About “Tsugaru Peach”
Aomori prefecture’s “Tsugaru Peach” is a brand of peach that is cultivated using apple farming techniques. Though Yamanashi and Fukushima prefectures are better known producers when it comes to peaches in Japan, Aomori prefecture is establishing “Tsugaru Peach” as a new brand in the domestic market.
Peach production in the Tsugaru region began in 2004 in order to mitigate the risks associated with price drop of apples and damages from typhoons. Young farmers have been leading peach production in the recent years.
Production has gradually increased as the climate in the Tsugaru region is suitable for peach cultivation and apple farming techniques can be utilized in growing peaches.
Techniques used in apple production, such as branch trimming, fruit pruning, bagging, and fruit color management, are utilized in peach production. The coloring of the “Tsugaru peaches” is especially beautiful and outstanding.
The farmer’s attention to detail is evident in the way the leaves around the fruit are hand-picked so that they are exposed to sunlight, and reflective sheets are spread over the orchard to ensure that the color extends all the way down to the bottom of the fruit.
Strict Shipping Guidelines of “Tsugaru Peaches”
In the Tsugaru region, there is a significant temperature difference between day and night. This makes the flesh of the peaches firmer and gives them a rich sweetness. The Japanese Agricultural Cooperatives (JA) Tsugaru Mirai sorts the Tsugaru Peaches for shipment by passing them through an “optical sugar content sensor” to determine size, sugar content, and color. Only those with a sugar content of 15 degrees or higher are packaged in decorative boxes and hit the market as premium peaches.
“Tsugaru Peach,” which includes thirteen different breeds, are shipped one after another between early August and early October. The main breed is “Kawanakajima White Peach.” Shipment begins in early September, hitting the market slightly later in the season compared to other prefectures’ products. This slight delay has led to a higher market demand for Tsugaru Peaches.
Logo and Specialty Goods
JA Tsugaru Mirai has created a logo to promote the brand of “Tsugaru Peach.” Each package shipped to the markets throughout Japan comes with this logo. The logo is also used in promotional posters and pamphlets.
Local producers have developed many specialty goods using Tsugaru Peaches such as sweets with the hope to widely popularize Tsugaru Peach, even in the off-season.