Section 172 (1) statement
In discharging their duties to promote the interests of the Company under section 172 Companies Act 2006, the Directors of the Company have regard to a number of factors and stakeholder interests. These are described below. As a wholly owned subsidiary, the Directors do not consider the factors listed in section 172(1)(f) (the need to act fairly between members of the company) is relevant to the proper discharge of their duties under section 172.
The business of the Company is the provision of authentic Japanese food and drink to the restaurant, retail, wholesale and manufacturing sectors. The Company has its primary business focussed on the UK and Ireland markets, but is also engaged in the export of Japanese food and drink products to Europe and beyond.
Long term consequences of business decisions and maintaining reputation for high standards of business conduct
The company operates in a sector characterised by long term relationships between stakeholders, driven by a relatively small number of market participants. The Company considers that its role in promoting Japanese Food and drink, part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List, is a worthwhile promotion of international relationships and one that entirely coincides with the social and commercial goals of its Board, shareholders and ultimate owners.
Accordingly, consideration of long term consequences are an inherent part of the Company’s decision-making processes. The Board considers that the interests of the Company and its ultimate owners are aligned in seeking sustainable value creation over the longer term through the Company’s operations, promoting long term strategic decision-making.
These factors also drive a continuing focus on the maintenance of durable relationships with stakeholders, built on Tazaki Food Limited’s reputation with customers and suppliers.
Details of the Code of Practice that sets out the basis on which the wider Group deals with customers and other stakeholders, and other methods of stakeholder engagement designed to maintain the Group’s reputation for high standards of business conduct, is set out the corporate governance statement within Takara Group Report 2019 of the Consolidated Financial Statements of Takara Holdings Inc. for the year ended 31 March 2019.
Identification of, and engagement with, stakeholder groups
The Company recognises the importance of maintaining strong relationships with its stakeholders in order to create sustainable long term value, and the Board encourages active dialogue and transparency with all its stakeholder groups.
The Company has identified six main stakeholder groups which are relevant to the proper discharges of the duties of the Directors of relevant group companies under section 172 (1) to promote the success of their company. These are;
- Tazaki Foods Limited’s customers;
- Tazaki Foods Limited’s suppliers;
- The local communities within which we operate;
- Tazaki Foods Limited’s external lenders;
- Tazaki Foods Limited’s employees; and
- Tazaki Foods Limited’s owners.
Details of these groups, and the main methods that Directors have used to engage with those stakeholders during the course of the year, are set out in the corporate governance statement within Takara Group Report 2019 of the Consolidated Financial Statements of Takara Holdings Inc.( the ultimate parent company of the Takara Holdings Inc. Group) for the year ended 31 March 2019 (Ultimate Parent Governance Statement).
Given the business of the Company, the Board believes that four categories, Customer/Supplier relationships, Staff, Health and safety, Environmental regulations and Cultural and Social Bonds are key to the company along with the central mission that the Company does not only supply food and drink for commercial gain, but also promotes cultural and social bonds that are equally relevant to the proper discharge of the duties of the Directors of the Company under section 172 (1);
Customer and Supplier relationships
The Company supports customers and suppliers throughout the supply chain and we leverage our long experience in the market combined with continued innovation in products and sourcing to drive growth and shared returns for both the Company, our customers and our suppliers. The Company builds long term relationships in all aspects of its business, allowing it to focus on customer service while ensuring that food safety and compliance are always at the forefront of our business model. We act in a fair and honourable way to all of our customers and suppliers, always ensuring that we operate on a level playing field. This is what makes the company a trusted partner in the food industry and ensures our continued growth and success.
The Company is committed to a philosophy that content and well-trained employees are important assets of the business. Therefore, the company seeks to provide an environment which encourages the continuous development of employees through comprehensive training programmes where appropriate.
The Company has an equal opportunities policy and is committed to ensuring that all employees are treated fairly and with complete equality, regardless of gender, marital status, sexual orientation or disability. Training is provided to all levels of staff, and investment in employee development continues to be a priority. Our flat company structure ensures that all staff have access to the highest levels of the business. We recognise the value of spontaneity and the creativeness of our employees in bringing benefits to the Company and its business and encourage a teamwork-based approach that ensures that all sections of the Company are working together towards the same goals.
The board monitors staff turnover and staffing levels on a continuous basis recognising the crucial importance to the business of retaining the best staff.
- Health and safety
The Company’s goal is to always meet all food safety and legal requirements for products and the supply chain and in order to achieve this we are committed to maintaining our BRC standard for storage and distribution to ensure that we are always audited against the highest requirements and standards of the market.
The safety of staff is regarded as paramount and incident rates are monitored closely. Training programmes are implemented for all new employees and refresher courses are held as appropriate. The Company has robust contracts in place for all equipment and assets to ensure that employees are always using equipment, vehicles and machinery maintained to the highest level of safety and the same applies to the building environment in which they work. The Company also works closely with its customers to ensure that deliveries are conducted in a safe and secure way for both parties.
- Environmental regulations
The Company seeks to operate to the highest standards and comply with all environmental regulations relating to food and its packaging. Recent European and UK Government initiatives aiming to tackle the environmental impact of packaging, especially plastic packaging, have led to our efforts to look for more environmentally sustainable business models, and we will continue our efforts and research into the possibility of making biodegradable packaging a commercial as well as an environmental success.
The Company fulfils its duty to minimise adverse environmental impacts by ensuring efficient use of materials and energy, recycling where possible, minimising waste and ensuring compliance with relevant legislation
- Cultural and Social Bonds
The Company is proud of its long history in the UK in which it has always been at the forefront of promoting friendship and exchange between the Japanese and UK communities. We are equally proud to have been promoting Japanese food and drink culture long before it became recognised by UNESCO as a unique world asset. Our Yutaka brand has introduced authentic Japanese food to the mass UK consumer through the main UK supermarkets and we have always been the strongest force behind the flourishing Japanese restaurant market in the UK. We believe that the promotion of Japanese food and drink not only helps our business, but has a valuable social and cultural role to play and we want our employees to be proud of this contribution.