News from Japan

April 7, 2011
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For several weeks, we have been communicating with our tea growers in Japan by email and telephone. We thought we'd let you know what is happening now, especially as regards the impact on future crops.

The families and friends of our producers are safe and none of them have undergone physical damage (gardens, equipment, etc..). This is already good news. With regard to levels of radiation, no area of production where we buy leaf is affected by radioactivity control measures. Currently, only the following areas are affected: Fukushima, Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Miyagi, Yamagata, Niigata, Nagano, Yamanashi, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba.

Shizuoka Prefecture is located more than 400km from the nuclear plant in Fukushima. Uji and Nara are located at more than 700km. Miyasaki? More than 1000km. For now, our producers assure us that they have received no information from government bodies or associations of tea producers to the effect that there might be any health hazard for future harvests, which begin late April or early May, depending on the region.

However, many of our producers have already committed to provide us with certificates of radiation analysis from their gardens to reassure us and our customers. From our side we are working to establish a protocol to test the tea when it arrives at our warehouse.

We are closely monitoring the situation.

Hugo is also in Japan from May 12 to 20 to meet our producers and he will keep us updated.

Want to help the Japanese by making a donation? Here are some useful links:

Arigato !

Hugo Américi

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