FedEx and JEN Launch Sixth Year of Collaborative “Let’s go to Tambo!!” Village Revitalization Project
July 2, 2013
TOKYO, July 2, 2013 – Fedex Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX), the world’s largest express transportation company, and disaster relief non-profit organization JEN, recently kicked off the sixth consecutive year of the “Let’s go to Tambo!!” project, which seeks to revitalize the area affected by the Niigata Chuetsu earthquake. This project is aimed at protecting the natural beauty of the local environment and revitalizing the villages of Iketani and Iriyama by planting and harvesting the area’s premium brand of rice. The initial rice planting stage of the project took place in and around the villages, located near Toka-machi, Niigata prefecture, between Friday, May 31 and Sunday, June 2.
This year, 21 volunteers from around the country, including some FedEx employees, gathered to assist in the rice planting with guidance from the local villagers. Through participation in the planting process, which uses no chemicals or fertilizers, the volunteers benefitted from getting closer to nature.
"Our employees are delighted to have been able to contribute to the revitalization of Iketani and Iriyama through this long-running project over the past 6 years," stated Masamichi Ujiie, regional vice president, North Pacific, FedEx Express. “It is a pleasure to work together with the local villagers, not only in planting rice this time but also holding a cooking class. We at FedEx look forward to continuing our positive involvement in this program."
FedEx and JEN began the "Let’s go to Tambo!" project in 2008 to help rebuild the two villages after they were badly damaged in the Niigata Chuetsu earthquake in 2004. With improvements over time, the focus of the project’s activities shifted in 2011 from restoration to revitalization. In partnership with a local NPO, Toka-machi Regional Action Committee, FedEx and JEN provide support to the villages in planting, harvesting and selling their Koshihikari variety of rice, branded as “Yamashimizumai” (pure mountain water rice).
"We are extremely grateful for the continued support of FedEx on this project," said Keiko Kiyama, director of JEN. "Over the past 5 years, the project has succeeded in truly revitalizing the community, through various activities in addition to the work in the rice fields. For the villagers, this has been an invaluable experience, from which they have gained much confidence. For the project’s sixth year we are planning measures for the further revitalization of the area, including volunteer cooperation and income generation. JEN will continue to support the villagers in their challenge."
The upcoming schedule for this year’s "Let’s go to Tambo!!" is as follows:
Harvesting: Friday, September 27 – Sunday, September 29
Threshing: Friday, October 11 – Sunday, October 13
Results from "Let’s go to Tambo!!" *From 2008 to April, 2013
Participation of 287 volunteers over the past 5 years
Population of villages increased by 3 households (5 people in total)