Policy and Basic Approach
As a general trading company engaged across a wide range of business fields, Sojitz Group’s mission is to deliver goods and services to meet customer needs.
Sojitz Group provides a wide range of functions and value throughout all areas of the supply chain, including resource development, manufacturing and processing, wholesale and distribution, retail, and other services. The Group’s business activities therefore include B2B and B2C transactions with corporate clients and consumers.
At Sojitz, we are committed to providing our customers and society with safe and reliable goods and services, and Sojitz Group’s quality management initiatives reflect our dedication to understanding and responding to customer needs.
While each of Sojitz’s business fields employ different methods for quality management, the Group has established the “Sojitz Group Quality Management Policy” to raise awareness for all Group employees and promote the practice standardized quality management within the Group.
Sojitz Group Quality Management Policy
Sojitz Group Quality Management Initiatives
Sojitz Group’s mission as a general trading company is to deliver goods and services to meet customer needs. By taking a proactive approach to grasp the true needs of the market, Sojitz aims to contribute to people’s lives and to society by creating value and prosperity through its business activities.
We are committed to providing our customers and society with safe and reliable goods and services. Sojitz Group’s quality management initiatives reflect our dedication to understanding and responding to customer needs.
Quality Management Policy
- Integrity and Trust
Sojitz will act in good faith to meet the quality standards of its customers and society. We seek to build enduring trust through our constant efforts to realize these expectations.
As people's values and social environments change, companies are faced with new requirements for quality. We will meet these new standards by continuing to implement appropriate quality management systems, including updating our methods based on technological innovation.
- Strong Human Capital
Quality management issues not only affect our direct customers and suppliers, but also have an impact on society as a whole. We will strengthen our human capital to carry out quality management practices and deliver goods and services that meet true market needs, in order to continue to create value and prosperity.
We strive to offer fair and comprehensive information and explanations related to the goods and services provided in order to fulfill our accountability to customers and to society.
- Compliance with Agreements and Legal Regulations
Sojitz pledges to uphold its promise to provide customers with quality goods and services. In addition, we fully understand and act in compliance with legal regulations related to quality management.
Scope of Policy
This policy applies to the quality management of all goods and services handled by Sojitz Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries.
Revisions to the Policy
Sojitz Group will review and revise this policy as necessary based on social issues in each country and region, changes in people’s values and lifestyles, technological innovations, and the expansion of the Group’s business fields.
Date Policy Adopted
October 22, 2021
Sojitz established the Quality Management Committee in FY2021 as an organization to ensure company-wide quality management of the goods and services we provide to our customers. The Quality Management Committee is an executing body under the supervision of the president & CEO, and the committee reports its planned annual activities and status of business execution to the Management Committee and Board of Directors and receives directives and guidance from the Board of Directors. Based on the specific needs of each business, specialized quality management organizations are set up within Sojitz’s business divisions in order to maintain and increase quality.
Quality Management System
*Specialized quality management organizations refer to the Quality Assurance Office and other specialized organizations within operating companies. For more information, please see Initiatives.
Sojitz conducts autonomous and responsible quality management at each business site, and the Quality Management Committee performs comprehensive business monitoring for the Group.
Quality Management Committee Members (as of April 1st, 2022)
The Quality Management Committee is an executing body under the supervision of the president & CEO who appoints an executive officer to chair the committee, which is comprised of general managers from the Planning & Administration Office for each business division.
Sojitz Group’s ISO 9001 Certification Status
Sojitz Group conducts quality management for its diverse business fields based on the aforementioned policy and basic approach. As one example of quality management, we introduce Sojitz’s initiatives for maintaining food safety and security.
Sojitz’s approach for maintaining food safety and security
Our company was the first general trading company to establish a Quality Assurance Office(*1) within our business division in April 2008 to handle increased consumer concern for food safety and to manage increasing food logistics risks resulting from the acceleration of globalization. We will continue to undertake effective initiatives to maintain the safety and security of food.
*1 The Quality Assurance Office is currently in charge of food safety management for food product businesses within the Retail & Consumer Service Division and Consumer Industry & Agriculture 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 was implemented in Japan from June 2021 in response to the amendments to Japan’s Food Sanitation Act. 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.
Sojitz Group will continue to provide a stable supply of safety-assured foods.
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
Participation in consortiums and initiatives on food safety
The Quality Assurance Office, which supports the Retail & Consumer Service Division and Consumer Industry & Agriculture 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 1988to 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.
ご参照https://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.
ご参照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.
For food product transactions undertaken by the Retail & Consumer Service Division and Consumer Industry & Agriculture Business Division in both Japan and overseas, we have set up a registration system for suppliers requiring food safety certification in accordance with HACCP, an internationally recognized approach which was implemented in Japan from June 2021 in response to the amendments to Japan’s Food Sanitation Act.
Furthermore, we encourage project companies to obtain international food safety certifications, such as FSSC22000. Below are organizations that have obtained such certifications.
Sojitz Tuna Farm Takashima Corporation: FSSC22000, ISO22000, SCSA
Dalian Global Food Corporation: ISO22000, BRC, HACCP,EU HACCP, ETI, FDA, MSC
Nippon Premium Bakery Inc.： GMP,HACCP
Sojitz Food Corporation: HACCP