Message from the CEO

In 2021, Fuji Oil Holdings Inc. entered its seventy-first year. We at the Fuji Oil Group have committed to “Work for people” as a core value shared by all employees under the Group Management Philosophy. Our principle to “achieve ceaseless growth by accomplishing customer satisfaction” in the Group’s Basic Management Principles, the predecessor of the Management Philosophy, has directly led to what is now our commitment to “Work for people.”

My experience with ESG management began in the U.S. when I was appointed to a post at Fuji Vegetable Oil for four years in 2012. At the time, we received a stern letter from an NGO regarding deforestation, human rights and other environmental and social issues associated with palm oil production. While such negative feedback was a problem that management would rather have avoided, the issues they raised were serious. I strongly felt that, contrary to our inclination, we needed to face them squarely. In 2016, after returning to Japan, I created the Supply Chain Management Group as Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) to oversee procurement at the global level and engage in responsible raw material procurement that takes the environment and human rights into account. It was the first step on our path to a sustainable future.

Today, we are still a leader among Japanese companies in advancing sustainable procurement of major raw materials. Soy protein ingredients, which we have been working on for many years, have been attracting a lot of interest as sustainable food. The Group’s ESG initiatives for the environment and human rights have grown to where we are starting to receive social recognition. But the global community is demanding even higher targets on carbon emissions reduction, biodiversity conservation and other environmental measures. For human rights issues, government policies and regulations, as well as investor demands, have grown stronger even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We feel a sense of urgency in that any delays or failures will sooner or later impact our operations, our reputation, and eventually our corporate value. As information becomes borderless, we must judge our own initiatives fairly, and work steadily and innovatively to meet our stated goals.

To make the leap toward becoming a truly global company, we believe that adding equity to our previous approach of diversity and inclusion and adopting the perspective of DE&I is essential. I have come to realize from my experiences overseas that inequitable educational opportunities lead to poverty and other issues. With offices in 14 countries and around 70% of our employees located outside Japan, we want to give all employees who create our corporate value globally equal opportunities to take on new challenges by fairly assessing their performance in every occupation so that they can work to their full potential.

Social issues and their implications change with the times. The Fuji Oil Group has always been a company that harnesses the power of plant-based food ingredients to address society's problems. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us once again that we are in an essential business of protecting people’s lives with food.

Now that achieving the SDGs is becoming increasingly important, we need to go back to our corporate roots, listen to the expectations and concerns of our stakeholders, and create a place where our employees around the world can continue to work safely and securely. Moving forward, we will continue to work to protect and restore the Earth, place the joy of food and the happiness and the well-being of all people at the heart of our management, and aim for sustainable growth.

Mikio Sakai

Mikio Sakai
President and CEO
Fuji Oil Holdings Inc.