Tea farmers in Japan, specifically Shizuoka, Kanagawa, Saitama, and the prefectures directly surrounding Fukushima where the nuclear power plant is located, have had their tea shipments stopped due to radiation contamination.
Founder Matsumoto Yasuharu will be speaking about the establishment and debut of this new non-profit organization amid the global focus on radiation contamination of tea leaves in Japan after the Tohoku Earthquake. Tea farmers from Minami Ashigara, one of the first regions discovered to have radiation contamination above government standards, will also be present to discuss their experience. The ITFA will also be serving tea from tea farms of various regions in Kyoto, Shizuoka, and Fukuoka as well as Taiwan via their Japan distributor.
We are very grateful to have had 15 people attend on location and 10 people via web streaming including several journalists. Thank you very much for listening to our explanations of the current situation regarding tea and efforts to reduce contamination levels. Much thanks also to the restaurant, Yasai Kichi, for providing the venue free of charge.
Photos in this gallery were taken when visiting tea farmer Minako Uehara and Japan Agriculture officials in Minami Ashigara, where the very first tea shipments were ordered stopped due to radiation contamination. At the even Ms. Uehara spoke about her experience when the tea was first discovered to be radioactive.
Director of the Kanagawa Prefectural JA Tea Center, Tetsuya Ishiwata, spoke about the efforts that government and research facilities have made to understand how the tea leaves were contaminated. The result of the research: tea leaves absorbed radioactive particles through the photosynthesis process in the leaves, not through roots in the soil. This means that the plants can be cleaned of radioactivity via cutting and disposal of the leaves.