2018.1.42018 New Year’s Address by the President of Fuji Oil Holdings Inc.Happy New Year, everyone! We are counting on your support again this year.
The following is the new year’s address delivered by Hiroshi Shimizu, President & CEO of Fuji Oil Holdings Inc., today at the head office. (The following is an excerpt.)
President & CEO
Fuji Oil Holdings Inc.
Happy New Year to all our employees!
I believe the phrase "age of disruption," which came into use with the arrival of the new year in 2017, is still fresh in your minds. The accepted wisdom taken without question so far and the past laws of experience no longer apply; IoT and AI technology are remaking the world with an unforeseen rapidity. The times are swiftly changing, and things are definitely not moving along a line that is merely an extension of the past. The future is unfolding in a stepped pattern formed by a repeated cycle of change and disruption. For this reason, we need the power to make bold leaps and fly over the related gaps. This is precisely the point of inclusion of the word "leap" in the title of the Fuji Oil Group midterm management plan, "Towards a Further Leap 2020." It expresses our resolution to make a big leap.
Similarly, the reason why we made the transition to a holding company system in 2015 was also for adjustment to the dizzying speed of change in the world around us. Last year, 2017, was the year in which we began to lay the foundation. We have finally laid about one-fourth of it. In 2020, the foundation will be complete.
I have stated that our aspiration is plant-based food solutions. Fuji Oil formerly said that it was aiming to be a life support industry taking oils, fats, and soy protein as its basic materials. The expression "plant-based food" has basically the same meaning as "taking oils, fats, and soy protein as its basic materials." The difference from the past lies in the word "solutions." Thus far, we have aspired to be a plant-based food company, and solutions were not emphasized. From now on, we must be of service to society through our business and resolve problems in society while discovering social needs. This provision of solutions is nothing less than our aspiration and what we must do.
This raises the question of the nature of these solutions. The answer is "contribution to the society by creating the future of delicious and healthy foods," which is noted in the vision of the Fuji Oil Group Management Philosophy. Through our products, we deliver delicious and healthy foods to all. Health is a concern shared by humankind the world over. However healthy foods may be, people will not eat them if they do not taste good. Similarly, if the person is not healthy, foods will not taste good. "Healthy" and "delicious" must be synonymous.
In recent years, the acronym "ESG" has come to be viewed with importance in corporate management. It stands for "environment, social, and governance." The practice of management with awareness of the environment and society is not only linked to an increase in corporate value, but also is said to have a bearing on the company’s subsistence. In 2016, the Fuji Oil Group determined the Responsible Palm Oil Sourcing Policy, and pledged to procure palm oil with consideration of environmental and human rights issues, in order to build a sustainable supply chain for palm oil. In accordance with this policy, in November of last year, we announced the construction of a plant for production of palm oil with traceability (the ability to trace the entire supply route from producers to consumers, including the steps of production, processing, and distribution) in Malaysia. We are going to launch regular supply of this traceable palm oil next year.
Soybeans are anticipated to assist the solution of problems in the future food crisis. We have been aware of their importance and have continued doing business in them ever since our founding. These days are seeing increased investment in vegetable food companies dealing in what is called "veggie food" in North America and Europe. It should be noted that these veggie food industries are taking not vegetarians but ordinary consumers as their targets. In addition, needless to say, the premise underlying this business is that what is healthy for people is healthy for the earth (in respect of the environment and resources). A new society is indeed being built by the members of the so-called millennial generation, who have a new value outlook that does not treat health and the environment as special concerns. Fuji Oil has continuously brought out products derived from vegetables. For this reason, it is vital for us to realize that we are now in the vanguard of ESG, and to once again proclaim our "ESG management" to all.
One of the values posted in the Fuji Oil Group Management Philosophy is "Work for people." I believe that the execution of business activities for contribution to society based on this concept of "for people" is the role to be played by us in the Fuji Oil Group.
In keeping with the spirit of our Health Management Declaration, I shall conclude this New Year’s address by once again expressing my best wishes for the health and happiness of all.