Beyond achieving delicious Japanese green tea and enriching the quality of your life with our tea, we also believe that having a positive environmental and social impact is important. Thankfully, since Japan is a fully economically developed country, virtually all of the social issues facing tea production in other countries are nonexistent with Japanese green tea.
Japanese tea farmers, laborers, and their families all have access to electricity, clean water, fresh air, a fantastic education system, healthcare, and the best hot springs in the world. There are almost no “Fair Trade” certified products from Japan due to the high quality standards of living that already exist throughout the country.
However, due to declining domestic consumption of tea, an overall aging workforce, and an increase in large scale commercialization, the Japanese tea industry does face some difficulties. Due to these issues, many farmers are retiring or working well past the normal age of retirement and low tea prices discourage young farmers from taking over their family’s farms, threatening the future of the industry as a whole.
By cultivating farm-direct relationships, we provide our tea farmers with better income stability than they could get by selling through government auctions. Additionally, we support their pursuit of eco-friendly initiatives such as Chagusaba farming and transitioning fields to Organic to achieve higher values for their tea.
Chagusaba is a practice of sustainable techniques designed to enrich, rather than strip, the natural environment. Because of this form of traditional tea growing, many endangered species can be found in the area. In 2013, the Chagusaba method was recognized by the United Nations as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS).
In addition to the efforts we make to support our farmers’ eco-friendly initiatives, we are also continuously working to improve eco-friendliness on the final production end. We’ve installed solar panels and power-conserving lights at our factory and have biodegradable tea bags available.
Good tea is not only delicious, it also supports a quality life for those who work hard to produce it and helps preserve the natural environment where it is grown. Sugimoto Tea Company is proud of helping to improve the lives of our farmers and preserve the natural environment of beautiful Shizuoka.