Food loss and waste refers to food that can still be eaten but is thrown away. It is said that there are food loss and waste with 1,300 million tons each year globally. And while Japan has a low food self-sufficiency rate at around 40% and depends largely on imports for its food, more than 6 million tons thrown away each year. On the other hand, the problem of hunger also continues to exist in the world. There are thought to be about 800 million people without access to adequate nutrition.
Nissui group, as part of its corporate responsibility of a company handling food, has designated food loss as one of its key issues. Mainly through the Food Loss and Waste Subcommittee, we are addressing this issue throughout the supply chain, including raising the awareness of its employees and activities involving the general public, as well as reducing loss in the conventional stages of production, distribution and consumption.
* Food bank: A group which brings together food products with no quality problems but are unsuitable for sale, and people who can’t obtain enough food.
In Japan, the Act on Promoting Food Loss and Waste Reduction (Food Loss and Waste Act) was promulgated in May 2019 (enacted in October 2019). We are making more proactive efforts than ever before to contribute to the SDGs target of halving global food waste by 2030 mentioned in the above Act, as well as to seriously address our obligations as a business operator under the law.
The Food Loss and Waste Subcommittee, chaired by the Executive Officer in charge of Technology Development, Product Research & Development, Quality Assurance and CSR, is engaged in initiatives to reduce food loss and waste in the businesses across the domestic Group companies and to raise the awareness of the employees.
Nissui group established its own definition of food loss and waste (Note) and set reduction targets. Our vision for 2030 is to have initiatives in place to reduce food loss and waste throughout the entire supply chain, and we have begun working toward this goal.
Medium- to long-term food loss and waste reduction targets (Compared to fiscal 2017)
(to fiscal 2023)
(to fiscal 2030)
|Results of progress in fiscal 2018|
|Initiatives to reduce food loss and waste||Nissui and its domestic Group companies||Reduction of 6% (Per unit)||Increase of 0.5% (Per unit)||Reduction of 10% (Per unit)|
Nissui is going forward with initiatives to change the labeling of best-before periods in an effort to reduce food loss and waste. All tinned food products excluding private-brand items manufactured on and after July 1, 2019 are labeled with best-before periods expressed in year/month (labeling format has changed from the conventional year/month/day to year/month.) In this labeling process, storage tests were carried out to check how long quality can be maintained, and it was confirmed that the best-before periods could be extended. As a result of these efforts, we can expect more efficient distribution as well as the reduction of food loss and waste on the entire supply chain. The Nissui Group has also begun efforts to significantly extend the best-before periods of other products including frozen-prepared foods for household and commercial uses, bottled foods, and pre-packed foods.
In the process of food manufacturing, merchandise occur on a daily basis that are fine in terms of quality but cannot be distributed on the market as a result of being not up to standard due to irregular shapes and other defects. Hence, at the Himeji General Plant producing precooked frozen foods, etc., a buffet of irregular-shaped products is offered free of charge in the employee cafeteria during lunch time. While efforts continue to be made to reduce the number of irregular-shaped products, the free buffet is a welcome initiative on the part of employees and an example of how the Himeji General Plant is coming up with unique ideas close to home and engaging in activities to reduce food loss.
Since fiscal 2008, Nissui has been donating frozen food to Second Harvest Japan, an NPO that provides food to people in need. Second Harvest Japan plays the role of a food bank for people who cannot get enough food, providing them with foods that have no quality problems but cannot be sold due to being sub selling standards. Going forward, Nissui will continue these activities that lead to providing support to orphanages and mother and child living support facilities, while at the same time reducing the discarding of still-edible food.
On February 6, 2019, Charles E. McJilton, CEO of Second Harvest Japan, was invited to give a lecture to Nissui employees. The lecture provided an opportunity for Nissui, as a member of companies handling food, to learn about the current status of “Hunger and food loss in Japan” and “Food for persons in need” and the actual initiatives taken by Nissui with Second Harvest Japan in the past decade, and to think about how Nissui can contribute through its business and the issues that need to be addressed. One participant commented, “In order to realize a food safety net in Japanese society, it is essential that we grasp the actual state of food loss and hunger without any misconceptions.”
In fiscal 2018, the Nissui “KANKIRIBU” was launched under the slogan of “Do not let tinned food become food loss” (Sponsored by Nippon Suisan Kaisha, Ltd., with the cooperation of Food Salvage Inc.). Following the activities of fiscal 2018, the 4th “KANKIRIBU” was held on June 30, 2019, with 24 participants who applied for the event.
“KANKIRIBU” is an activity that addresses food loss and tinned food. It takes the form of an extracurricular activity in order to address the problem of food loss and waste in the most “fun” way as possible.
Tinned food with long best-before period can be used not only in everyday meals but also as effective emergency provisions. However, because they are stored for a long time, we need to be careful to prevent them from going to waste as a result of not noticing the expiration of their Best-before Periods.
Tinned seafood ranks high among foodstuffs that consumers are not sure what to do with at home (according to a survey by Food Salvage) and in fact, the Nissui Customer Service Center receives calls from customers on how to use tinned food products.
At the “KANKIRIBU”, chefs give lectures, while general applicants, the “extracurricular club members,” learn to cook using “Nissui’s tinned products and foodstuffs that tend to be difficult to deal with.” Participants experience cooking outside of the box and learn ideas on how to prevent food loss.
In fiscal 2018, “KANKIRIBU” events were held three times in Tokyo with a total of 64 participants. Unique dishes that depart from conventional recipes were presented at each event. Another unique feature was the large number of children participants. “KANKIRIBU” welcomes the participation of children, based on its belief that food loss and waste is a problem that needs to be addressed into the future.
Nissui is promoting a campaign to eat everything on our plates when ordering food in restaurants at office summer parties and end-of-the-year parties. The program aims to have as many employees as possible address the problem of food loss, which is one of the key issues to be addressed in CSR management, in a “fun” way. Nissui is also contributing to the support of people around the world suffering from hunger through this activity. Based on the number of participants of the two campaigns conducted in the past, we have set the amount of loss saved per person at 100 yen, and we have donated the amount equivalent to the “number of participants x 100 yen” to the United Nations’ WFP (Note). The donation will go towards the Programme’s School Feeding Program to help impoverished children around the world.
|The number of participants (Persons)||1,133||1,543|
|Donation Amount (Yen)||113,300||154,300|
In fiscal 2018, we expanded these activities to our domestic Group companies and awarded a crystal plaque autographed by President Matono to business locations that were especially proactive in these activities. The plaque is in the shape of a plate.
Additionally, “MY BOX” containers (personal food containers made of LIMEX) were distributed within the company to be used to take home left-overs.