Coexistence with Communities
Relation between themes and business activities
The Fuji Oil Group has 37 major Group companies in 15 countries. While food culture varies from region to region, our business activities as a food ingredient manufacturer, including plant operations and product sales, involve our close relationship with regional society. Partnership with local communities is the basis of our business activities. We also recognize that our initiatives to promote social contribution activities will enable our employees to find greater satisfaction in their work and raise their awareness of sustainability.
Recognizing that a company is a member of society, we hope to contribute to the development of local communities through social contribution activities and dialogue with community members. One of our principles, declared in the Fuji Oil Group Management Philosophy, is that we will engage in corporate activities rooted in our communities and actively contribute to society. As a member of local communities, we have social contribution activities, which are specific to the regions where we operate and the nature of our businesses.
Local social contribution activities are promoted by each Fuji Oil Group company specific to the country and region in which it operates. Group-wide or interregional social contribution activities are led by the CSR Team, ESG Management Group, Fuji Oil Holdings Inc. under the supervision of the Chief “ESG” Officer (C“ESG”O).
Food education project
Since FY 2014, the Fuji Oil Group has been conducting a nutrition education project in cooperation with the nonprofit Houkago NPO AFTER-SCHOOL. The objective is to convey the importance of food and the power of soybeans to children, who will lead the next generation. Employees are selected from a group of applicants to serve as teachers, conducting visiting classes at elementary schools.
In FY 2019, a total of 24 visiting classes were provided for approximately 600 elementary school students. The lectures covered the power of soybeans, which are good for human health and can save the world from food shortages. The classes comprised two types: soybean snack (cocoa-flavored soymilk pudding) cooking lessons and soybean card game sessions. Since we launched the project on a full scale in FY 2015, a total of 2,739 children have participated in the food education project.
- Messages from children who attended the classes:
- Thank you for telling us about various things today. I learned very good lessons. From now on, I hope to remember what I learned today and treat water and food with great care.
- I will stop insisting on my likes and dislikes about food for the sake of the Earth. I hope to do work related to food after I grow up.
- Because my elder brother has allergies to milk, eggs, crabs and shrimps, I would like to say thank-you for your delicious soybean-dish recipes.
- Because I cooked together with other people, the dishes tasted delicious. Because I ate together with others, the dishes tasted even more delicious.
Support for SDGs for School
“SDGs for School”* is a project run by the NGO Think the Earth to increase awareness of the SDGs among junior and senior high school students and enable them to learn how to achieve a sustainable society. The Fuji Oil Group provides two kinds of chocolate (made with and without palm oil) as teaching materials for the project’s visiting classes. In FY 2019, 1,396 students attended the classes, using chocolate as a catalyst for considering the relation between familiar foods and the SDGs and the importance of sustainable palm oil.
- Messages from senior high school students who attended the classes (excerpt):
- I considered how business and the environment could have a harmonious relationship.
- I have realized that it is important to take action before it is too late. Cooperation between people will produce great power and surely change the world.
- Both enabling people in developing countries to receive education and conserving rainforests that are still being continuously destroyed are challenges we should never give up trying to solve. From now on, I will view issues related to the SDGs as issues related to us, instead of issues that can be left to cooperation between national governments. I hope to participate in activities related to the SDGs if I have the opportunity.
* Refer to the URL below for details of the “SDGs for School” project.
Hannan Forest Project
Since March 2018, some employees of Fuji Oil Co., Ltd. have volunteered to participate in park development activities at Izumisano Kyuryo Ryokuchi in Osaka Prefecture. Local volunteers, the Osaka prefectural government, and companies collaborate in conducting forest development and bamboo grove management activities. Park creation activities are held one Saturday a month.
Izumisano Kyuryo Ryokuchi is a park directly managed by the Osaka prefectural government. The park creation activities, including various programs, are conducted not only to make tangible objects such as facilities in the park (monozukuri), but also to create experiences and excitement (kotozukuri). Fuji Oil employees enjoy participating in various programs and activities, such as thinning bamboo and hand-making walkways and stairs.
Volunteers at work A walkway improved during the project
Fuji Foundation for Protein Research
In 1979, we inaugurated a Research Committee of Soy Protein Nutrition to support the promotion of academic studies on soybean protein. Through the Committee, we awarded research grants to researchers. In 1997, we established the Fuji Foundation for Protein Research as an incorporated foundation under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (currently Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology). In 2012, the Foundation changed its status to a public interest incorporated foundation under the jurisdiction of the Cabinet Office, to take over and further expand the activities of its predecessor. By FY 2019, which marked the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Research Committee of Soy Protein Nutrition, over 1,100 research projects had been provided with our research grants.
In addition to research grant activities, the Foundation is also engaged in public interest communications activities. As part of the activities, the Foundation holds free public lectures for the general public every year. Although an FY 2019 free public lecture meeting had been scheduled for October 12, it was postponed due to the impact of Typhoon Hagibis, which hit mainly eastern Japan. After being rescheduled to March 21, 2020, the lecture meeting was finally canceled under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The content of the canceled lectures will be compiled into a booklet and distributed to those who had planned to attend the meeting. The Foundation will continue to contribute to society by awarding grants to researchers and disseminating research findings.