We hope that becoming familiar from childhood with how foods are made will encourage an interest in monozukuri (manufacturing). We also hope that children will learn the importance of diet and become more fond of eating fish. With these hopes, we have opened our four food manufacturing plants –Hachioji General Plant, Himeji General Plant, Anjo Plant and Tobata Plant – to local elementary school children for factory visits to learn about food. In FY2019, the four plants welcomed approximately 2,200 visitors. Hachioji General Plant also provides hands-on food manufacturing experiences for local children and parents.
Tour of Anjo Plant
Saiki City, Oita Prefecture, where the Oita Marine Biological Technology Center is located, has always had a thriving fishery industry. The Oita Marine Biological Technology Center, which specializes in aquaculture, has been established in such an area, and in order to better acquaint the community with this research facility, it accepts elementary school children on educational field trips and offers workplace experience to junior high school students. The program has been designed so that it will motivate children to take an interest in fishery and aquaculture, in the hopes that future researchers will be born from those who take part.
On November 28, 2019, the Oita Marine Biological Technology Center welcomed seven third-graders from Matsuura Elementary School, Saiki City, and conducted a program for the children to get to know the research being conducted on fish. After hearing a presentation on the Center and aquaculture research, the children observed the test fish being bred at the Center, as well as experiencing fish feeding and looking at the plankton used for the feed under microscopes. The children asked many questions on fish feeding and the feed and seemed to be very interested in fish research. Afterward, the children sent in many letters as feedback.
On August 1, 2019, the Oita Marine Biological Technology Center conducted a workplace experience program as part of an exchange sponsored by the Oita Prefecture Junior High School Cultural Association. 25 students from around ten schools from Beppu City, Oita City, and Saiki City participated. In addition to taking a tour around the Center and looking through microscopes, the students experienced sampling lab work in which they measured and dissected the young yellowtail. The program was a huge success with the students asking a lot of questions and surprising even the Center’s researchers with their enthusiasm for conducting the lab work.
On August 23, 2019, the Anjo Plant held a factory visit and risk communication program sponsored by the Medical Department of the Aichi Prefectural Government. The program gave “A Lesson on Proper Handwashing Using Checkers” for families selected from the general public.
The participants not only learned that thoroughly washing hands prevented food poisoning but also experienced first hand through a visit of the actual manufacturing site that food factories are taking various measures to prevent germs from entering the manufacturing site and that such efforts are leading to the prevention of food loss due to contamination by germs.
The participants voiced such opinions as, “The food factory is taking more precautions than I thought in controlling hygiene,” and “I was glad I was able to visit a food factory.” This also provided a good opportunity for the employees of the plant to enhance their awareness of food safety.
On November 28, 2019, the Nissui Group company, Seinan Suisan Co., Ltd., invited eleven third- and fourth-graders from the local elementary school in Saiki City to a program called “Fish Education and the Work of a Fish Farming Company.” The students deepened their knowledge of the world’s tuna by answering questions in a quiz and later listened to a lecture on the work of tuna farming, which is one of the businesses of the company, and observed the tuna being bred there. The students taking in the rare sight of live tuna could not hide their excitement and commented, “Wow, they are so big,” and “They are awesome,” and also asked such honest questions as, “Why did you think of farming tuna, in the first place?” Afterward, the students sent in many letters as feedback. Going forward, Seinan Suisan hopes to offer even more opportunities for students to learn about local work through Fish Education and to conduct more local exchanges.
The Nissui Group company, King & Prince Seafood Corp. (USA, “K&P”) has been holding 2-day programs called “Seafood University.” The program communicates an overview of K&P, the products of K&P, selling tips, and initiatives for sustainability through the plant tour and the shrimp boat educational cruise.
Employees, suppliers and customers of K&P take part in this activity, which began in 1976, and more than 4,400 people, to date, have “graduated” from the “Seafood University.” This provides an opportunity to communicate K&P’s initiatives by involving the stakeholders, and has been recognized by the participants as being “an outstanding training program, standing out from other manufacturers who do similar training.”