Organic JAS System (About each organization)

We started proper organic cultivation around the 50th year of the Showa era (1975).

Before that, we were using regular cultivation methods, which required agricultural chemical spraying 7 to 8 times a year and took 2 full days, a procedure that has terrible effects on workers' health.

In Showa 47 (1972), the current president (Yoshiyuki) fell ill due to chemical poisoning while he was spraying pesticide on a hot summer day and his doctor told him that if he kept handling agricultural chemicals on hot days like that for over time he would eventually cause sever damage to his liver. Because of this he started to consider organic farming and finally made the momentous decision to move toward an organic plantation. In the beginning, harvests were reduced significantly and he wondered if he had made the right decision, but when he thought about the people who consumed our tea and the health of his employees, he was reassured that organic was the only way to go. The business had several tough years, but after many trials and failures the tea trees became stronger and tea harvests became greater and greater.

Organic farming requires tremendous amounts of weeding, especially during the summer months, but we are very proud of ourselves for being able to offer our very healthy and safe teas for our customers. In addition to this of course we are happy to report that the president can enjoy an evening drink with his quite healthy liver.

In Heisei 13 (2001) as soon as the Organic JAS regulations were established we acquired organic certification. Then, in Heisei 19 (2007) we acquired NOP (USA Organic Certification) and in Heisei 21 (2009) EU Organic Certification. Our goal is to continuously provide safe, healthy and delicious teas for people all over the world.

Organic JAS System (About each organization)

In Japan before Heisei 13 (2001), there was no organic regulations, so phrases like "no chemicals used" or "organically grown" could be freely used without standards.

Eventually, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan followed other advanced countries' footsteps by officially regulating organic labels on agricultural products and established "Organic JAS System" to protect Japan and consumers. They set a standard of Organic JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standard) for organic agricultural products and organic processed foods and only products that meet these standards are allowed to be called "organically grown" and carry Organic JAS certification. Since tea leaves can't be washed like vegetables or fruit, this standard means producing our organic tea requires considerable effort in order to provide safe and healthy tea to all of our customers.

  • Acquired Organic JAS certification
  • Certified by NOP (National Organic Program)
  • Acquired EU organic certification

•About the exportation and process of the JAS system achieving equivalence with Western organic systems.

Currently, the Japanese organic system, Organic JAS, has reached a level equal to US and European organic systems, and as a result organic products that have JAS certification can be exported as valid organic products to other countries. However, the Japanese organic system wasn't recognized as valid system before, so products needed to acquire certificates from each county's organic regulators.

Our company acquired certification for Europe through the organization called ICEA, an Italian organic certification association and had already started exporting tea to Europe in Heisei 21(2009). Around the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan was trying to improve the JAS system to meet European standards. In the summer of 2009, people from JAS and EU visited our Aracha (crude tea) factory and plantation. After checking the condition of our site as a factory having both JAS and EU certification, EU officials decided to recognize JAS as an equally valid organic system.

We are very happy that we could be a part of process of the globalization of the Japanese organic system.

  • We are very happy that we could be a part of process of the globalization of the Japanese organic system.
  • We are very happy that we could be a part of process of the globalization of the Japanese organic system.
  • We are very happy that we could be a part of process of the globalization of the Japanese organic system.
  • We are very happy that we could be a part of process of the globalization of the Japanese organic system.

Conditions of Organic JAS

  • No agricultural chemical or artificial fertilizer as indicated may have been used for at least 3 years in the production process.
  • No genetic modified (GM) technology is used.
  • The organic tea leaves are separated from regular tea leaves throughout every step from field to producing to processing to shipping, and each step is monitored and recorded.
  • Sites are inspected by associations authorized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries every year to ensure the conditions above are maintained.

Organic JAS certification

Organic Certification for Agricultural Producer

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Organic Certification for Processed Food Producer

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Organic Certification for Repacker

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Organic JAS Certification

The standards set by Organic JAS regulations. Registered private organizations inspect sites to ensure that standards are met, and if so they permit the use of organic JAS label on products. We grow tea and process it on our own site, so we have Organic Certification for Agricultural Producer as well as Organic Certification for Processed Food Producer.

Plantation (Tea farm) Inspection

We have to inspect each tea farm and clear conditions, such as "no agricultural chemical or artificial fertilizer for 3 years", as well as record the procedures for each farm and the farming methods used for each farm. If an organic farm is surrounded by regular (chemically treated) farm, the chemicals could pollute the organic farm. Therefore, there has to be a space between organic farms and regular farms. If such land is used to grow tea, tea from that area can't be labeled as organic. We have 33 farming fields (as of Heisei 26/2014) for organic farming.

Education

In order to acquire certification, supervisors from each section (manufacture supervisor/quality check supervisor) must attend lectures and finish Organic JAS courses.

Certification Process

First of all, we apply (sending farming records for the past 3 years, plantation area records, related futility records, production schedule, etc.) to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries' registered private organizations. We have Japan Organic & Natural Foods Association (also known as JONA) as our inspector and they visit our site every year to check each farm, related facilities, used materials and used machines and also go through all procedure records, crude tea manufacture records, and products quality check records, making sure that we clear factory regulations and quality regulations in order to keep Organic JAS labels. We spend 3 days for this process to renew our certifications every year.

How we maintain the safety standard

We manage 6 hectares of our own plantation and we process our products in our factory on site. We also use contamination detectors and metal detectors to ensure safe quality. Moreover, we use product history records to create a traceability system and also inspect for agricultural chemical residue and radioactivity to produce safe green tea.

Radioactivity test report

Radioactivity test report Detail

Agricultural chemical residue test certification

Agricultural chemical residue test certification Detail
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Harimaen Seicha Co.,Ltd.
Kyoto, Tsuzuki, Ujitawara-cho, Oaza-Okuyamada, Koaza-Kawakami 152-1 Postal Code: 610-0211
TEL:0774-88-3183