olive Japan 2012 com­pe­ti­tion and the two-day con­sumer Marché which fol­lows is the cul­mi­na­tion of three years of work devel­op­ing olive oil appre­ci­a­tion in Japan by OSAJ’s flam­boy­ant and dynamic Founder and Chairman, Mr. Toshiya Tada, with the assis­tance of the earnest and engag­ing School Dean, Ms. Tomomi Endo.

A reg­u­lar fix­ture in Italy, Turkey and California, Chairman Tada can be spot­ted wear­ing his sig­na­ture bright col­ors and bring­ing his joy­ful approach to shar­ing olive cul­ture with all peo­ple in the world. The for­mer JP Morgan exec­u­tive and import con­sul­tant seems to have found his true pas­sion with olive oil.

Really, it is quite an honor for us to have such sup­port from olive pro­fes­sion­als around the world. People are sur­prised that there is such inter­est here, but in fact Japan has had a his­tory with olive oil for over a hun­dred years because of the Mission Olive farm­ers on Shodoshima Island.”

When not work­ing with Dean Endo devel­op­ing cur­ricu­lum or research­ing olives and olive oil world­wide Chairman Tada can be found pro­mot­ing olive oil in Japan through his company’s involve­ment bridg­ing the cul­ture and lan­guage gap in trade fairs and mak­ing key con­nec­tions; most recently that exper­tise has come to bear on the olive oil world’s newest addi­tion to com­pe­ti­tions: Olive Japan.

Over 140 extra vir­gin olive oils have been received for the com­pe­ti­tion from mak­ers eager to add author­ity to their brands in Japan or as part of their over­all launch strat­egy to enter the Japanese mar­ket – a mar­ket that prizes qual­ity, rec­og­nizes the value of brand, and appre­ci­ates the health ben­e­fits of authen­tic extra vir­gin olive oil, mak­ing Japan the fourth largest importer of olive oil in the world.

The OSAJ was estab­lished in 2009 to develop the mar­ket for olive oil and other olive prod­ucts in Japan through a com­pre­hen­sive edu­ca­tion pro­gram. The cer­tifi­cate pro­grams cover the his­tory of olives and olive pro­duc­tion, olive cul­ture, culi­nary uses, health ben­e­fits and sen­sory skills. To date nearly 500 junior and 110 senior olive oil som­me­liers have grad­u­ated and addi­tional can­di­dates are enter­ing the school at an accel­er­ated rate; half OSAJ’s grad­u­ates gained their cer­tifi­cates in the 12 months fol­low­ing Japan’s dev­as­tat­ing earth­quake and tsunami last year.

Sommelier cer­tifi­cate hold­ers are typ­i­cally prod­uct advi­sors for super­mar­kets and restau­rants as well as importers, dis­trib­u­tors and retail­ers look­ing to fur­ther develop knowl­edge and skills. Doctors, nurses, dieti­cians and other health care pro­fes­sion­als par­tic­i­pate amend the OSAJ staff as lec­tur­ers as well as OSAJ stu­dents as olive oil is rec­og­nized as a reli­able source for many micronu­tri­ents.


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