2019.1.42019 New Year’s Address by the President & CEO of Fuji Oil Holdings Inc.The following is a report on the New Year’s Address delivered by Hiroshi Shimizu, President & CEO of Fuji Oil Holdings Inc., today at the head office.(excerpts from the original text).
Happy New Year, everyone!
We in the Fuji Oil Group aspire to creation of a world in which both human beings and the earth become healthier, by tapping the boundless potential of plant materials to the maximum extent and providing them in delicious forms.
Looking back on it, 2018, the second year of Towards a Further Leap 2020, our midterm management plan, was truly a year in which we built further on our foundation. In terms of the introduction, development, turn, and conclusion sequence of four-verse classical Chinese poetry, after first introducing the plan in 2017, we set about the task of development last year, by steadily building on the foundation for solid maintenance of what had been initiated. This year will bring us to the “turning” stage of making a leap from the foundation we carefully developed. After accomplishing this leap, we will head for the conclusion of the plan.
Last year, we took action to give the Fuji Oil Group a stronger presence on the global stage. For example, we established regional headquarters in North America and Europe, and welcomed the Australian company Industrial Food Services into our Group. Furthermore, the U.S. company Blommer will be newly joining our Group this year. This will give us a total of 16 chocolate plants in ten countries around the world and mainly in Pacific Rim countries. We have gained the qualifications needed to take up the challenges of the global market by drawing fully on our capabilities grounded in the core competence of the Fuji Oil Group. Nevertheless, this is an opportunity for change to make our big leap. Change with a sense of crisis about simply maintaining the status quo is one of the strengths of the Fuji Oil Group.
In 2015, the members of the United Nations unanimously adopted the statement of Sustainable Development Goals (to be reached by 2030) consisting of 169 items under 17 articles. While they have mutually different histories and cultures, the countries of the world have agreed to at least strive for the goals of halting deterioration of the global environment, eradicating poverty worldwide, and improving problems related to equality and human rights.
That the state of the global environment has been worsening by the year is clear even from the expanding scale of natural disasters in the form of earthquakes and typhoons and the steep rise in temperatures in Japan. Under these circumstances, there is an urgent need for environment-friendly, sustainable procurement of materials, production of foodstuffs, and processing of food products. Companies are inherently social entities and cannot continue to subsist unless they deliver value to society. It is precisely the solution of these issues facing humankind that will be the corporate value of our Group.
People worldwide share the desire to live healthily, and continued consumption of healthy foods is a prerequisite to this end. People will not continue to eat foods that do not taste good, and foods are not delicious unless the eaters are healthy. The resolution of this issue is the identity of our Group and will assist solutions toward attainment of the SDGs.
More specifically, we can contribute to society with plant-based foods such as vegetable oils and fats, soy protein, and chocolate, cream, cheese-like ingredients, and other processed foods that we developed on the basis of our knowledge about nutrition and health. This perspective encompasses all sorts of food problems, and itself constitutes the true meaning of our Vision of “contributing to society by creating delicious and healthy foods” contained in the Fuji Oil Group Management Philosophy.
In our procurement of palm oil and cacao beans, we have already determined Responsible Palm Oil/Cacao Sourcing Policy and announced these policies as an enterprise concerned about maintenance of the global environment, child labor, and other such problems. Investors worldwide have cited ESG investment as an agendum, and this is leading to lower assessments of companies that do not have clear targets for E (the environment), S (society), and G (governance). In recent years, our customers, too, are paying more attention to modes of consumption that take account of the environment and human rights. I suspect that the mindset of consumers actually getting the end products is increasingly oriented toward purchase of items that benefit society and are friendly to the environment. The Fuji Oil Group is a manufacturer, and our business per se lies in manufacturing for the solution of social issues. I intend to deliberately promote ESG-minded management so that we can take account of ESG and contribute to society even in our manufacturing process.
In closing, I would like to note that the Fuji Oil Group Management Philosophy posts “work for people” as one of our Values. As I see it, the pursuit of business activities that contribute to society is the role which our Fuji Oil Group should play. I hope all of you will further hone your powers of imagination and meet the challenges of your work.