Human Rights

The Maruha Nichiro Group has formulated the Maruha Nichiro Group Human Rights Policy based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in order to fulfill our responsibility to respect the human rights of stakeholders, including those in our supply chain. In FY2019, we began full-scale efforts to establish a system for human rights due diligence and are making progress toward identifying human rights risks and understanding the current situation through our business activities both in Japan and overseas. We are also striving to increase awareness of international standards with respect to human rights through human rights training targeted at group employees.

Maruha Nichiro Group Human Rights Policy

The Maruha Nichiro Group conducts its activities in a manner that respects the basic human rights of all persons around it, in order to practice the Group Philosophy: "We aim to be an essential part of society by improving everyone's daily life with wholesome, safe, and healthy food."

1. Respecting Human Rights

The Maruha Nichiro Group supports and respects the human rights designated in the International Bill of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, and engages in activities that are in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

2. Practicing Human Rights Due Diligence

The Maruha Nichiro Group continues to develop and implement a process of human rights due diligence, in order to prevent, mitigate, and remedy both direct and indirect negative impacts on human rights through our business activities. In the event that we discover the Group has caused or contributed to negative impacts on human rights, we take remedial action. Furthermore, we operate a channel for reporting concerns over impacts on human rights.

3. Scope of Application

This Human Rights Policy applies to all officers and employees of the Maruha Nichiro Group. The Maruha Nichiro Group implements human rights education to provide opportunities for each officer and employee to gain a deeper understanding of human rights. The Executive Officer in charge of the Personnel Department at Maruha Nichiro Corporation is responsible for putting this policy into action. The Maruha Nichiro Group pursues this policy in cooperation with its business partners and other stakeholders.

4. Positioning of the Human Rights Policy

The Code of Conduct of the Maruha Nichiro Group, under the heading of labor and human rights, calls for "Diversity, safety and openness in the workplace" and "Respect for human rights and the abolition of forced/child labor." This Human Rights Policy supplements the Code of Conduct and shall be reflected in related policies and guidelines.

5. Regulatory Compliance

The Maruha Nichiro Group complies with the laws and regulations of the countries and regions where it conducts business. If a country's laws conflict with internationally recognized human rights, the Maruha Nichiro Group looks for a way to ensure respect for the principles of international human rights.

6. Important Human Rights Issues

The Maruha Nichiro Group forbids harassment in the workplace and thoroughly practices labor management, pursuant to verifying that its employment practices are consistent with labor laws. The Maruha Nichiro Group also requires its business partners to adhere to these guidelines.

7. Dialogue with Stakeholders

The Maruha Nichiro Group engages in dialogue with stakeholders regarding its efforts to respect human rights. The Maruha Nichiro Group discloses information about its activities via its website and in its integrated report.

Established: July 2019
Maruha Nichiro Corporation

Due Diligence on Human Rights

The Maruha Nichiro Group considers respect for human rights, including within our supply chain, to be a management issue, and has launched activities starting in FY2019 aimed at constructing a united due diligence system (activities for identifying, assessing, preventing, and mitigating human rights risks).

Due Diligence on Human Rights within the Maruha Nichiro Group

Self-Assessment Questionnaires on Employment of Foreign Technical Intern Trainees

The Maruha Nichiro Group hires a large number of foreign technical intern trainees at its manufacturing sites in Japan.

Incidents of violation of the human rights of foreign technical intern trainees have been occurring in recent years, and it is believed that one of the factors is that foreign technical intern trainees are in a position where they are vulnerable to human rights violations. In FY2021, a Self-Assessment Questionnaire was conducted to ascertain the situation under the current situation of employment of foreign technical intern trainees at directly operated plants and Group Companies in Japan.

As a result of the Self-Assessment Questionnaires, we found that of the 62 domestic business sites surveyed, 23 are currently hiring foreign technical intern trainees and two are reviewing the possibility of employing such interns in the future.

Also, all business sites hired foreign technical intern trainees through a supervisory body. However, recognizing the issues such as the fact that many offices have not established specific criteria for the selection of supervisory bodies, we provided feedback on the Self-Assessment Questionnaires to each of our business sites in May FY2022.

Online feedback based on the results of human rights Self-Assessment Questionnaires foreign technical intern trainees

Interviews with Supervisory Bodies

In order to ascertain the status of the employment of foreign technical intern trainees at supervisory bodies, we conducted interviews with the Asahi Net Cooperative, the supervisory body for the employment of foreign technical intern trainees at directly-managed plants of Maruha Nichiro Corporation.

Although no major issues were identified, we recognized that the establishment of a human rights due diligence mechanism is a future issue, and we confirmed that both companies will cooperate with each other to address human rights due diligence.

Interview with Business Sites

In order to ascertain the actual status of responding to foreign technical intern trainees at business sites, we visited selected business sites, confirmed the actual working conditions, and conducted interviews.

Through interviews with plant supervisors and foreign technical intern trainees, checking the living environment and training sites of foreign technical intern trainees, and verifying various documents, we confirmed whether any human rights violations were occurring and whether any potential risks existed.

In the interviews with the foreign technical intern trainees, there were no particular complaints about their lives in Japan or the content of their training, and they appeared to be engaged in their training with cheerful expressions on their faces. However, throughout business site interviews, we became aware of issues that need to be addressed in the future, such as the fact that there are cases where foreign technical intern trainees pay unclear fees in the sending country, that there is room for improvement in the living environment, and that language support at the training site is inadequate.

Interviews with foreign technical intern trainees

Addressing Issues and Formulating Guidelines

We are working to promptly improve issues identified in the status of response to the Self-Assessment Questionnaire of foreign technical intern trainees and in interviews with supervisory bodies and some business sites.

In addition, based on these survey results, and referring to laws, regulations, and guidelines of third-party organizations, we will work to create a better working environment by formulating Maruha Nichiro Group guidelines for the employment of foreign workers so that foreign technical intern trainees can work to acquire skills with greater peace of mind. We will continue our efforts to create a better working environment.

Human Rights Due Diligence for Suppliers

In FY2021, we expanded the number of business partners surveyed regarding human rights and labor practices, and conducted Self-Assessment Questionnaires at certified plants that manufacture Maruha Nichiro products.

In FY2022, countermeasures will be implemented for business partners identified by the survey to pose risks.

Grievance Mechanism

Promote a Proactive Approach to Human Rights

At the Maruha Nichiro Group, we hold annual in-house human rights training targeting all employees as part of our activities for respecting human rights as defined in the Group Code of Conduct.

In FY2021, we conducted e-learning program training from the standpoint of preventing the spread of COVID-19.

We conducted e-learning training on “Everyday human rights” and “Human rights in business” targeting all employees and officers of the entire Group, with 5,870 people participating.

Human rights training (FY2019)
Human rights training (FY2019)

KGIs and KPIs for FY2022 to FY2030

In line with formulating the new Medium-term Management Strategy "For the Ocean, for Life MNV 2024,” we reevaluated the new nine important issues (materiality) on March 28, 2022 and formulated the Ideal State in 2030 (KGI) and Achievement Targets (KPI) in each materiality.

From FY2022, we will work on the targets we have formulated and aim to be Ideal State in 2030.


Respect human rights in business activities

Ideal state in 2030 (KGI)

We have achieved zero human rights abuses, including forced labor, in our supply chain, including our own Company

Achievement targets (KPI)
GRI Standards Target value Target year
Rate of human rights training (Domestic G) 100% 2024
Confirmation of zero human rights violations in the supply chain (Overall G) 100% 2030
Main SDGs to which we contribute