Responsibilities to Customers

Policy and Basic Concept

ITOCHU Corporation, which engages in multifaceted corporate activities in a wide range of fields in various regions around the world, believes that meeting the expectations of society through our business activities will maintain sustainability and lead to further growth.

We has limited direct access to consumers in much of our business due to our characteristics as a trading company. Nevertheless, we recognize the importance of quality and safety management. We fulfill our responsibilities to customers by promoting initiatives to ensure this concept penetrates into the value chain.

Product Safety

ITOCHU Corporation complies with our obligations as stipulated in safety related laws and ordinances for the products we handle. We are striving to ensure safety by formulating product safety manuals for each company based on our policy of providing even safer products with greater peace of mind to our customers. We will continue to work on providing safe products with peace of mind in the future. We will do this while promoting internal education, setting up departments responsible for product safety, establishing information transmission routes and reviewing our response in the event a product accident does occur. For related initiatives, please refer to “Sustainable Procurement: Policies and Initiatives by Product Type”.

Responsible Marketing

We engage in responsible advertising and marketing that fully takes into account our social responsibility. We do this under our Corporate Mission “Sampo-yoshi”, the ITOCHU Group Corporate Guideline of Conduct, “I am One with Infinite Missions,” and our Code of Ethic Conduct. We accept expectations and requests from society through two-way dialogue with stakeholders. We then put them into practice.


We have unified the visual image of ITOCHU to improve and ensure the penetration of our brand image to customers. Internal regulations have been developed to advertise and perform publicity with the appropriate expressions, content and media. We also give due consideration to slander, discriminatory expressions, exaggerations and false representations, religious and political beliefs, the environment, third party privacy, personal information and intellectual property rights. This is done in accordance with our sustainability policy. We promote appropriate advertising and publicity initiatives by sharing knowledge on advertising and publicity activities through regular meeting for the group companies.


We are thoroughly committed to creating content and expressions that do not cause misunderstanding and which do not infringe upon the rights, credibility and honor of others. This is done under relevant laws and ordinances, our internal regulations, various internal training programs and our company-wide compliance structure. We carry out responsible marketing activities by emphasizing dialogue with the various stakeholders around us in the diverse business activities we deploy on a global scale.

Individual Policy

Safety of Food Products

The Food Company is engaging in food safety management based on the following mission and activity guidelines.




  1. To contribute to the sound development of society while gaining strong trust from consumers
  2. To provide health and happiness to people by realizing rich food lifestyles through the stable supply of safe food
  3. To contribute to the interests of consumers, business partners, shareholders and employees through fair corporate activities

Activity Guidelines

The following serve as the concrete activity guidelines to achieve our basic philosophy and mission. We comply with laws and ordinances and the ITOCHU Group corporate mission and code of ethical conduct. We then thoroughly inform all relevant employees in the Food Company about these. Upon doing that, we engage in food safety management and fair business which form the basis of trust from consumers.

The Food Safety and Compliance Management Office gives instructions and guidance on the above in the Food Company Group.

Responsible Food Business: Commitments and Policies

The ITOCHU Group aims to support people’s lives by providing various products and services. In doing so, we aim to ensure the best quality in our offerings by comprehensively managing the entire supply chain of our products and services, from the procurement of raw materials to the retailing of finished products. In keeping with this business approach, our Food Company consists of three divisions: the Provisions Division, the Fresh Food Division, and the Food Products Marketing & Distribution Division. The three divisions are designed to allow us to develop a value chain that caters to consumer needs, is ensured to add top-quality value, and seamlessly connects various processes, from the development of food resources, the supply of raw resources, production and processing, midstream distribution, and retail. Our Food Company synergizes these business aspects throughout the Japanese, Chinese, and greater Asian markets. At the same time, by continuously improving and refining our management and controls around food safety, we aim to become a leading company in the global food industry.
ITOCHU Group takes a market-oriented approach, incorporating the needs and expectations of the market and consumers as an integral part of our business model. Our food retailing business, which includes FamilyMart, is no exception. We first and foremost consider the needs of our customers, and based on key insights we draw from market and consumer trends, we build our strategy and approach. This allows us to build a value chain that adds value from the procurement and production of raw materials, to the development and manufacturing of products.
As for our food business, we identify the issues noted in the table below as material topics that especially require our careful management to provide safe and reliable food products. It is subsequently our policy to commit to addressing each of these issues.

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Material Issue Description Management Approach
Reducing Negative Product Impact of Food Products on Customers

Ensuring the safety of imported food products, processed foods, and fresh food produces (E.G.,Coping with biological, chemical and physical hazards)

  • Self-management system for food safety
  • Assessments for supplier’s management systems in place to ensure food safety (factory inspections and audits)
Responsible Advertising, Marketing, and Promotion of Food Products

Provision of information regarding food allergies and additives.

  • Management rules for the registration of food labels
  • Improvement initiatives regarding inspection skills of label contents
Responsible Advertising, Marketing, and Promotion of Alcoholic Beverages

Provision of information regarding the prevention of drinking among persons under 20 years of age and pregnant women

Internal education programs on the liquor tax law

Access to Better Nutrition

Providing nutritiously balanced solutions to the elderly

Cooperation with regional hospitals and nutritionist organizations

Improving Access to Better Nutrition

As part of its commitment to realize a high-value-adding business, one of our major concerns in the food business area is access to nutrition.
In developed countries, aging society is a pervasive issue. Elderly populations with unbalanced nutrition or lack of nutrition are increasing, straining medical budgets as well as caregivers. Furthermore, for conditions such as acute forms of diabetes and liver disease that require home care, there is a widespread need to secure nutrition balances that are healthy, nutritious, and prevent obesity.
FamilyMart, a group company, has implemented unique initiatives to respond to the rise in health consciousness. Under its private brand Famimaru, FamilyMart offers a lineup of health-conscious products. By clearly indicating icons for protein, dietary fiber, and carbohydrates on target products, FamilyMart has received favorable feedback from consumers who want to enjoy both deliciousness food and good health.

Furthermore, we recognize that in developing countries, hunger and malnutrition are socially important issues caused by various elements including poverty. At ITOCHU Group, in order to take action in solving these issues we have implemented various initiatives. For example, we provide financial support to the World Food Programme (WFP) and working with Table for Two (TFT), which aims to alleviate the dietary inequality between developed and developing nations. In this way, we aim to provide high quality, nutritious food solutions to the children of developing countries.

Throughout the initiatives introduced above, we provide products and services and engage in community investment activities to support the nutrition and health of people in and out of Japan. We will commit to continuing these initiatives to enhance self-care, reduce medical expenditure, and provide healthy food options to children living in poverty, to contribute to solving issues of access to better nutrition among underprivileged groups.

Safety of Pharmaceuticals and Responsible Marketing

Pharmaceutical Quality and Safety

We contribute to the fulfillment of medical needs by delivering a stable supply of pharmaceutical raw materials and products at the level of quality required of pharmaceuticals. Additionally, we will satisfy latent medical needs by working on clinical development in new drug development to enable treatment of heretofore difficult-to-treat diseases. Our main market is Asia, including Japan, but we will also work on procurement and sales in Europe and the United States. We ensure safety in product supply and clinical development in accordance with Pharmaceuticals and Medical. Devices Act.

Pharmaceutical Ads and Labels

Final pharmaceutical products are sold only to licensed companies. We do not engage in advertising. We are taking necessary measures to ensure appropriate product labeling throughout the manufacturing and deployment process in legal compliance with the Act on Securing Quality, Efficacy and Safety of Products Including Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices.

Targets and Action Plan

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Risks Opportunities
  • Decline in credibility that would result from the occurrence of consumers and service users’ safety or health issues.
  • Increase in demand for food safety, security and health improvement.

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Materiality SDGs Targets Impact Classifi-cation Issues to Address Business Area Commitment Specific Approach Performance Indicators Degree of Progress
Food Company
Contribute to Healthier and More Affluent Lifestyles
Food Safety Supplying safe, secure food Overall food-related businesses We will select and concentrate on suppliers to stably procure safe, secure food. We will aim to strengthen the food safety management structures in our suppliers. We will do this by persons with certifications/qualifications related to the Food Safety Management System (FSMS) taking the central role in enhancing supplier audits and making requests for improvements. Stably supply safe and secure food by enhancing the audits and guidance for suppliers mainly by the persons with certifications/qualifications related to the Food Safety Management System (FSMS). We conducted inspections to 339 factories in FYE 2024.
We are continuing to stably supply safe and secure food. We are achieving this by continuing to enhance the audits and guidance for suppliers mainly by the persons with certifications/qualifications related to the Food Safety Management System (FSMS) or in-house qualification holders related to factory audit.
Machinery Company
Contribute to Healthier and More Affluent Lifestyles
Food Safety
  • Address Climate Change
  • Develop a Rewarding Work Environment
  • Respect and Consider Human Rights
  • Contribute to Healthier and More Affluent Lifestyles
  • Stable food procurement and supply
DENBA products and related business We will contribute to the reduction of food loss by utilizing freshness preservation technology. Retain food freshness and reduce consumption of edible oil through promotion of DENBA products.
  • Expand sales of DENBA Fresh Pro and DENBA Fryer in the super market and restaurant chain industry.
  • Improve diffusion of DENBA Marine for ship warehouse.
  • We are continuously supporting the promotion of DENBA products. In the retail industry, DENBA received bookings from 60 stores of a medium-sized supermarket chain and others which aim to reduce waste from refrigerated showcases. Anticipated sales for FYE 2024 are projected to reach approximately 300 million yen.
  • A total of 150 units have been deployed in ship food warehouses, bringing the cumulative installed units to 360.
  • Through a leasing arrangement facilitated by Tokyo Century, DENBA secured contracts for three children’s cafeterias and installed total 5 units under two additional contracts. This brings the total installed units to 8.
  • Regarding opening of new offices for the disabled, DENBA obtained a contract for Minaminihon Total Logistics Service as a pilot project.
Energy & Chemicals Company
Contribute to Healthier and More Affluent Lifestyles
Medical Health Promoting good health among people Pharmaceutical products We will contribute to improve people’s health and working environment through accelerating the development of pharmaceuticals and other products in fields with significant needs including cancer-related fields. Actively promoting to support the development and marketing of new pharmaceutical and generics. Aim to accelerate the deployment of pharmaceuticals on the market, obtain early approvals for new pharmaceutical, generics and other products of which we are engaged in supporting the development and place them on the market.
  • Continuing to maintain a stable supply of pharmaceutical raw materials and other products to pharmaceutical manufacturers in Japan and overseas and support for launch some new generics products by ITOCHU CHEMICAL FRONTIER Corporation. (launched in 2023: generic muscle-relaxant restorative)
  • We have continued to sell a pain reliever in North America through ITOCHU CHEMICAL FRONTIER Corporation.
ICT & Financial Business Company
Contribute to Healthier and More Affluent Lifestyles
Medical Health Promoting good health among the people
  • Support pharmaceutical development projects
  • Preventative healthcare-related business
  • Medical healthcare IT business
  • Sales of Cutting-Edge medical devices and provision of medical services
  • We will provide value-added services for pharmaceuticals and medical sites, and will contribute to the improvement of people’s quality of life (QOL) by utilizing cutting-edge ICT tools.
  • We aim to improve quality of life by providing cutting-edge medical devices and advanced medical services in the field of medical care, where technologies are innovated rapidly.
  • We will optimize healthcare utilizing medical data.
  • Promote sales of advanced medical devices, and the business of supporting the operation of designated regional cancer care hospitals.
  • Realization of new services and business development relating to medical data.
  • Expansion of existing business.
  • Increase the penetration of advanced medical devices in Japan.

MRI-guided radiation therapy systems

  • Provided medical care to a total of 800 patients, including those with intractable cancer that was difficult to treat with conventional methods, at three facilities: National Cancer Center Hospital, Saitama Medical University International Medical Center, and Edogawa Hospital.

Scalp cooling therapy system for cancer patients

  • Currently installed at 79 facilities, with a total of 2,900 patients using the system.

Structures and Systems

Food Safety Management

With the diversification of dietary habits, the globalization of food distribution, and a growing awareness regarding health issues, consumers are increasingly paying attention to the safety and security of their food. At the same time, there have been cases of incidents and problems threatening food safety, such as those regarding violation of food labeling standards, residual pesticides, and the distribution of foods using unauthorized additives. Our Food Company addresses these concerns and ensures measures are taken to prevent issues by establishing a food safety control system overseen by its Food Safety and Compliance Management Office. That office is responsible for addressing the following issues:

  1. Advise to Company and their respective domestic and overseas subsidiaries in their initiatives to design a food safety self-management system.
  2. Management of the labeling and safety-related issues of our food products.
  3. Provision of education and training to employees regarding food safety.
  4. Provision of training to members of our food safety management team in China.
  5. Food safety audits and subsequent corrective guidance for subsidiaries and supplier factories.

In addition to the above, the Office is responsible for the management of compliance, trade and logistics, and environmental activities, occupational health and safety, and sustainability promotion.

Supplier Management Audits for our Food Business

Due Diligence for New Suppliers

When the Food Company conducts business with a new business partner, the Company is required to assess the potential supplier’s management level of the manufacturing process, and whether it has received certification recognized by GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative). In doing so, we use an internal assessment criteria that is designed to evaluate practices around food safety management.

Securing the Safety of Food through Regular Audits of Overseas Suppliers

Food Audit

ITOCHU Corporation established the Food Safety Management Office (now: Food Safety and Compliance Management Office) in the Food Company in FYE 2003. We are taking wide-ranging measures to ensure safety in the food business. As part of this, we have been conducting regular visits and audits of the food processing factories of overseas suppliers for imported processed food since FYE 2012.
The sales department is responsible for appointing an employee, local staff, or group subsidiary employee to perform site visits and audit the safety management system at least once a year. The frequency and timing as well as the specific sites subject to audits are agreed upon with the local factory, with consideration given to specific circumstances as the supplier’s local laws, management capability, product, and hygiene-related risks associated to the manufacturing process.
Auditors are required to reference a Plant Audit Check Sheet that we have originally devised, which incorporates elements of well-known international food safety standards such as Codex HACCP, ISO 22000, and FSSC 22000. Any points of improvement identified through the checklist are appropriately addressed, and necessary corrective measures are ensured to be communicated. In addition to the above, we set up a new China Food Safety Management Team in Beijing in January 2015. The aim of this is to strengthen the safety management of imported food. We have been dispatching a member of our Japanese staff with a wealth of practical experience in factory audits (IRCA* ISO 22000 auditor qualification holder) as a trainer. Through this, we have been building a management structure at a comparable level to that required in Japan. In addition to regular audits by Chinese supervisors, we are increasing opportunities for mutual confirmation through follow-up audits to ensure continuous improvement.

  • International Register of Certificated Auditors

For overseas suppliers, our factory audit procedure and results are as follows:

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Factory Audit Procedure
Process Description
Target and Frequency Settings

The responsible sales department and the Food Safety and Compliance Management Office determines the frequency of audits for each relatively high risk factory identified as a manufacturing plant for processed food, in accordance with laws and regulations of the relevant country. The decision of the audit frequency considers specific circumstances such as the supplier’s local laws, management capability, product, and hygiene-related risks associated to the manufacturing process.

Conducting the Factory Audits

The sales department is responsible for appointing an employee, local staff, or group subsidiary employee to perform site visits and audit the safety management system periodically based on the frequency setting – relatively high risk plants are currently subject to these site visits.

Issuing a Findings Report and Requesting Corrective Measures (as Per Necessary)

The final report must be created in line with the GFSI/Global Market Program factory audit framework (GMP + HACCP + management system + food defense).

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Regular Audits to Ensure Food Safety
FYE 2022 FYE 2023 FYE 2024
Regular Audits (Number of Factories) 310 331 339
Regular Audits and Follow-up Audits in China (Included in the Above Number of Audits) 48 42 42

Subsidiaries that have ISO22000 or FSSC22000 Certifications

Furthermore, we also ensure food-related safety among our direct subsidiaries by implementing a management system that aligns to well-known international frameworks on food safety, such as Codex HACCP, ISO22000, and FSSC22000.

  • SHOW-WA Co., Ltd.
  • Prima Meat Packers, Ltd.
  • Provence Huiles S.A.S.

Staff Education and Training to Ensure Compliance to Responsible Advertising, Marketing, and Promotion Standards and Food Safety Standards

We provide e-learning as an education and training program to ensure responsible advertising, marketing, and promotion of food products, and compliance to food safety standards. We are looking to raise awareness and improve knowledge about responsible marketing, food safety, and compliance with relevant laws and regulations among employees. Furthermore, given the expansion of our food business and the subsequent increase in our auditing scope, we are also invested in training personnel capable of site audits.

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Main Content
  • Food safety and responsible advertising, marketing, and promotion
  • Compliance
  • Internal regulations and manuals
  • ESG
Target Persons
  • All employees in the Food Company (including part-time workers, temporary workers, employees seconded from the company and employees seconded to the company)
  • All employees in the Food Management Support Corporation (subsidiary to complement the functions of the Food Company)

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Attendance Record
FYE 2022 FYE 2023 FYE 2024
Number of Trainees 766 766 761
Attendance Rate 100% 100% 100%

We will continue to provide this education and training with the aim of ensuring that knowledge becomes reliably entrenched.

Participation in Food Safety-Related Initiatives and Organizations

At ITOCHU Group, we aim to maintain and enhance our quality management to ensure that we supply safe and reliable processed foods. In doing so, we make sure to cooperate with external parties and are members to industry groups in order to engage in knowledge sharing and collaboratively work toward enhanced solutions.

Association for the Safety of Imported Food, Japan (ASIF) (Japanese only)Open in a new window

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.”

In order to promote food safety, the ITOCHU Group collects information on the safety of processed food and perishable food regarding imported food product – (e.g. Coping with biological, chemical and physical hazards) – from the Association for the Safety of Imported Food of Japan. This information is reflected in our voluntary food safety management system as well as our supplier food safety management system (which includes factory inspections and audit).

Japan Food Hygiene Association (Japanese only)Open in a new window

This association was established on November 1st, 1948 as a collaborative initiative between private companies in the food sector and administrative organizations regarding the food hygiene law in order to enhance self-regulation in the market. The establishment of the organization shortly followed the enactment of the food hygiene law in 1947, which was created to prevent any accidents or issues regarding eating and drinking, as well as improve public hygiene in Japan.
Ever since its establishment, the association has continued its initiatives to cooperate with organizations throughout Japan, and contribute to the enhancement of food safety and hygiene among private companies. The association participates in a wide range of purpose-led initiatives for public interest, and provides training regarding the self-regulation of food safety management, provides assessments and verifications of certain food products, promotes food sales legal liability insurance, holds seminars and events, issues and promotes food hygiene related books and reports, provides informative guidance to consumers, participated in international cooperation regarding food hygiene, and promotion of relevant research.

Based on advice received from the Japan Food Hygiene Association, the ITOCHU Group is taking necessary measures to continuously improve its food safety management system by identifying ways to improve food hygiene and our self-management system.

Japan Food Additives Association (Japanese only)Open in a new window

The Japan Food Additives Association (JAFA) was established in October 1982 with the Nippon Food Additives Group Leagues serving as the parent body to disseminate correct knowledge about food additives. It then transitioned to being a general incorporated association in April 2014. The association is engaged in various activities under the guidance of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare’s Pharmaceutical Safety and Environmental Health Bureau. The aim of these activities is to seek a correct understanding from members about the manufacture, sale and use of food additives and from regular consumers about the safety and usefulness of food additives.

The ITOCHU Group collects information about food allergies and food additives through the JAFA. This information is useful in checking food labeling registration management rules and labels, improving the level of inspection management, and training personnel with qualifications in food labeling.

Quality Management in our Pharmaceutical Business

Pharmaceutical undertakings require sector-specific expertise and is therefore primarily handled by designated group companies. We implement quality control to ensure quality in accordance with the Act on Securing Quality, Efficacy and Safety of Products Including Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices. This includes, for example, assessing and confirming the quality of imported materials at our lab before it is sold.

Assessing Management Capabilities at our Pharmaceuticals-related Suppliers and Contributing to Improved Quality of Life (QOL)

Regular Site Visits for Foreign Suppliers

Not only do we implement quality control at our lab but we also visit our overseas suppliers regularly and perform inspections to make sure that the manufacturing process conforms to the Pharmaceuticals and Medical. Devices Act.

Contribution to Improving QOL in the Pharmaceutical Field

We contribute to controlling the rise of medical costs by providing a stable supply of raw materials for generic drugs. We will also invest in companies that develop regenerative medicines and new drugs to alleviate the side-effects of cancer and work to raise the level of future treatments and improve patient quality of life.


Initiatives to Support Socially Vulnerable Groups

Handling Plant-based Milk (Oat Milk and Almond Milk)

ITOCHU Corporation is developing oat milk and almond milk among the plant-based milk products made from beans, nuts and other plant ingredients.

Plant-based milk is becoming popular as an alternative to cow’s milk that can also be drunk by those with lactose intolerance who cannot digest lactose.

Oat milk and almond milk are especially healthy as they have lower fat and calories than cow’s milk. They contain lots of dietary fiber and go well with coffee. Therefore, demand is also growing for them in the United States and Europe.

Furthermore, they can contribute to a reduction in the environmental burden in terms of CO2 emissions, land and water usage compared to cow’s milk. They are sustainable ingredients characterized by the ability to store them at room temperature and their long best before dates.

We are building a raw ingredient import and domestic manufacturing structure to widely deliver to consumers this nutritional, healthy and environmentally-friendly plant-based milk. We are also proposing development that includes product design.

Focusing on contributing to and strengthening initiatives for SDGs, we will also proactively promote the development of plant-based milk in the future with a target of handling 5,000 tons of it in FYE 2026.

CP Foods (CPF): Handling of Plant-Based Foods

Poppin’ Chicken, an example of a product from FIELD GOOD, a private brand developed by ITOCHU Corporation in collaboration with CPF

Plant-based foods are foods made from soybean, peas, wheat and other plant-based ingredients that reproduce the flavor and texture of animal-based foods (hamburger patties, nuggets and other meat products, cheese, butter and other dairy products, and tuna and other seafood products, etc.).

These foods are attracting attention for various reasons. Many plant-based food products contain less fat than animal-based products. Plant-based foods are ingredients which may solve the issue in modern society in that animal-based protein is expected to be in short supply for the entire population in the future. Furthermore, plant-based foods can contribute to reducing the environmental burden in terms of CO2 emissions, land and water usage compared to animal-based foods.

We are working on the development of FIELD GOOD plant-based food products jointly with CPF that is a core company in the CP Group and one of the major suppliers of the Food Company. We are doing this so that we can also proactively promote plant-based foods with the above characteristics. We started selling chicken nuggets, hamburger patties and meat sauce in Thailand under the Meat Zero brand name in May 2021. We use the soy protein of the FUJI OIL company in the Group for some of the ingredients. We also utilize the knowledge of the ITOCHU Group to reproduce the look, texture and taste of real meat.

Thailand CPF has announced it is aiming to become the top brand in Asia and one of the top three brands in the world for meat substitute brands by 2026. In addition to the products we have jointly developed with CPF, ITOCHU is also proactively promoting and developing other products. Combined with the Try Veggie series (Prima Meat Packers) developed within in the Group, we are aiming to handle 1,000 tons of plant-based foods by FYE 2026.


FamilyMart, a group company, engages in food retailing that first and foremost values the local community’s needs. FamilyMart highly values the contributions it can make to socially vulnerable groups, and implements measures to address this issue throughout the FamilyMart business such as in the following ways.

Preventing the Sale of Alcohol and Tobacco to Persons Under 20

FamilyMart sells alcoholic beverages and tobacco. FamilyMart thoroughly prevents the sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco to persons under 20 years of age as a responsible business operator and as a response based on the Safety Station Activities Charter (Initiative to Improve the Environment for Youths) of the Japan Franchise Association to which FamilyMart belongs. FamilyMart has created a Guidebook for Compliance with Laws and Regulations Concerning the Sale of Alcohol and Tobacco. This guidebook summarizes the matters which should be complied with when advertising, publicizing and selling alcohol and tobacco, and the method of educating employees. It is based on the concept that drinking alcohol under 20 years of age leads to the risk of developing acute alcohol addiction or alcohol dependence in the future. Furthermore, FamilyMart provides the following education and awareness campaigns to company and franchise store employees and give warnings to customers. These efforts allow FamilyMart to thoroughly ensure it does not sell alcohol and tobacco to persons under 20 years of age.

1. Warning to Customers

FamilyMart gives warnings to customers about the sale of alcohol and tobacco, and displays products in the alcoholic beverages section so they can be recognized as such. In addition, FamilyMart puts up posters and sales promotional materials stating FamilyMart will not sell alcoholic beverages to those whom cannot be confirmed to be at least 20 years old.

Every week, store managers and supervisors in charge of sales guidance verify whether legally mandated display of alcoholic beverages at the store and their classifications are carried out properly and confirms the presence of posters and other items that prohibit persons under 20 years of age from drinking and smoking.

“Age Verification in Progress” Poster Sample
“Alcoholic Drink Sales Label” Product Display Case Board
2. Age Verification at the Register

In July 2017, FamilyMart changed the cashier program so that when alcohol and tobacco products are scanned at the cash register, messages are displayed on the cash register screens of both store staff and customers at the same time as voice guidance to alert store staff and facilitate age verification of customers.

3. Training of Store Staff

FamilyMart has created the Age Confirmation Guidelines and the Alcohol and Tobacco Sales Training Program to provide training to all employees working in our stores on the identification of alcohol and tobacco products and on the age-verification procedures at cash registers. When hiring employees who will operate cash registers, they receive training through the Alcohol and Tobacco Sales Training Program before serving customers. Additionally, they undergo Alcohol and Tobacco Sales Training twice a year (first half and second half of the year). Upon completion of the training program, FamilyMart prepares a “Record of Alcohol and Tobacco Sales Training Implementation.” This record is confirmed by the store manager and supervisor.

4. Advertising and Promotion of Private Brand Alcoholic Beverages

FamilyMart labels alcoholic beverages in the Famimaru private brand of FamilyMart based on the Voluntary Code for the Advertising and Marketing of Alcoholic Beverages and the Labeling of Alcoholic Beverage Containers established by the Japan Liquor Industry Council. Furthermore, FamilyMart stores which handle alcoholic beverages also handle non-alcoholic beverages as an alternative to alcoholic beverages for customers who are 20 years of age or older.

Development and Provision of Products and Services that Promote Health and Reduce Negative Impacts

As we face the challenges of an aging society, the increase in national healthcare costs and the number of individuals requiring long-term care have become significant issues. In this context, FamilyMart is committed to supporting each individual in maintaining their health by offering a variety of products and services that promote health. FamilyMart is dedicated to enhancing self-care in the community. Under its private brand Famimaru, FamilyMart has a lineup of health-conscious products. FamilyMart clearly displays icons for customer-relevant information such as “protein,” “dietary fiber,” and “carbohydrates” on the target products, making it easier for consumers who want to balance both deliciousness and health to identify and choose suitable options.

1. Amidst the growing health-consciousness and the desire for easily enjoyable daily meals, FamilyMart is implementing initiatives to provide clear displays in-store.
  • This allows individuals to feel more at ease and enjoy their meals at our convenient and familiar convenience stores. Under its private brand Famimaru, FamilyMart uses icons to indicate customer-relevant information such as “protein,” “dietary fiber,” and “carbohydrates” on health-conscious products, making them easily understandable to customers with a quick glance.

  • Under its private brand Famimaru at FamilyMart, FamilyMart sells a range of snacks in the low-carb series, including ingredient-based sweets and bean snacks. The packages display the low-carb mark, which is certified by the Food, Pleasure, and Health Association. FamilyMart also includes the amount of low-carb carbohydrates, making it convenient for customers to control their carbohydrate intake. Unlike calorie restriction, the low-carb approach promotes gradual carbohydrate control and encourages enjoyable and delicious meals while recommending the consumption of appropriate carbohydrates. It is said that by keeping the low-carb carbohydrate* intake between 20-40g per meal and limiting snack low-carb carbohydrates to 10g, postprandial blood sugar levels can be controlled (source: Food, Pleasure, and Health Association).

    • The low-carb carbohydrate content is calculated based on available carbohydrates and has a value of 4kcal per gram. This differs from the calculation basis of regular carbohydrates. It was developed based on the concept of the Food, Pleasure, and Health Association’s mission to encourage people to “eat deliciously, enjoyably, and healthily.”
2. FamilyMart offers nutritionally balanced and delicious health support products that prioritize taste.
  • In August 2018, its pre-order lunchbox, “Aburiyaki Salmon Makunouchi Bento,” developed with the concepts of “deliciously low-sodium” and “packed with vegetables,” became the first meal at a convenience store to be certified as a nutritionally balanced meal containing elements that contribute to health (commonly known as a “smart meal”). The certification was based on criteria established by analyzing menu plans from four school lunch providers, following the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare’s “Guidelines for Providing Meals for Preventing Lifestyle-related Diseases and Promoting Health” (September 2015) and the Japanese Dietary Reference Intakes (2015 edition). It underwent evaluation by the “Healthy Diet and Food Environment” Consortium, consisting of multiple academic societies including the Japan Society of Nutrition and Food Science, and received certification. Additionally, its “Tasteful Ozen” meal, which has also received the smart meal certification for three menu items, has been well-received for its nutritionally balanced composition, vibrant vegetable colors, and gentle flavors.
  • The Reduced-Salt Japanese-Style Dressing in a small-pouch form sold separately from salads was awarded the Gold Prize at the Fifth JSH Reduced-Salt Food Products Awards (sponsored by the Salt Reduction Committee of the Japanese Society of Hypertension). It was the first time for a convenience store to win the Gold Prize. Since its launch, the dressing has been supported by many customers, as a product with 25% less salt* while retaining the rich flavor that brings out the taste of vegetables.
    • Contains 25% less sodium than standard Japanese-style dressing based on Standard Tables of Food Composition in Japan - 2020 - (Eighth Revised Edition).

Please refer to the FamilyMart Co., Ltd. Sustainability Site (Providing Products and Services that Enrich LivesOpen in a new window) for details of the above initiatives.

Food Safety and Reliability

FamilyMart aims to provide ready-made meal such as rice balls, sushi, boxed lunches, delicatessen dishes, salad, and sandwiches that ensure safety and reliability for its customers. To achieve this, FamilyMart has voluntarily enhanced its safety and quality requirements to build upon what is legally required. Throughout every process of production, from procurement of raw materials and manufacturing to the logistics and sales of products, FamilyMart makes it mandatory to follow these strict requirements and have implemented support systems to ensure that this can be sustained. FamilyMart also especially values the continuous improvement of hygiene management among contracted manufacturing factories for its ready-made meal and are implemented measures accordingly. Moreover, FamilyMart is also invested in reducing additives in its food products and aim to ensure that the safety and reliability of its products are at a high level.

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Process Initiative
Ingredient Management
  • Ingredient reviews based on quality and hygiene management standards
Manufacturing and Quality Control
  • Bacterial tests (monthly)
  • Factory inspections on all ready-made meal manufacturing sites (quarterly)
  • Quality product assurance meetings (weekly)
  • Quality control supervisor meetings (semiannual)
Distribution Management
  • Distribution center facility management
  • Storage and transportation by temperature zone – frozen, chilled, and fixed temperature
Store Management
  • Education on hygiene management at stores
  • Implementation of hygiene management in accordance with HACCP
Community Engagement for a Brighter Future

As a member of the Japan Franchise Association, FamilyMart has been promoting the Safety Station Activities, an activity to help protect the safety of local communities, since 2000. This activity was launched by the National Police Agency, where initiatives, such as anti-crime measures, disaster prevention, safety measures, a thorough prohibition against the sale of cigarettes and alcohol to people underage to urge those people to go home at late night, are actively promoted in collaboration with the government, municipalities, and community people. As part of FamilyMart Safety Station activities, it also provides protection to vulnerable groups such as children, women, and the elderly in case of emergencies, and provide guidance and support for youths to build an inclusive community.
Furthermore, FamilyMart also sets up donation boxes at its stores as part of an initiative to contribute to the protection and development of future generations, as well as preserving the natural environment for these future generations.

WELLNEO SUGAR Co., Ltd.Open in a new window

Achieving Well-being by Opening Up the Power and Potential of Sugar

At WELLNEO SUGAR Co., Ltd. we leverage the amazing properties of sugar, a natural plant-based food substance, to provide consumers with high-quality products that are both safe and worry-free.

ITOCHU Sugar Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of WELLNEO SUGAR Co., Ltd, is engaged in the production and sale of Kururu no Oishii Origoto, which is made from fructooligosaccharides derived from domestic sugar beets, as well as Okinawa & Amami Kibi Origo, which is made from fructooligosaccharides derived from domestic sugarcane. Fructooligosaccharides, which are known as prebiotics, reach the large intestine after ingestion without being digested and serve as a source of nutrients for intestinal bifidobacteria and other bacteria, thereby maintaining a good intestinal environment.

FUJI OIL HOLDINGS INC.Open in a new window

Development and Provision of Products and Services that Promote Health and Reduce Negative Impacts

The FUJI OIL Group, one of the Group companies, develops products that promote consumers’ health. At the same time, it develops products and services that reduce negative impacts.

1. Initiatives to Reduce Trans-fatty Acid Content

High intake of trans fatty acids generated during the manufacture of processed foods increases the risk of heart disease. In response to guidelines published by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Fuji Oil Group is advancing the production of low trans fatty acid oils and fats through manufacturing processes that do not generate trans fatty acids.

Under the supervision of the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO), we are promoting initiatives to reduce the trans-fatty acid content of our products. This includes plans to reduce the trans-fatty acid content in the products of our group company, which are based in countries where high intake is noted, to align with WHO recommended levels. Moreover, from FYE 2021, the Sustainability Committee (renamed from the ESG Committee),* which is an advisory body to the Board of Directors, confirms the progress and results of these initiatives as a priority theme (materiality issue) for ESG management.

2. Reduced Sugar Chocolate

Initiatives to prevent excessive consumption of sugar to prevent obesity and lifestyle-related diseases are attracting worldwide attention. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) published guidelines in 2015 recommending the daily sugar intake of adults and minors to be kept to less than 10% of daily energy intake.

As a B-to-B food ingredient manufacturer, the FUJI OIL Group is also developing and promoting the sale of sugar-free chocolate made without using sugar.

Prima Meat Packers, Ltd.Open in a new window

Proactive Provision and R&D for Products Pursuing Good Health and Delicious Taste

As people become highly conscious of their health and lifestyle habits, more and more people are becoming concerned about consuming too much salt and sugar. Salt provides the effects of flavoring and improving shelf life, and reducing salt content will ruin those effects. A group company of ours, Prima Meat Packers, Ltd., has been conducting research and development for many years. The company has developed loin ham, bacon, and salad chicken products with 30% less salt content and zero carbohydrates while maintaining their taste and shelf life. These health-conscious products are sold under the Prima Healthy brand to make them easily identifiable.

Initiatives to Ensure Responsible Labeling

The Food Company operates a food label registration management guideline, which provides a detailed framework for us to responsibly label our food products. To ensure compliance to the guidelines, we also provide training to staff that belong to relevant sales divisions and the Food Safety and Compliance Team. The training aims to enhance our staff’s understanding of the food label registration management guidelines and their capability to conduct inspections and checks on appropriate food labeling. Given increasing importance for this issue and the increasing size of our food business, we are also aiming to leverage this training to increase the number of food labeling practitioners certified by the Food Labeling Certification Association, a Japanese industry organization. In this way, we maintain the necessary internal capacity to cooperate with specialized third party organizations to ensure compliance to our guidelines as well as legal requirements.

At FamilyMart, the responsible labeling of processed foods is especially important as its customers widely vary. For example, FamilyMart recognizes that it must ensure the safety of anyone with food allergies, and prevent the excessive intake of certain substances that can have heavy health consequences. In addition to the information FamilyMart is required by law to give on the labels on the private-brand products sold at FamilyMart, it lists a total of 28 items on the allergy labeling: the eight items mandated to be labeled by law plus 20 items recommended for labeling. FamilyMart does this so that customers can purchase products with peace of mind. Furthermore, FamilyMart also provides information that FamilyMart believes its customers would like to know when choosing products (e.g., ingredients, nutritional ingredients, and preservation methods).

With regard to processed food and alcohol, we especially make sure that responsible labeling is thoroughly addressed. For example, we have implemented measures to simplify and clarify the warnings related to alcohol poisoning, alcoholism, and drinking under 20 years of age.

Involvement in Industry Initiatives to Ensure the Safety of Alcohol Consumption

It is important to our business that we thoroughly address issues regarding the potential negative impacts of alcoholic products such as alcoholism, alcohol poisoning, and drinking under 20 years of age. We also recognize that these negative impacts are also especially important with regard to vulnerable groups. Therefore, our subsidiaries that sell alcoholic products are members to industry organizations introduced below, in order to participate in knowledge sharing and be in tune with the latest market trends and best practices.

Tokyo Alcohol Wholesale Cooperative (Japanese only) Open in a new window

Tokyo Alcohol Wholesale Cooperative is an organization with corporate members that participate in the alcohol business, aims to elevate the level of social responsibility associated to acquiring an alcohol permit. For example, the organization promotes legal compliance, engages in awareness raising of the negative social impacts that must be managed across various product types, leads initiatives to maintain cultural traditions around alcohol, leads initiatives to enhance the current culture around appropriate amounts of alcohol consumption, and supports companies in achieving sustainable business models. Throughout these activities, the Tokyo Alcohol Wholesale Cooperative contributes to the health and wellbeing of the Japanese population, and promotes market competition that is fair and complies with high standards. The Cooperative highly values harmonious cooperation among member companies, and has supported the sustained management of businesses throughout the industry and has subsequently led the development of the industry in general. NIPPON ACCESS, INC. and ITOCHU SHOKUHIN Co., Ltd., ITOCHU subsidiaries, are members of this cooperative.

Contributive Initiatives to Alleviate Hunger and Poverty in Developing Countries

World Food Programme (WFP)

ITOCHU Employees Participating in the Walk the World Event

We have become a supporter contributor of the Japan Association for the World Food Programme. This is an official support organization of the World Food Programme (WFP) – a United Nations organization to provide food support. The aim of our participation is to eliminate world hunger and poverty problems as much as possible. We support various activities through this scheme.
In May 2022, we supported WFP’s child hunger eradication campaign called "Walk the World." The annual global walk aims to raise awareness and funds, as well as encourage action to end child hunger. This campaign was held in Yokohama, Nagoya and Osaka. Approximately 200 employees of ITOCHU Corporation and ITOCHU Group companies, including their family members, participated in the event.

Eliminating the Food Imbalance between Developing Countries and Advanced Countries: Table for Two

Table for Two is an international NPO that was founded by an affiliate of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders. The organization aims to right the imbalance between the 1 billion people in the world who suffer from undernutrition, and the 1 billion people in the world who suffer from obesity. The organization does so by implementing a “calorie transfer” program, where the organization partners with companies, universities, restaurants, and organizations throughout the world to provide more nutritious school meals to the former, and healthier meals to the latter.
Table for Two was founded in Japan in October 2007. Owing to ITOCHU’s long –standing commitment to social contribution, we were one of the first companies in Japan to partner with Table for Two and implement the calorie transfer program in our employee cafeteria at the Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya offices the following April.
More specifically, whenever one of our employees chooses a healthier TFT meal from our cafeteria menu, 20JPY is donated per meal. In addition, through a matching gift scheme, the company also donates the same amount of money as the employee, making the total donation 40JPY per meal. The donation contributes to providing nutritious school meals to children in developing countries.
Currently, our Tokyo Headquarters provides TFT meals.