News Release

2012.1.4New Year's Thoughts

A happy and prosperous year to you all!

Japan has faced many difficulties and challenges since the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck in March of last year.
With the collapse of the myth of nuclear power plant safety, damage from unfounded rumors, the ongoing radiation problem, power shortages, and a slowdown in consumption reflecting the loss of public confidence, for a time uncertainty spread throughout the nation. Nevertheless, it appears that people are gradually regaining their hope and vitality.

A growing number of Japanese companies have recently begun seeking business opportunities overseas, and there are cries warning of the “hollowing out" of Japanese industry. At the same time, competition from overseas is becoming increasingly intense as China and other developing nations in Asia continue expanding into global markets, and as countries around the world establish free trade zones. The only way for Japanese companies to survive in the face of such competition is to build up their strength overseas.

Overseas growth is one of the Fuji Oil Group's basic strategies, and our medium-term management plan for the fiscal years 2011 through 2013 calls for “Three years of evolution toward qualitative growth on a global level”. Viewing the coming three years as a period for establishing a strong foundation to further accelerate the Fuji Oil Group's growth around the globe, we have been aggressively expanding, especially in Asian markets. Last year we established new bases of operation in Thailand, Indonesia and Brazil, and we opened new product development facilities in Bangkok, Thailand and Guangzhou, China to better meet customer needs.

While this is our vision for our overseas business operations, the foundation to support that vision is the technology and business model we have developed in Japan. The Fuji Oil Group's three main strengths are our “capability to develop products" that satisfy customer requirements, our "expertise in proposal oriented marketing” that allows us to offer products that help customers meet market needs, and our “research and development system” for the creation of new ingredients. All of these strengths have been cultivated here in our home base of Japan. The key to competing against the massive production scale that newly developing nations possess is superior quality. To achieve such game-winning quality, we need to constantly develop new technologies and new ingredients, and create a business model that newly developing nations cannot easily imitate. As the world continues to change at an accelerating pace, we must also increase the speed at which we respond to change.

The world's population now exceeds seven billion, and providing enough food to feed all those people is going to be a crucial issue. It is often said that the next 100 years will be the age of energy, food, and the environment. Addressing this food supply issue is a task we have been given – it is the Fuji Oil Group's mission. Asia's desire for Western-style foods and the growing global population present attractive business opportunities for the Fuji Oil Group, and I am confident that our technology is up to the task.

With the global economy expected to slow further, this year is likely to be even more difficult than last year. This is a crucial moment for the Fuji Oil Group, and we need to accelerate the speed of our response to the challenges we face. To that end I ask for your continued unwavering support in the coming year.

Yoshitaka Ebihara, President and CEO
January 2012

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