Seven years after disaster

Produce exports from Fukushima Prefecture making strong recovery

In 2017, exports of peaches and rice produced in Fukushima Prefecture have been strong. Peach exports approached 50 tons; a 70 percent increase from before the accident at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

For a while after the accident, Fukushima farmers saw their businesses grind to a halt under a trade embargo imposed by importing countries and regions. However, the Fukushima prefectural government and other entities have worked hard to cultivate new markets. Their efforts have gradually borne fruit.

The-japan-news.com tells us that exports of Fukushima-grown peaches in 2010 -before the earthquake- were 28.8 tons, most of which were shipped to Taiwan and Hong Kong. However, these regions restricted imports after the accident, and Fukushima farmers were unable to export peaches in 2011.

The Fukushima prefectural government conducted voluntary local safety checks as well as inspections based on national guidelines. The government also let overseas buyers observe cultivation and inspection methods during a number of food tasting events. As a result, the prefecture was able to ship peaches to Thailand in 2012; Fukushima’s first export since the accident.

The prefectural government also issued a pamphlet written in languages such as English and Chinese to advertise the safety of its fruits, expanding sales into Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.

Peach exports in 2016 exceeded the volume shipped before the accident, and 2017 exports are expected to reach 48 tons. Even so, a negative image of farm produce grown in Fukushima Prefecture still exists abroad. Taiwan and Hong Kong have continued their embargo on peaches grown in the prefecture.

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