Communicating CSR: Case Study of Japanese Food Industry

  •  Kaori Takano    


This study examines how the Japanese food industry responded to the food education law of 2005 through
corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication. No previous study has examined factory visits and food
education of the Japanese food industry as social responsibility activity in the light of the new food education law
in Japan. Corporate websites of all the food companies categorized in the food industry in Japan were examined
during the period 2009 December to 2010 March: A total of 275 companies, 139 publicly traded and 136 unlisted.
Examined were the availability of factory visits, CSR reports, and food education lessons conducted at schools.
Unlike a positive report from a study conducted by the government, the majority of the Japanese food industry
appears to be struggling to meet the social needs of food education and has failed to establish effective CSR
communication channels with stakeholders. This study contradicts a government survey report and reveals the
food industry did not appear to respond well to the food education law. The industry, however, may have engaged
in an implicit CSR approach considering the positive outcomes of the national movement of food education,
promoted by the food education law.

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