The Kumamoto Earthquakes were a series of earthquakes between April 14-16, 2016, with the main shock at magnitude 7.0. The earthquakes have resulted in 63 deaths, 3000+ injuries, and nearly 200,000 people evacuated to shelters in the aftermath.
Affect on Kumamoto Tea
Kumamoto is also a tea production region, and while we don’t believe tea production was affected in any major way by the earthquakes, tea producers and merchants, particularly small-scale operations that rely on local business for their livelihoods, will be affected as the region attempts to recover from this disaster. Merchants with shops in the most heavily damaged regions for example, experienced major damage to their buildings.
Tea people helping tea people
As part of the global tea community, we wish to contribute to the recovery of the region by creating this tea fund for the purpose of buying tea from these companies. While information is still coming in, we suspect the small tea shops in the hardest hit towns will benefit most from this fund rather than tea farmers or factories, but we will keep you updated on the contribution page.
BUSINESS & CHARITY
TEA FUND – We would like to stress that while the sentiment is to help the region, this is a for-profit business effort. Suppliers, the small tea companies who we buy from, will make a profit, and profits we make from this specific fund will be used to buy more tea from these suppliers. This shifts the financial risk of the inventory from these tea companies to ourselves. A full accounting of funds will be updated regularly on the contribution page.
CHARITY – If you choose the option to donate to charity, 100% of your funds after transferred into Japanese yen will be donated Civic Force, a non-profit organization established in 2009, and was active after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake in rescue and relief efforts. They sent staff immediately to earthquake hit regions in its aftermath to aid in the search for survivors trapped in collapsed houses and buildings. Images and video from Civic Force. **We are unaffiliated with this non-profit organization but have received permission to use their images and video. Contributions will be aggregated and donated in full at a rate of 110 yen / USD (transaction fees and any other expenses paid by Yunomi).
For more details, please contact Yunomi Tea Merchant Ian Chun