Contributing to Society through Food
The child-raising environment is undergoing major changes amid trends such as the shift towards nuclear families, households where both parents work, and single-parent families. Child poverty has also emerged as an issue in recent years, and there is a growing need for multi-faceted child-rearing support. Establishing healthy dietary habits during childhood fosters a healthy personality, forming the basis for lifelong health. Meanwhile, it has become an important social challenge to extend healthy life expectancy as societies age, in order to improve individual quality of life and prevent social losses. In the aim of resolving issues such as assuring mental and physical health for children and extending healthy life expectancy, the Kewpie Group helps to create better societies through both its business activities and social contribution initiatives focused on dietary education.
Dietary Educational Activities
The Kewpie Group conveys food safety and security and the enjoyment and importance of food through food educational activities. We launched “Open Kitchen” factory tours in 1961, and since 2002 we have sent instructors to elementary schools throughout Japan to run “Mayonnaise Classes.”
Support for Food Bank Activities
According to statistics published by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, around 6.46 million tons of food is wasted per year (estimates in fiscal 2017) in Japan, despite still being edible. Meanwhile, many people struggle to consume adequate meals. Since 2007, the Kewpie Group has supported food bank* activities run by the NPO Second Harvest Japan and donated goods such as mayonnaise, dressing, and jam. In fiscal 2017, eight offices in Japan belonging to four group companies donated to five food bank groups in several areas.
*Food banks accept factory seconds produced during food manufacturing and provide them free of charge to persons in need and welfare facilities such as foster centers.
Supporting Child Poverty Initiatives through Food
Lifestyles and diets have diversified rapidly in recent years, but this shift has been accompanied by increasingly serious social issues surrounding food, including a decline in food knowledge and interest particularly among the younger generation, the dwindling of mealtime communication, and child poverty. Based on the spirit of contributing to society through food that has driven Kewpie’s business activities since the company was first founded, in April 2017 we established the Kewpie Mirai Tamago Foundation. Through wide-ranging support for the activities of like-minded groups, we hope to accomplish a level of social contribution not achievable by a single enterprise acting alone. As well as conducting our own dietary educational activities, we take a long-term perspective on creating healthy and sustainable societies.
Kewpie Mirai Tamago Foundation
The main focus of this foundation is donating to organizations that create meaningful spaces in which children can relax and gain a stronger sense of belonging through food, such as those devoted to food education and the Kodomo Shokudo Network. In fiscal 2017, the foundation’s first year of operation, it selected 20 organizations to support, and held an award ceremony and seminar in the second-floor hall of Kewpie’s Shibuya Office in October 2017. At this seminar on creating meaningful community spaces, people involved in operating and supporting initiatives such as Kodomo Shokudo spoke about the importance of connecting people through food.