Sojitz Corporation

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Responsibility to Our Clients

In striving to fulfill our responsibility to our clients, here we will introduce the goals, initiatives, and systems which Sojitz has put in place for conducting responsible advertising and marketing.

Initiatives

1) Access to foods with higher nutritional value

Sojitz, in consideration for health and nutrition issues that have received increasing attention in recent years, such as obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and malnutrition, handles a full range of balanced foods and foods with significant ability to improve nutrition. By handling more of these foods, mainly from the processed foods fields, we are helping to provide access to more balanced nutrition.

= Examples of Research Development and Sales =
(1) Example of a health-conscious food product handled by Sojitz: Inulin, a water-soluble dietary fiber
Sojitz promotes the sale of Fuji FF, a water-soluble dietary fiber developed by Sojitz Group company Fuji Seito Co., Ltd.
1. Increase bifidobacteria to regulate digestion
2. Reduce triglycerides
3. Make the rise in blood-sugar levels after eating more gradual
Fuji Seito Co., Ltd. is the first company in the world to discover an enzyme that produces the water-soluble dietary fiber inulin directly from sucrose, and has acquired a patent for the product.

Inulin is one of the naturally occurring polysaccharides that are present widely in plants like burdock, chicory, and Jerusalem artichoke. Inulin has long been used in Europe as a nutrient supplement for the diabetic. Its widespread practical applications include dairy products (yogurt, milk drinks, cheese, cream), fat spread (margarine), western cakes (chocolate, cakes, cookies, crackers, gummies), Japanese cakes, chilled cakes, cereals, bread, prepared mixes, drinks, and meat and vegetables. Beyond its physical improvement properties, inulin is also receiving attention as a dietary fiber and for its physiologically useful features such as proliferation of bifidobacteria, with high expectations for its use as a food and in a wide range of other fields.

Through sales of water-soluble dietary fiber inulin Fuji FF, Sojitz is working to solve health and nutrition related issues, including obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and malnutrition.
(2) Healthcare solutions
Sojitz procures and sells natural food ingredients and products for the prevention and treatment of chronic and pre-symptomatic health conditions. We have a complete value chain for fish-oil derived products, encompassing everything from raw ingredients to final products (ranging from health foods to medical products). These include DHA, effective in reducing triglycerides and cholesterol and preventing arteriosclerosis, and EPA, which works against hyperlipidemia and high blood pressure. Through the sale of these functional foods, we are striving to solve nutrition issues and help improve quality of life.

Organization

Sojitz’s approach for maintaining food safety and security

In order to handle increased consumer concern for food safety, and to manage increasing food logistics risks resulting from the acceleration of globalization, in April 2008 Sojitz became the first general trading company to establish a Quality Assurance Office(*1) in its Foods Division. We continue to undertake effective initiatives to maintain the safety and security of food.
*1 The Quality Assurance Office is currently in charge of quality assurance for food product businesses within the Foods & Agriculture Business Division and Retail & Lifestyle Business Division. We also undertake these same quality assurance initiatives for processed food products planned and developed by Sojitz Group companies.

For example, we have set up a registration system for suppliers requiring food safety certification in accordance with HACCP*, an internationally-recognized approach which will become legally required within the next few years in Japan. We conduct factory audits, production floor visits, food labeling verification of products for which Sojitz is responsible, as well as centralized management of information relating to consumer complaints.

Furthermore, as China is still a major global supplier of food, we established the Quality Assurance Office's China Branch Office in May 2008. We have full-time quality assurance staff to continually conduct factory audits and production floor visits within the country and provide information to factories.

For sales staff that work directly with our clients, we hold meetings to share information on food safety, conduct e-Learning courses, and hand out food safety handbooks. Going beyond food labeling laws and regulations, we educate employees on points to take note of for responsible food labeling, as well as basic knowledge for managing quality and sanitation.

Sojitz Foods Corporation, a 100% equity interest of Sojitz Corporation, handles products targeted to general consumers. In accordance with an originally designed program, the company undertakes initiatives for employee education and proper food labeling in compliance with laws and regulations.
Link: http://www.sojitz-foods.com/corp/quality.html

Sojitz Group will continue to provide a stable supply of safety-assured foods.

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= Check of labeling and phrasing =
At Sojitz, the Quality Assurance Office checks labeling and phrasing on products and promotional display items from a variety of perspectives, including various laws and regulations, safety, social responsibility, and environmental issues. Through these checks we identify latent risks and problems, and provide guidance for making improvements. Furthermore, we make use of these checks in our daily work by keeping records of areas for which we provide guidance for improvement, including reports from related departments on response methods.

Participation in External Initiatives

1) Taking part in the RSPO
In the year ending March 31st, 2014, Sojitz joined the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) which works to promote the use of sustainable palm oil, with consideration for the impact on the environment and fair relationships with workers and small-scale farms.

2) Participation in consortiums and initiatives on food safety

1.
The Quality Assurance Office, which supports the Foods & Agriculture Business Division and Retail & Lifestyle Business Division, strives to ensure the safety and reliability of foods and food products handled by Sojitz, including processed foods. In order to maintain and improve its quality assurance functions, the Office is affiliated with the following external organizations to gather and exchange information.
◆ Association for the Safety of Imported Food, Japan (ASIF)
A group of concerned companies involved with importing, manufacturing, distribution, and sales formed ASIF in November 1988, beginning to work towards solving imported food safety issues.

These activities led to the ASIF receiving permission from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in September 1992 to become an incorporated association. ASIF received authorization to become a public interest corporation on April 1st, 2011.

ASIF is involved in a wide variety of activities to support food vendors in fulfilling the social responsibility of “delivering safe and secure imported foods.”

    URL: http://www.asif.or.jp/ (Japanese only)
◆ Marine Food Hygiene Council
As preparations were underway for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the Association was established in 1962 to contribute to the development of the industry and protect the well-being of citizens, striving to improve the sanitation quality of seafood and to increase cooperation and strengthen bonds between members.
◆ The Organization of Japan Food Safety Support
The Organization of Japan Food Safety Support gathers and exchanges information on policy issues regarding food safety in Japan, making policy proposals as deemed necessary. Striving to contribute to the promotion of food safety policies, the Association regularly holds seminars together with businesses and government organizations involved with foods.
    URL: http://www.japan-group.or.jp/fs/association/ (Japanese only)
◆ Tokyo Plant Quarantine Association (TPQA)
The TPQA was established to enable smooth, proper, and timely plant quarantine procedures in Tokyo Bay, with services including carrying out and also centralizing plant quarantine procedures.
    URL: http://www.tokyo-syokken.gr.jp/ (Japanese only)

2.
We have set up a registration system for suppliers requiring food safety certification in accordance with HACCP, an internationally recognized approach which will become legally required within the next few years in Japan.
Furthermore, we encourage project companies to obtain international food safety certifications, such as ISO22000. Below are organizations that have obtained such certifications.


◆ Sojitz Tuna Farm Takashima Corporation: ISO22000
      URL: http://www.sojitz-tunafarm.com/fishinggrounds/

◆ Dalian Global Food Corporation: ISO22000, BRC
      URL: http://www.xxmaguro.com/jap/col.jsp?id=101

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