Okhotsk-made white-birch spoons prove popular

Oct. 6
Ice cream served with the wooden spoon inserted. Michi-no-Eki Okoppe
Spoons containing the logos of 5 stores

Wooden spoons made from white birch by Aitomi Mokuzai-kakou Corporation in the town of Tsubetsu in the Okhotsk region of eastern Hokkaido, which are used at five shops that sell dairy products in the town of Okoppe and the like, are proving popular among customers for their ‘cute’ cow designs. The spoons are part on an initiative derived from an Okhotsk Regional Promotion Bureau project, and the cost of manufacturing the spoons is covered by a forest environment transfer tax that the national government allocates to local governments for the purpose of maintaining forests in the region. As the trend shifts away from the use of plastic, the plan is to promote the warmth of wooded products.

■The cow design and logo are ‘cute’ and the spoon is durable

Aitomi Mokuzai-kakou Corporation was asked to produce the wooden spoons as part of the promotion bureau’s project. Aitomi Mokuzai-kakou offers the spoons – which contain laser-produced ‘Hokkaido Wood’ logos – for monitor use in stores within the subprefecture – at Michi-no-Eki (roadside rest area) Okoppe, Okoppe Ice, North Plain Farm, PINELAND FARM, as well as the Cheese Studio Adonai store in Sapporo.

The plan is to manufacture a total of 250,000 spoons between FY 2020 and 2024, and every year distribute ten thousand spoons to each shop. Part of the manufacturing costs will be borne by Okoppe Town from the forest environment transfer tax. In addition to offering them with ice cream they serve, some shops also make them available on the counter so that tourists can take them home as souvenirs.

“Customers often say ‘the spoons are cute’. They’re appealing because they don’t have the distinctive smell of wood and are so durable that they don’t dent if children bite them,” says a member of staff at Michi-no-Eki Okoppe.

The initiative is in line with the “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” advocated by the United Nations, and a representative of Okoppe Town says, “We would like to continue this project for at least five years, while verifying the reactions of the stores and customers.” The CEO of Aitomi Mokuzai-kakou Corporation says “We want to promote the quality of Okhotsk wood products”.

Location

Michi-no-Eki (roadside rest area) Okoppe

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