Occasional Diary

The way forward for Kyoto-chaen

In Japan, traditionally, maybe same as other country, same as coffee, tea distribution is led by tea merchants. Each year local tea wholesalers buy our leaves and they sell to retails to consumers. This system is convenient and effective for everybody in tea domains. We can concentrate our tasks as a tea producer to all take care of my tea trees and its arounds.

Progressively people are getting more and more exigent. To increase sales of tea merchants, they ask us our quantity of products. therefore, we have to expand our cultivation with area with the same manpower. So, some tea productor are obligate to spray chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. This is obliviously crazy but people don’t think it is bad for earth, tea trees, and our health our children.

Actually, as you know very well, the weather has been unpredictable, has greatly affected the and the condition of the tea trees and harvest. Recent years our tea harvest is quite affected by climate fluctuations. For example, last year, we were significantly affected by late frosts.
Besides compared to when I inherited this tea filed, our sales have been on a downward trend year after year. Because Japanese people have gradually forgotten the traditional healthy lifestyle of drinking tea in a teapot every day as they have become more westernized.

Our Tea Plantation

I am a tea producer in Uji, Kyoto ; I have been working diligently as a tea farmer every day for about 20 years since I took over from my fathers heritage.
During the busy season, I sometimes have no time to sleep.
on the other hand, during my off season, I can have enough free time. I have more than enough time to think about the future of my life, my tea farm, our health, the earth…

I have been asked myself, so what I should I do?

“Can I just keep going the same way? As others?
I answered “No, I can’t, I can’t continue this way as others, we have to think about our trees, our soils, our customers. let’s think about direct sales? I can listen to our customers real voices, and see real faces, I am not anonymous tea cultivator ”

Before to heritage my father’s tea tree farm I worked at the local post office as a assurance sales person, just after graduating from school, Since I had experienced face-to-face sales work, I wanted to hear the joyful voices of customers directly.

How can I listen to them directly?

That is the Internet.

It was not easy at first. In the meantime, I could my business increased little by little. I have more and more contacts from tea shops, hotels, restaurants, individuals.. etc.

When I receive an order from my region, I try to deliver it myself. Because I want to see and talk with them. No matter how tired, I deliver myself and never missed contact with my customers.

One day one of my customers said
“I need safe and reliable tea from my region, Kyoto”

So I made up my mind.
“The way forward for tea farmers is to produce the tea that our customers want.

According to the statistic, the production of organic tea accounts for only about 6% of the total production of Japanese tea.
Compared to Europe and the United States, the awareness of organic tea in Japan is still low. I have children of my own.
I want my children to drink safe and reliable tea.

I want to deliver safe and reliable tea to people who are looking for it in Japan.
I would like to deliver tea not only to people in Japan but also to people in Europe.

This is the only way to go as a tea farmer “KYOTO CHAEN 京都茶園” in the future.

We will continue to produce safe and reliable tea from the perspective of our customers.
Now I am waiting for my organic certification! I already applied last year.

Thank you for your support of KYOTO CHAEN 京都茶園

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