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Saturday, 27 July 2013

Fukushima veggie campaign kicks off


The Yomiuri Shimbun
A promotional event for vegetables grown in Fukushima Prefecture is held in JR Akihabara Station in Tokyo on June 26.Prefecture is held in JR Akihabara Station in Tokyo on June 26.

The Yomiuri ShimbunThe Fukushima prefectural government has undertaken a massive summer campaign to market vegetables grown in the prefecture in Tokyo and other major cities as prices of the local products have dropped due to the effects of the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
Officials and farming industry representatives have been dispatched to major markets such as the Tokyo metropolitan area to spread the message that their produce is high quality and safe.
This fiscal year, the prefectural government earmarked a budget of about 1.8 billion yen to combat damage to the industry caused by radiation fears, an amount four times that of last fiscal year.
Nearly 100 promotional events have been held outside the prefecture. The campaign has also included advertisements on trains and TV commercials aired mainly in Tokyo.
Aiming to market local products directly to customers, the prefecture’s Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA) office joined the campaign.
Vans selling produce, vendor tables at food expos and pop-up shops at local festivals have all been utilized in the campaign. In July alone, such events were held in about 30 locations.
Prior to the campaign, JA Zenno Fukushima, a prefectural federation of local agricultural cooperatives, held a spring seminar for wholesalers and retailers in Tokyo.
JA officials presented data on voluntary safety checks and demonstrated safety of the local farm products. JA Zenno Fukushima plans to hold similar seminars in other parts of the nation, such as the Kansai region and Hokkaido.
The prefectural government is conducting so-called farm inspection tours in which produce distributors and members of the media are invited to local farms, where they can learn firsthand about local farmers’ efforts and how food safety checks are conducted.
On Thursday, special events such as peach harvesting and inspection tours of safety check facilities were held for groups of parents and children.
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They're kidding right? Wrong..
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