Our driving force for the future is our employees, who spontaneously ask and try.
We are happy to celebrate our 100th anniversary.I deeply appreciate our customers and stakeholders, including the shareholders who have supported us up to the present, the senior personnel who have helped us overcome various difficulties, and our current employees.
Looking forward to the next 100 years, I expect the first 20 to 30 years in front of us to be very hard. To survive as a company, we must seriously understand the rapid changes in our social environment, particularly our demographic shift toward an older population, and treat the issues and problems we face as our own. The awareness of every employee must be expanded.
Since becoming president in 2012 I have been considering how we should revise our philosophy upon reaching our 100th anniversary. From the beginning I have thought that everyone in our company should take part in the formulation of a new corporate philosophy. Now, I sense that our employees have a growing conviction that "we should all act together." The process to establish our corporate slogan and corporate philosophy has also been led by our employees, not by our management. Many departments and employees of all ages, especially young ones in their 20s and 30s, volunteered to help formulate the guiding principles based on our corporate slogan and corporate philosophy.
As a result, our guiding principles consist of questions for each of us. We formulated the principles by ourselves, ask ourselves the questions in the principles, and act to realize our corporate slogan and corporate philosophy. That will be the driving force of the future Morinaga Milk.
As a company that deals with health, we are committed to responding to the expectations of society and fulfilling our responsibilities.
Our business is based on milk and is heavily involved in people's health. In the sense that we deal with foods that produce health, our business itself is CSR. We must regard our responsibilities to society as quite natural. If we have a culture that allows our employees to understand how to respond to the expectations of society in the business process, or to understand what each department emphasizes and disseminates, our CSR and roles will be clear to us as a matter of course.
For that purpose, we want to always look to the world and society, and to fully understand the latent needs and minds of our customers. The growing attention focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reflects the emphasis on sociality in this day and age. If all of our employees understand this, I think a culture urging them to do what they have to do will be grow naturally.
We hope to be a "virtuous company" looking beyond economic efficiency.
The year 2017 is the third year of the 5-year Medium-Term Business Plan set to end in the fiscal year ending March 2020. It is an important year that bring us significant opportunities to create growth. Thanks to the external environment, we have enjoyed good sales in the first two years. Sales have been so good, we think that everything is about to start.
From now on we will have to look beyond the domestic market to the future with a global perspective. The world today is in a turbulent era. Global standards are unstable. In order to revitalize our stagnant economy, Japanese companies must take the lead in creating new global standards.
Our company has many assets such as unique technologies, new technologies that go one or two steps ahead, and delicate services and forms of hospitality that impress people. We also think that companies should have values that people cherish such as "virtue" –values not manifest in the pursuit of short-term interests alone.
People live to be happy. That being the case, their ultimate focus is health. Our business is positioned in the same place: health. To serve our customers, we must be able to deal with any challenge without losing sight of health.
We will continue to contribute to the healthy lives of our customers through food and hope to remain a company that is needed by society.