Since Kikkoman was founded, we have given careful attention to our role as a public entity in society, and we have conducted our business based on an awareness of our connections with society. This approach is reflected in the current management principles of the Kikkoman Group.
When the unprecedented earthquake struck in March 2011, the Kikkoman Group immediately took action to provide support for the affected areas. As part of our efforts to help the affected areas, we called upon our group companies and individual employees to provide donations. We received donations from many of our employees and 18 of our group companies—not only in Japan but also in 13 countries and regions overseas. Our employees are still proactively participating in volunteer activities to assist the affected areas with reconstruction. A large number of our employees are doing whatever they can in order to help address such social problems, and this demonstrates that the mentality that was established at the start of our company has taken root and spread throughout our Group.
As a company that manufactures food products, we have a special responsibility that people eat. The most fundamental and important responsibility of a food manufacturer is to consistently provide products that are safe and that can be enjoyed with a sense of assurance. The Kikkoman Group has developed a quality control system for ensuring the safety of products from the raw materials stage, and we have launched an initiative so that the opinions that we receive from customers through the Kikkoman Consumer Center our Customer Service Center are reflected in our business. Since we made our Shokuiku (food education) Commitment in 2005, we have been conducting food education activities aimed at making eating more interesting and fun. We intend to proactively continue providing tours of our plants and offering “Kikkoman Soy Sauce Academy”, in which our employees visit elementary schools in various regions and talk about the raw materials that go into soy sauce and how soy sauce is made. Through such efforts, we hope to convey the wonderful aspects of Japan’s food culture to many people and contribute to passing on this culture.
Kikkoman is a company that conducts business related to soy sauce, which is a traditional Japanese seasoning. We provide our products and services in over 100 countries and are continuing to develop our business globally. In 2001, Kikkoman became the first Japanese company to sign the United Nations Global Compact. We view our signing the Global Compact as a promise that we will fulfill our responsibilities as a company in the global community. In 2011, we formulated the Kikkoman Corporate Citizenship Framework in order to clarify what we believe to be our social responsibilities as a company, establish specific initiatives, and make improvements.
This Framework sets forth three key themes for helping us to realize the objectives of our management principles. They are: Responsible Operations, Products /Services, and Actions for global society. By establishing action objectives based on these themes, and having each of our employees put them into practice in their day-to-day work, we will continue to strengthen our activities and thereby fulfill our responsibilities to society.