"Nishio Matcha" Tea's Brand Protection by Govt Cancelled

Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 14 (Jiji Press)--Japan's agriculture ministry said Friday it has removed the "Nishio Matcha" tea in central Japan from its system to protect local specialties' geographical brand names.

The cancellation of the geographical indication protection, the first of its kind since the system was created in 2015, will allow producers of the green tea in the cities of Nishio and Anjo of Aichi Prefecture not to stick to the costly traditional cultivation method.

The Nishio Tea Cooperative Association asked the ministry to cancel the GI protection so they can adopt production methods to make Nishio Matcha available to consumers at affordable prices around 1,000 yen per kilogram, less than one-third of the current prices. Due to the high prices, Nishio Matcha sales have been sluggish.

According to the ministry, about 90 brands, including Kobe Beef from Hyogo Prefecture, have won the GI protection.

Over the brand protection by the government, there have been some conflicts between producers.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press