Policy on Responsible Advertising and Marketing
In accordance with the spirit grounded in “Fairness, Innovation and Harmony,” the Marubeni Group is proudly committed to social and economic development and safeguarding the global environment by conducting fair and upright corporate activities. As such, Marubeni carries out responsible advertising and marketing activities. Through public relations, we build relationships of trust with our stakeholders, and by keeping an open mind and an ear to the ground, we will respond to the needs of society through our business activities.
In order to convey the proper brand image to our stakeholders, we have established internal regulations for responsible advertising. In particular, in accordance with the Marubeni Group Compliance Manual, the expressions used in and the content of Marubeni Group advertising must give due consideration to such issues as slander, discrimination, exaggeration, religious or political beliefs, the environment, third party private information, personal information and intellectual property rights.
We take sufficient consideration not to include misleading expressions in our marketing. We conduct our marketing activities in a fair and transparent manner, respecting the rights of our customers. In practicing this, we have established an implementation system that reflects the Marubeni Group Compliance Manual and other internal regulations.
Issues and Approaches in the Food Business
In the food sector, which provides support for people in their daily lives, the Marubeni Group is engaged in a wide range of businesses both in Japan and overseas, supplying a wide range of products to meet the diversifying needs of the times. Through our involvement in downstream operations we gain a timely grasp of the latest market trends and provide feedback to midstream and upstream producers, food processors and distributors, in order to build supply chains based on product procurement and development that reflects the increasingly sophisticated and diversified needs of consumers. In addition, as a general trading company, we are able to leverage our global network to procure products while ensuring “food safety and security”.
丸红集团已经建立了广泛的价值链ranges from the procurement of raw materials to the delivery of products and services to consumers. As well as contributing to “food safety and security”, we also address nutritional issues by offering food products with superior functionality. In promoting our food business, we are aware of the various issues involved (see table below), and we are working to reduce negative impacts on “food safety and security” and sustainability by implementing controls and awareness-raising activities to address these issues.
|Key Issues||Major Themes||Management Controls and Awareness|
|Ensuring consumer food safety and hygiene||Safety of imported, processed and fresh foods
(foreign substances, pesticide residues, pathogenic microbial contamination, quality deterioration, and food additives, genetic modification, etc.)
|Responsible marketing of food products||Compliance with food-related laws and regulations
(including labeling of allergens and food additives)
|Responsible marketing of alcoholic beverages||Information on prevention of alcohol consumption by those who are underage and pregnant women||In-house training on liquor tax laws, etc.|
|Ensuring nutritionally balanced food for consumers||Nutritional balance considerations for the elderly||Gathering feedback from dietitians and patients, and promoting the development of products tailored to disease conditions|
Policy on Initiatives for Food Safety and Reliability
In the Food Business, the Marubeni Group supplies a wide range of products to meet the increasingly diverse needs of the times. In a number of our businesses, through our ownership of manufacturing and processing facilities, we have built an extensive value chain stretching from raw material procurement to delivery of products and services to consumers. In this way, we are contributing to food safety and reliability, while addressing nutrition issues by providing food products with outstanding functionality.
Policy and Approach regarding Access to Better Nutrition
These days societies in developed countries are facing issues such as undernourishment and malnutrition, where people are lacking vital nutrients even when there is no shortage of food; rising numbers of patients with lifestyle-related diseases due to diets that are high in carbohydrates and salt; and undernourishment among the elderly. In developing countries, hunger and undernourishment caused by poverty and other factors are also social issues. Furthermore, with the global population expected to reach 10 billion by 2050, the associated food crisis is a serious problem. We recognize that meeting nutritional needs so that people can lead healthy lives and ensuring that food is of sufficient quality is one of the major challenges facing the international community, and is also an important issue for our group in promoting our food business.
The Marubeni Group will contribute to solving these social issues by improving nutrition through the stable supply of food and providing foods and services with high added value in nutritional terms, thereby creating a society where people can live healthy and prosperous lives.
- Through its business the Marubeni Group will provide stable access to good quality sources of nutrition.
- The Marubeni Group aims to develop and supply specialty products that have high added value and meet diverse needs, including health- and nutrition-conscious products, and environmental and ethical consumption.
Policy on Environmental and Social Initiatives in the Real Estate Business
The Marubeni Group’s business activities contribute to solving environmental and social issues with the aim of providing people with comfortable places to live.
For the environment, in design, construction and property management, we not only apply existing environmental measures, but also take steps to improve energy efficiency and energy-saving performance in materials procurement as well as our various facilities and systems. In this way, we are helping to realize a low-carbon society and curb global warming.
For society, in every aspect of design, construction, and property management, we build relationships with tenants, the region, and communities, working together with them to tackle social issues. In urban redevelopment projects, we cooperate with stakeholders to create neighborhoods that contribute to the local community as a whole, thereby contributing to sustainable regional development.
Compliance System for Ensuring Safety and Reliability of Processed Food Products and Beverages
Marubeni has joined the Association for the Safety of Imported Food, Japan and the Japan Food Hygiene Association to keep pace with industry trends. Regarding technologies, we have been working in partnership with external specialists since 2004, thus accumulating expertise on food safety and hygiene management. In particular, we ensure the safety of imported agricultural, livestock, and marine produce and imported processed food products by gathering information and checking safety on our own. We also have our specialist investigators perform plant inspections of overseas suppliers.
If a food safety-related incident does occur, we have systems in place to implement immediate response measures in communication with relevant government agencies and suppliers. These initiatives help to build awareness of food safety among overseas suppliers, leading to the improvement of safety measures throughout our supply chain.
System to Control Supplier Risks
Marubeni considers “protection of consumer health” and “ensuring the safety and reliability of foods” as its highest priorities in the food business. To this end, we utilize our unique supplier management form, the “Supplier Checklist,” to mitigate risks, as part of our efforts to ensure food safety and control our food supply chain. Specifically, we identify risks of suppliers meeting certain conditions from the standpoint of related laws and food safety, failure to deliver, human rights violations, the environment, and other factors.
Number of Supplier Checklists Submitted
|FYE 3/2019||FYE 3/2020||FYE 3/2021||FYE 3/2022||FYE 3/2023|
Food Plant Inspections by Specialists
Marubeni imports various foods and grains from around the world by requiring a certain level of quality and hygiene control from supplier food plants. When starting transactions with a new supplier, we dispatch our specialists to its overseas food plant and have them inspect the quality, hygiene control, and other factors by using the Own Factory Inspection Sheet based on a program of Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). The system has been designed so that if the plant does not meet the acceptability criteria, transactions cannot commence until improvements are made based on the inspection findings and the criteria are met through repeated inspections.
Even after the commencement of transactions, we focus on food safety, by conducting regular inspections once every two to three years, in addition to carrying out inspections when changes are made to manufacturing lines or manufacturing methods, or when complaints exceeding a certain level are received.
Number of Inspections of Food Plants
|FYE 3/2019||FYE 3/2020||FYE 3/2021||FYE 3/2022||FYE 3/2023|
Managing the Risk of Residual Pesticide in Agricultural Produce and the Traceability Management System
Measures to reduce the risk of residual pesticide used in agricultural produce is one of Marubeni’s priority issues. To ensure that residual pesticide in imported agricultural produce does not exceed the residual pesticide standards set in the Food Sanitation Act, an inquiry is conducted and internal approval is obtained prior to the commencement of transactions.
在调查中,我们使用“农产品Traceability Sheet” to identify the farmer and the pesticides and conduct onsite surveys of the surrounding farmland (to monitor the crops being cultivated and the pesticides being used), as well as carry out general inspections through a sampling of residual pesticide, etc. And transactions will commence only after the results of this inquiry are verified by a pesticide expert commissioned by Marubeni and confirmation is given that the risk of residual pesticide is low.
Number of Agricultural Produce Traceability Sheets Submitted
|FYE 3/2019||FYE 3/2020||FYE 3/2021||FYE 3/2022||FYE 3/2023|
Training to Ensure Food Safety and Reliability
确保员工接受适当的培训ing and that relevant information is shared, the food related Divisions hold internal Group training for all newly assigned employees once or twice annually, and quarterly Group compliance liaison meetings with Group companies. We also hold seminars twice annually on selected topics and issues related to food safety, such as ensuring the safety of food product imports. Group companies and suppliers were invited to participate in the seminar as part of our efforts to raise awareness of food safety.
Efforts for Appropriate Food Labeling
Food labels are an important source of information for consumers when choosing food products, so that they can understand the contents and use the products properly.
In order to ensure that the food products we handle are labeled appropriately, Marubeni has implemented specifications and food labeling verification rules drawn up by external experts. We also conduct regular training by external experts in order to maintain and improve the level of knowledge of food labeling in each sales department and to share information on revisions to laws and regulations.
Initiatives for Functional Ingredients
As an example of our initiatives on food safety and reliability, at Group company Toyo Sugar Refining Co., Ltd. we produce and sell various types of sugar, as well as functional ingredients such as Rutin and Hesperidin that can be used in food products, beverages, supplements, and cosmetics.
We will proceed to develop new products, making full use of our proprietary enzyme processing technologies and accumulated expertise, while addressing nutrition issues through the sale of these functional ingredients.
Addressing Negative Impacts of Processed Foods and Beverages
＜Initiatives at Marubeni Service Corporation＞
Activities against the Negative Effects of Alcoholic Beverages
Marubeni Service Corporation, a consolidated subsidiary of Marubeni Corporation, is committed to reducing the negative effects of alcoholic beverages, including acute alcohol poisoning caused by excessive alcohol consumption. In addition to limiting the quantity of alcoholic beverages sold at any one time to customers 20 years of age and older, we are also actively working to sell products with fewer negative effects, such as non-alcoholic products and alcoholic beverages with lower alcohol content.
Efforts to Reduce Negative Impacts on Socially Vulnerable Groups
Marubeni Service Corporation is implementing the following initiatives to reduce negative impacts on socially vulnerable groups.
Preventing the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages to Persons under 20 Years of Age
Alcohol consumption by people under 20 years of age has a number of negative effects, including those on health, such as impeding physical growth, causing dependence to form earlier than in adults, and making people who start drinking at a younger age more likely to engage in risky behaviors related to alcohol consumption later in life.
As a responsible business operator, Marubeni Service Corporation, which sells alcoholic beverages, recognizes that drinking alcohol can have these negative effects on people under the age of 20. We take the following precautionary measures and work diligently to prevent the negative effects of alcohol consumption on people under the age of 20 and other vulnerable groups in society.
1. Regular Employee Training
In order to eliminate the negative effects of alcohol consumption on those under 20 years of age, Marubeni Service Corporation regularly educates its employees and reminds its customers not to sell alcoholic beverages to those under 20 years of age. In addition, the person in charge of sales also regularly attends a liquor sales management course and displays a liquor sales management sign on the sales floor to show that he/she is responsible for the sale of alcoholic beverages.
2. Reminder to Customers
我们提醒客户通过展示海报和经销ributing tissues with leaflets stating that we do not sell alcoholic beverages to persons under 20 years of age.
3. Age Verification at the Cash Register
To prevent the sale of alcoholic beverages to persons under 20 years of age, we always check the age of customers when selling alcoholic beverages.
Participation in Industry Initiatives on Alcohol Safety
Marubeni Service Corporation is a member of the Tokyo Liquor Retailers Association, which is concerned about the negative effects of alcohol on vulnerable groups in society, such as alcohol dependence, acute alcohol poisoning, lifestyle-related diseases and other health problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption, and drinking by people under 20 years old. Through membership of this association we obtain the latest information on industry developments, including laws and regulations related to the sale of alcoholic beverages which we should be aware of as an alcoholic beverage vendor, thereby contributing to the maintenance and improvement of a proper drinking environment and ultimately to the welfare of the public.
＜Initiatives at Montoile Co., Ltd.＞
Developing and Providing Products and Services that Appeal to Health and Eliminate Negative Influences
Our consolidated subsidiary Montoile Co., Ltd. develops and sells low-carbohydrate products and products that supplement nutrients that are often deficient, in order to address social issues such as unbalanced nutrition related to lifestyle changes, and the increasing number of patients with lifestyle-related diseases such as obesity. Montoile also conducts product planning aimed at supporting women.
We sell the “Low Carb Store” series, which specializes in low carbohydrate confectionery products that have been developed in pursuit of deliciousness. The series has been well received under the slogan, “The snack you don't have to skimp on”.
We design and sell tasty and healthy products to support women, mainly using low-carbohydrate ingredients and focusing on ingredients and taste. In addition to displaying nutritional content and developing a wide lineup of ingredient snacks as “good-to-eat snacks”, the company also supports women as a backer of the Pink Ribbon, an initiative aimed at eliminating breast cancer. We sell our products at affordable prices and have received favorable reviews.
High Nutrition Food Initiatives
＜Initiatives at Marubeni Foods Corporation＞
A Comprehensive Approach to the Health Food Market
伴随着重大的社会变革,反对cept of “self-medication”, where people take care of their own health, has become widely accepted, and consumers' interest in health is increasing day by day. In response to these market needs, Marubeni Foods Corporation has been actively marketing health maintenance products and health-related products to pharmacies and drug stores through its nationwide sales network. With a comprehensive approach to the health food market, they also supply ingredients to manufacturers.
Focus on Therapeutic Meals and Smile Care Foods in an Aging Society
With the progression of the aging society, Marubeni Foods Corporation is focusing on areas such as therapeutic meals and smile care foods (nursing care meals), that support healthy and comfortable aging. By collecting feedback from dietitians and patients in the field and promoting product development tailored to their conditions, sales of hospital foods, nutritionally adjusted foods, and soft foods to hospitals, welfare facilities for the elderly and home patients reached 42 million units in the fiscal year 2022.
- Various health foods
- Hospital and therapeutic foods
- Smile Care Meals (nursing care meals)
Participation in Initiatives to Reduce Negative Impacts of Processed Foods
Marubeni Foods Corporation is a member of the Eat & Fun Health Association, which aims to reduce the negative effects of excessive carbohydrate intake, and is involved in various activities as a “low-carb” partner to spread awareness of carbohydrate-restricted diets and practices.
Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Signed by Asset Management Company
Japan REIT Advisors Co., Ltd. (JRA), a Marubeni Group company in the real estate asset management business, has been conducting the investment management for United Urban Investment Corporation (UUR). In November 2018, JRA signed the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and became a PRI signatory.
Click here for details on PRI
News Release: Japan REIT Advisors Co., Ltd. Recognized as a Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) Signatory
As a diversified J-REIT, UUR aims to reduce various risks and secure medium- to long-term stable earnings by making real estate investments in diverse assets and locations in each regional economic zone with the focus on the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. Aiming for the realization of a society that is sustainable, diverse and inclusive, UUR and JRA have been engaged in real estate investment and management with consideration for ESG. Upon acquisition of real estate properties, JRA will conduct adequate due diligence and carefully examines not only profitability but also impact on the environment (e.g. asbestos, soil contamination), tenants (e.g. antisocial forces, labor environment), and surrounding area (e.g. relationship with the relevant community, influence of traffic congestion on surrounding environment, etc.) before making investment decisions.
One of the metrics to manage climate-related risks and opportunities is the environment certification coverage rate for the portfolio of United Urban. We set a medium-term target of an 80% rate (based on gross floor area) by 2024. As a result of acquiring new environmental certifications and continued efforts to re-acquire them for properties for which they would expire, we had reached 75.1% as of May 31, 2023.
As a result of these initiatives, In the 2022 GRESB Real Estate Assessment, the annual benchmark that assesses sustainability practices in the real estate sector, United Urban received “4 Stars” in GRESB Rating, which is based on GRESB Overall Score and its quintile position relative to global participants for the second consecutive year. It also won the “Green Star” designation for the eighth consecutive year by achieving high performance both in “Management Component” that evaluates policies and organizational structure for ESG promotion, and “Performance Component” that assesses environmental performance and tenant engagement of properties owned.
In the MSCI ESG ratings, United Urban received an “AA” rating, the second highest of seven ratings, and has been added to the constituents of MSCI Japan ESG Select Leaders Index.
UUR and JRA will continue to make further efforts to achieve asset management that considers ESG in the future.
Participation in Initiatives
Japan Food Additives Association
The Japan Food Additives Association (JAFA) is comprised of companies and organizations that are involved in the production, import, sale and use of food additives in Japan. The association was established in October 1982 as a nation-wide consolidated body with the addition of new members.
JAFA works under the guidance of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and other related government agencies with the objectives of providing members with accurate knowledge pertaining to the production, sale, and use of food additives, and promoting consumer understanding of safety and utility. In addition, JAFA seeks to contribute to the sound development of food-related industries, and to better consumer dietary habits and public hygiene.
The Marubeni Group gathers information about the safety and functionality of food additives from JAFA, and conducts its businesses appropriately, receiving advice on matters such as labeling for food additives and interpretations of the relevant laws.
All Japan Coffee Fair Trade Conference
The All Japan Coffee Fair Trade Conference formulated the Fair Competition Code for Labeling of Regular Coffee and Instant Coffee Products, designed to aid consumers in the purchase of regular coffee and instant coffee products. The code was recognized by the Japan Fair Trade Commission on November 13, 1991, and a notification was published in the Kanpo (the official gazette of the Japanese Government) on November 27, with full enforcement starting from May 28, 1993.
On November 29, 1991, the conference was inaugurated as a discretionary body with membership consisting of coffee-related business operators who agree with the objectives of the conference. It is dedicated to ensuring the fair labeling of coffee products.
The Marubeni Group receives advice regarding coffee labeling and related matters from the All Japan Coffee Fair Trade Conference.
Japan Soft Drink Association
The Japan Soft Drink Association is an industry organization that prioritizes shared benefit and public good. The association aims to ensure rigorous compliance with laws and regulations among soft drink manufacturers, sellers, and related businesses, and facilitates smooth coordination of activities between association members and the government. It also promotes, supports, and provides guidance on corporate social responsibility, encourages healthy consumption of soft drinks, and spreads awareness and knowledge relating to soft drinks.
Through the Japan Soft Drink Association, the Marubeni Group receives advice on matters such as beverage labeling and quality management.
Society of Soft Drink Technologists, Japan
软饮料的技术专家,日本的社会launched in 1992 with the objective of providing a forum for soft drink technologists and researchers to meet and exchange information, while furthering technological innovation and skill development. The society works to provide technical support so that the soft drink industry can continue to develop in harmony with the public interest.
Through the Society of Soft Drink Technologists, Japan the Marubeni Group receives advice on matters such as beverage labeling and quality management.
Association for the Safety of Imported Food, Japan
Companies engaging in the import, production, distribution, or sales of food volunteered to form an association and began activities in November 1988. They established this association with the aim of doing all they could to improve problems related to securing imported food safety.
认可的成就,association became an incorporated association in September 1992 with the approval of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (now known as the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare). Further, on April 1, 2011, it was authorized as a public interest corporation and became the Association for the Safety of Imported Food, Japan. It engages in a wide range of activities to help food business operators to fulfill their social responsibility to deliver safe, secure imported food.
The Marubeni Group collects information about the safety of imported processed food and fresh food (including information about residual agricultural chemicals, food additives, and genetic modification) through the Association for the Safety of Imported Food, Japan. We reflect the contents of the information in checking new business partners and suppliers and in conducting factory audits of suppliers, thus promoting the safety of imported food.
Japan Food Hygiene Association
The Food Sanitation Act was established in 1947 to address hazards resulting from eating and drinking and contribute to improving and promoting public health. On November 1, 1948, companies engaged in food-related businesses established the Japan Food Hygiene Association, an incorporated association, for the purpose of cooperating with the government in line with the purpose of the Food Sanitation Act and implementing voluntary sanitation management.
Since its establishment, this association has been engaged in a number of activities for the benefit of the public through its organizations all over Japan. They include the activities of food hygiene instructors for food business operators, which are aimed at improving food hygiene and establishing a voluntary management system, food testing and inspection, the promotion of food business operators' mutual aid system to be used when paying indemnities, the holding of various training sessions, the distribution and dissemination of books on food hygiene, the provision of information to consumers, and the promotion of international cooperation and research related to food hygiene.
The Marubeni Group is striving to improve food hygiene and its management systems related to securing the safety of processed food, by referring to guidelines and the latest information provided by the Japan Food Hygiene Association.
Collaborating with Stakeholders
Collaboration with Business Partners to Recycle Food Waste and Reduce Resource Usage
With the aim of realizing a recycling-based society, the Marubeni Group is promoting recycling of food waste and reduction of resource usage through collaboration with its business partners (waste generators, processors, consumers, etc.).
Example of Initiatives: Recycling of food waste
We continuously supply recycled feedstuff made from the inedible parts of marine/livestock products and food production by-products to formula feed manufacturers. Additionally, products made from livestock and fish fed with formula feed are sold to general consumers through Marubeni Group sales channels. Through these efforts, Marubeni realizes a recycling loop. We also collect waste edible oil from business activities such as supermarkets and convenience stores. Purified oil and fat made with this oil are supplied to chemical manufacturers as raw material for resin, paint, soap, etc.
Example of Initiatives: Collaboration with FANCL CORPORATION - Closed Loop Recycling of Used Cardboard*1
Marubeni Corporation, and its subsidiary companies Marubeni Forest LinX Co., Ltd., Marubeni Paper Recycle Co., Ltd., and Koa Kogyo Co., Ltd. (hereinafter “the four Marubeni Group companies”), are providing FANCL CORPORATION (hereinafter “FANCL”) with a circular economy*2model that collects and recycles used cardboard boxes generated at FANCL’s distribution centers.
This initiative involves collecting used cardboard from FANCL’s distribution centers and using it as raw material for 100% recycled paper which is then made into paper bags. The four Marubeni Group companies manage the entire process within the Group, from the collection of used cardboard to the supply of raw materials, production of recycled paper, and arranging the manufacture of paper bags. The paper bags produced through this initiative will be used at all FANCL directly-managed stores and for online sales from April 1, 2023. The four Marubeni Group companies will continue to encourage consumer interest in a circular economy society and contribute to its realization by promoting initiatives to recycle various types of used paper into familiar paper products, utilizing the Group’s comprehensive strengths.
- Recycling used materials collected by the company for reuse in the company’s own operations.
- Circular economy is an economic system in which products, raw materials, and other resources that would otherwise be discarded in conventional economic activities are considered “resources” and are recycled or reused in other ways to circulate resources.