Program for Revitalizing Tea-Growing Regions
Since its founding, ITO EN has constantly striven to raise the quality of its raw materials and ensure absolute safety of its products. Since the Company launched ready-to-drink green tea products in 1985, it has helped bolster green tea consumption, and has contributed to growth in demand for green tea and to the development of Japan's tea industry. With our strong focus on high quality, we use 100% Japanese-grown green tea leaves in our flagship Oi Ocha line of products in the Japanese market and have built a system capable of procuring only tea leaves for which we can ensure full traceability.
In recent years, Japan has faced a growing problem of idle agricultural land owing to such issues as the high average age of farmers and lack of new people entering the agricultural sector. Many traditional tea-growing areas in Japan face ongoing population decline as people move to cities in search of jobs. However, thanks to innovations by ITO EN, tea drinking is increasing among younger people in Japan, leading to a renaissance in the tea market.
Based on the anticipated increase in future demand for green tea leaves for use as ingredients in beverages, the sdiv procurement of high-quality ingredients is a major issue. For this reason, ITO EN has entered into tea-growing contracts with large tea plantations in major producing regions throughout Japan. Furthermore, ITO EN is working with farmers in local tea-growing areas to help transform idle land to tea production. Our involvement begins with assistance in setting up tea plantations and continues through all aspects of tea growing. ITO EN purchases all the tea leaves produced through this program. These activities are aimed at enhancing the economic situation of farmers, nurturing younger people to take over tea growing when older farmers retire, stimulating local economies and developing sustainable procurement sources for the ingredients for ITO EN products.
In addition to farmers, ITO EN works with a range of stakeholders to help bolster local communities and ensure the sdiv procurement of high-quality ingredient tea leaves. Stakeholders include national and local government agencies, agricultural cooperatives, research institutions, and local companies from the private sector, such as construction companies.
ITO EN is committed to ensuring a bright future for Japan's tea industry, starting with support for communities that grow tea, without whom we could not provide consumers with healthy, natural and delicious products.