Food loss refers to food that can still be eaten but is thrown away. Japan has a low food self-sufficiency rate at around 40% and depends largely on imports for its food. It is also said that around the world there are 800 million people suffering from serious starvation and malnutrition, while food loss continues with 1,300 million tons of food thrown away each year globally and more than 6 million tons thrown away in Japan alone.
Nissui, as part of its corporate responsibility of a company handling food, has designated food loss as one of its key issues . Nissui upholds “working to reduce food losses throughout the entire food chain” as the image it aspires to in 2030, mainly through the Food Loss and Waste Subcommittee, and as its first step, has commenced initiatives to reduce food loss at Nissui and its domestic Group companies. Nissui is addressing this issue from a wide range of perspectives 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.
Medium- to long-term food loss reduction targets (Compared to fiscal 2017)
(to fiscal 2023)
(to fiscal 2030)
|Initiatives to reduce food loss||Nissui and its domestic Group companies||6% reduction (Per unit)||10% reduction (Per unit)|
Between July 2017 and January 2018, a total of 1,133 people took part in our campaign to have people not leave any food over at parties and similar gatherings. Taking the amount of loss saved per person as 100 yen, we donated the total amount saved, 113,300 yen, to the United Nations’ World Food Programme. That money will go towards the Programme’s School Feeding Program to help impoverished children around the world.
In fiscal 2018, these initiatives were expanded throughout the Group. Additionally, “MY BOX” containers (personal food containers made of LIMEX) were distributed within the company to be used to take home left-overs.
Aware of the fact that a full third of the world’s food is discarded, the film’s director created a road trip movie about traveling through five European countries while living off food for which the best-before date had expired, and Nissui held a screening of the film at its head office.
Nissui is proceeding with efforts to rethink the way we display best-before dates to reduce the amount of food that is wasted. For shelf-stable products, we are investigating a change from dates comprising day, month and year, to just month and year. We have also begun work on extending the longevity of our major products, such as frozen foods.
The Nissui “KANKIRIBU” was launched under the slogan of “Do not let tinned food become food loss” (with the cooperation of Food Salvage Inc. ). 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 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.
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 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.