The NISSIN FOODS Group respects the rights of all human beings that are impacted by Group business activities, based on one of the tenets of the philosophy of the founder, Shoku-I Sei-shoku (Food related jobs are a sacred profession). In April 2018, the Group established its policy on human rights. Concurrently, the Group also revised its code of conduct of the ethics regulations to state that “the Group will uphold internationally-recognized human rights protection standards as well as respect the basic human rights of all people and will not conduct itself in a manner that will damage the dignity of an individual.”
Promotion structures for the respect of human rights
NISSIN FOODS HOLDINGS set up a human rights working group under the auspices of the Sustainability Committee, which is chaired by the CEO of. This working group implements measures related to the respect of human rights.
Organizational structure of the Sustainability Committee
System for reporting to management
The NISSIN FOODS Group, in accordance with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, carries out human rights due diligence. This is a continuous process seeking communication with external stakeholders, carrying out, based on the NISSIN FOODS Group Policy on Human Rights, (1) evaluation of adverse impacts and identification of issues, (2) implementation of appropriate measures, (3) evaluation of monitoring and tracking, and (4) information disclosure. In fiscal 2020, as part of (1) evaluation of adverse impacts and identification of issues, a human rights risk assessment (evaluation of the underlying risks to human rights from business activities) was conducted to identify human rights risks that the Group should take priority undertaking. We identified “grasping the work environment for non-Japanese employees at domestic group companies” and “strengthening the supply chain management system in regions in Asia” as priority human rights themes. In fiscal 2021, based on the issues identified under each theme, we strengthened our initiatives toward (2) implementation of appropriate measures.
Human rights risk assessment procedures
- Step 1
- Surveyed human rights risks from forced labor, child labor, discrimination, human trafficking, destruction of forests, and environmental pollution—such as air and water—for all Group employees, women, children, migrant workers, local communities and other parties in all countries and regions in which the Group deploys business activities and widely extracted potential human rights issues.
- Step 2
- Held a workshop in which the departments related to extracted issues participated (NISSIN FOODS HOLDINGS resourcing unit, HR Division, Compliance Committee, Corporate Planning Division, Corporate Communications Division Sustainability Promotion Office). Made an assessment of impacts to society through hearings and discussions.
- Step 3
- Based on the results of Step 2, identified “grasping the work environment for non-Japanese employees at domestic group companies” and “strengthening the supply chain management system in regions in Asia” as priority human rights themes. Moreover, assessed it was necessary to build a system to survey the actual conditions of these risks.
Identified human rights risks and state of initiatives
- 1. Grasping the work environment for non-Japanese employees at domestic group companies
To grasp the work environment for non-Japanese employees at domestic group companies, an anonymous survey was conducted on non-Japanese employees at manufacturing plants in cooperation with a third-party agency*1 (conducted in June 2020 and February 2021 at a total of six plants and 147 employees)*2.
Based on the results of this survey, there were no issues that needed to be immediately handled. However, it was discovered that matters unique to non-Japanese employees arising from reasons such as language and cultural differences may have adverse impacts on human rights, and that it is necessary to have adequate consideration and measures toward reducing and preventing human rights risks.
Therefore, the Group reviewed the way important information is provided to non-Japanese employees. Measures taken include reading contracts together during recruitment and making the items shown on pay slips easier to understand. In addition, it was assessed that collaboration with different relevant parties is required for our recruitment system. As such, the Group joined the Japan Platform for Migrant Workers towards Responsible and Inclusive Society (JP MIRAI)* 3 in January 2021. The Group aims to use this platform to build recruitment mechanisms while collaborating with public agencies.
Furthermore, as part of creating a corporate culture where non-Japanese employees can convey their opinions to the company even more easily, we established contact points for consultation at workplaces and internal whistleblowing contact points at the head office as well as an opinion box where employees can give their opinions anonymously and in their mother tongues. These initiatives were made known to everyone and their usage was encouraged. The Group will continue to strive toward creating mechanisms that make it easier for non-Japanese employees to consult and establishing motivating workplace environments.
- *1The survey in June 2020 was conducted under the supervision of Caux Round Table (CRT) Japan while the one in February 2021 was under The Global Alliance for Sustainable Supply Chain.
- *2For the survey in June 2020, the participants were 60 non-Japanese employees working at the manufacturing plants of NISSIN FOOD PRODUCTS (Kansai Plant) and SHIKOKU NISSIN FOOD PRODUCTS. For the survey in February 2021, the participants were 87 non-Japanese employees working at the manufacturing plants of NISSIN FOOD PRODUCTS (Shizuoka Plant) and NISSIN PLASTICS (Kanto, Kansai, and Shiga Plants). The majority of those surveyed were technical trainees but also included permanent non-Japanese residents and spouses. Anonymous surveys are planned to be conducted at 19 plants of NISSIN FOOD PRODUCTS by 2030.
- *3This is an organization established in November 2020 through public-private collaboration under the lead of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). It has established five principles in its Code of Conduct:
1.We will comply with relevant laws and regulations when accepting foreign workers.
2.We will strive to resolve issues by respecting human rights of foreign workers and improving working and living conditions.
3.We will deepen mutual understanding and foster relationships of trust with foreign workers, both in the workplace and real-life settings.
4.We will develop human resources who are able to contribute to the development and stability of Japan as well as international community.
5.We will disseminate the platform initiatives across Japan and throughout the world.
The above actions will actively be asked not only for member companies and organizations, but also for supply chain and related companies and organizations.
- 2. Strengthening the supply chain management system in regions in Asia
From June to November 2020, we conducted a survey for and dialogues online with small-scale palm oil farmers assessed to be on our supply chain.
Given that the raw materials used by the Group could have underlying issues related to human rights and labor environments, suppliers that provide these raw materials are positioned as high sustainability-risk suppliers. Meanwhile, matters concerning human rights are confirmed during the supplier audit. Members of the NISSIN FOODS HOLDINGS resourcing unit and Sustainability Committee are scheduled to locally visit suppliers determined to have a high sustainability risk and implement an assessment based on international standards.
The policy on human rights and the concept of respecting human rights is being instilled into the management and employees of the NISSIN FOODS Group. In particular, key themes being undertaken are sexual and power harassment. Measures and the internal whistleblowing system are introduced during the compliance training the Group implements every year.