Now that 2021 is here, I’d like to offer my greetings.
First, my deepest condolences go out to those who have lost their lives due to COVID-19, and to all of those who have lost loved ones. My heartfelt sympathies go out to all of those who have fallen ill.
I would also like to express the feeling of gratitude that I have to the essential workers all over the world, like the medical professionals who are working tirelessly against this difficult disease.
Even in the Fuji Oil Group, we have come face to face with the incredibly unfortunate loss of employees in the US and Brazil. Knowing that all of the employees in the group have come together as a cohesive unit, taking responsibility to keep the plants of each company running and accomplishing the task of keeping food supplied gives me an enormous sense of pride.
I’d also like to express my gratitude to all of those in our group’s supply chain who have offered so much support and cooperation in the supply of products, from the initial procurement of raw materials to the final distribution of products.
While we have high hopes for the vaccinations that have begun in a number of countries, it is still going to take a significant amount of time for COVID-19 to be completely under control, and there are some predictions that the economy will not recover in earnest until 2024, or even 2025.
The effect that COVID-19 had on our group in this fiscal year was large, and we understand that the end result was not what many stakeholders, including our shareholders, had hoped for. We’ve already begun taking steps to ensure that we have a V-shaped recovery.
2020 is going to go on record as also being the year that brought great shifts to the consciousness of people all over the world through changes in the external environment. The environment surrounding food is one where foods that are even safer, that can be eaten with peace of mind, that have consideration given to health and nutrition, and that are sustainable through initiatives to solve issues around food loss and in the supply chain are being demanded.
Amid these large environmental changes, our group took on SBT initiatives in May of 2020 aimed at reducing greenhouse gases, disclosed our sustainable procurement goals for cacao beans and palm oil in June and have been working to strengthen our sustainable business foundation. The CDP, an international not-for-profit environmental organization, has recognized these initiatives and granted our company a AAA rating in the areas of countermeasures related to climate change, deforestation and water security. This makes our company one of only 10 in the world to receive a AAA rating in these three areas, and we have been recognized as one of the corporations leading in sustainability. (We are the first Japanese company to receive a AAA rating.)
Ascertaining that the external environment is going to continue changing with increasing speed, we are working to be more considerate of consumers, as well as to make contributions to resolving the issues that consumers face and to a global sustainable environment. All of this is being done through the promotion of ESG management and through moving forward with Plant-Based Food Solutions (PBFS) as a business.
Core to the promotion of our business is that all group employees embody the spirit of “working for people” laid out in the Fuji Oil Group Management Philosophy. Our group operates in 14 countries with roughly 6,000 employees. We will continue to offer new, sustainable and future-conscious deliciousness as a global company that the world needs through sharing a wide variety of values and business models unique to each region throughout the group as a whole. And, we will grow into a company that the entire world needs.
We at the Fuji Oil Group look forward to receiving your continued support and encouragement in 2021.
Fuji Oil Holdings
President & CEO