\r\n \r\nIn a recent buying trip, the manufacturer discovered pearl farmers\u2019 production capacity has suffered as a result of storms in the region and Japan\u2019s 2010 Tohoku tsunami. \r\n \r\nOyster production is essential before the culturing process which creates the pearls can begin, and production can require around 3 to 5 years of front-end investment.\r\n \r\nThe tsunami also brought the threat of contamination of current crops, a problem compounded by the adverse effects of the rising temperature of water in the ocean due to global warming.\r\n \r\nIn a statement, Raw Pearls said: "The result is a lack of confidence on behalf of the farmers many of whom have reduced production or made investments elsewhere, property being a common option." \r\n \r\nAccording to Raw Pearls, the slowdown in production has driven up the price of oyster pearls in the trade, prompting the company to offer river pearls in addition, \u201cwhich has a similar look, but at a smaller cost.\u201d\r\n \r\nThe company has also announced that in collaboration with Holts Academy of Jewellery, it will be running a seminar providing an overview of pearls for training staff at retail outlets.\r\n \r\n\u201cRetailers often express a sense of mystery regarding pearls, leading to a lack of confidence when buying,\u201d the company said in a statement. \r\n \r\nThe overview will include information on the types of pearls available, culturing techniques and how to value pearls. The seminar will take place between 4pm and 6pm on 21st May, 2012.\r\n \r\nAnyone wishing to book a place should call the Student Services department at Holts on 020 7405 0197.