Our Sourcing and Sustainability Statement
Ethical Bulk Matcha
We at Matcha.com take great pride in our matcha and sourcing practices. Over the years, we've worked diligently, not only sourcing the best matcha in the world but also strengthening our relationships with traditional farming cooperatives (many being intergenerational family farms), who've been producing high-quality matcha much in the same way for centuries.
We regularly travel to Japan to deepen our relationships with the farming families we work with, as preserving the ancient tradition of tea in Japan is one of our foundational missions at Matcha.com. One of our main partners in Japan started their business nearly four centuries ago - growing matcha on the pristine hillsides of the Uji-wara valley. As a result, we only source 100% Japanese matcha that has been produced through traditional techniques. Embedded deep in those original practices still used today is importance around environment, culture, and community. These principles indeed are crucial to producing top-quality matcha. (1)
Traditional Japanese farming techniques passed down for generations
These farming techniques and traditions have been handed down from one generation to another. Each generation cares for the land with the mindset that they are growing high-quality matcha - they are also caring for the farming grounds that they will hand down to their children and grandchildren. (2)
Maintaining respect around traditional Japanese tea farming has always been a requisite for making Japanese matcha available worldwide since day one. As a result, we have carefully built our cooperative partner network – and we've been incredibly honored to be able to continue to support these ancient Japanese traditions, the hard-working farmers, and the unique stories behind each one of their tea fields. Purchasing matcha from traditional Japanese matcha families not only honors an old tradition— it directly supports the family-integrated tea collectives. This, in turn, helps create new jobs, protects heirloom cultivars of tea, stimulates the local economy, and keeps the world's best and highest-quality matcha flowing from Japan to all around the world. (1)
The landscape of cultivating tea in Japan
On the environmental front, while Japan is a relatively large island, roughly 33% of its land is habitable due to its many mountainous areas. After residential areas, approximately 12% of the land is dedicated to agriculture. The limited space has encouraged a communal belief in the importance of caring for the land. Our farming cooperatives are sharply aware, and more importantly, active, around the value of healthy soils and the routine regeneration of the land for continued use.
They maintain meticulous crop records and follow some of the world's most stringent environmental regulations and safeguards against pollution (some records go back as far as 800 years). In Japan, there is a powerful connection between farmers, local governments, and scientists who all work together to maintain the viability of their agricultural ecosystem. It's in everyone's best interest to do so.
Helping younger Japanese generations reclaim the tradition of matcha
There has been a gradual shift in the last 40 years of the younger Japanese population moving to cities for higher-paying jobs on the social front. This shift of the younger generation moving to larger cities has jeopardized the traditional farming way with few young people to carry on the traditions. However, there is good news. With the rise of matcha popularity in the US and abroad, we're seeing the younger Japanese population take a new interest and pride in matcha. Younger generations in Japan are now choosing to stay in their villages, looking to reclaim the craft of growing, cultivating, and drinking traditional Japanese matcha. (2)
Our mission is to support these families and encourage a new generation of young and hungry matcha growers. The more we tell our story, the more social change we facilitate in Japan and beyond. And more importantly, we fully understand and support our farming cooperatives and families' vigilance around sustainability, environmentalism, and social impact. These principles are deeply woven into the Japanese tea traditions, and at Matcha.com, we are committed to keeping the tradition of matcha tea alive, enjoyed, and experienced worldwide.
- Kochman, J., Jakubczyk, K., Antoniewicz, J., Mruk, H., & Janda, K. (2020). Health Benefits and Chemical Composition of Matcha Green Tea: A Review. Molecules, 26(1), 85. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26010085
- Nakatani, H. (2019). Population aging in Japan: policy transformation, sustainable development goals, universal health coverage, and social determinates of health. Global Health & Medicine, 1(1), 3–10. https://doi.org/10.35772/ghm.2019.01011