Support for Recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake

The Nisshin Seifun Group’s hopes

Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, the Nisshin Seifun Group has been hoping that the people affected by the disaster or evacuated because of it will be able to rebuild healthy, flourishing daily lives as quickly as possible and we have continuously carried out activities to support this recovery based on our Corporate Principle. Our employees also volunteer to visit affected areas to carry out recovery and exchange activities, providing them with valuable opportunities to work together with the local people.

Initiatives

The Group’s efforts are centered around Nisshin Seifun Group Inc.’s General Administration Division, which carries out duties such as liaising and coordinating with NPOs, coordinating employee volunteer activities, and holding seminars to gain the understanding of the locals.

Under this structure, we are cooperating with local NPOs on activities based on three themes: “Building flourishing lives,” “welfare and diversity,” and “livelihoods and prosperity.”

  • Supporting active participation by women
  • Cultivating community leaders
  • Providing play opportunities for children
  • Supporting the Mirai Passport Program (a career education program)
  • Supporting skill-building and sales activities by welfare centers
  • Supporting an organic cotton project
  • In-house sales and group purchasing of goods produced in affected areas

Building flourishing lives

We are continuously supporting collaborative activities to rebuild connections between people and create flourishing communities.

Supporting active participation by women

We are supporting Yappesu!, a program by NPO Ishinomaki Recovery Support Network centered on local mothers in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture. It involves various activities aimed at realizing a town where women, children, and young people can play an active role.

Yappesu! holds classes for mothers as a place for them to connect with each other, and we are supporting this by teaching Fureai Kitchen cooking classes. This year, the class was held online because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fureai Kitchen 2020 was a bread making class that used Nisshin Camellia flour alongside local specialty ingredients.

Event Date Organizer, collaborator, and supporter
Fureai Kitchen 2020 February 22, 2021 NPO Ishinomaki Recovery Support Network

Providing play opportunities for children

We are supporting organizations that provide children with opportunities to discover a variety of information and grow at their own pace through play.

Nisshin Seifun Group Inc. sponsors the Mother and Child Nature School initiative. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic meant that the school could not be held in person, so a Mother and Child Nature School Reunion was held instead, bringing together all the people who had participated in the schools to date. Participants were introduced to panzerotti, made using Nisshin Camellia flour and ingredients from the town of Tadami, as a representative dish for the school. They also reminisced about school experiences while viewing a video of the autumn and winter scenery of Tadami and the Oze marshlands.

Event Date Organizer and collaborators
Mother and Child Nature School Reunion March 7, 2021 Host: The Nature Conservation Society of Japan
Collaborators: Keiko Koike (development and preparation of the representative dish)
Takumi Fukushima (filming and editing of the video)
The Japan Food Journal Co., Ltd.

Welfare and diversity

Supporting skill-building and sales activities by welfare centers

The impact of the tsunami and nuclear accident following the Great East Japan Earthquake means that there are areas of Futaba District, Fukushima Prefecture, where residence is restricted. Magical Sweets Polvorón is a brand established in fiscal 2015 as a collaboration between 13 facilities (representing about 200 users), including welfare centers that have been displaced from the area for a long time and NPO Shinsei. The goal of the brand is to create safe places and stable employment for people who were disabled during the disaster.
These organization are utilizing their respective strengths, with five centers baking the sweets and the other centers carrying out packaging and sales operations.

The Group has been supporting this initiative since 2014, including by providing skills training for center staff and users, donating kitchen equipment, and making in-house group purchases.
On December 26, 2017, NPO Shinsei won the Chief Cabinet Secretary’s Award at the 1st Japan SDGs Awards hosted by the Government of Japan’s SDGs Promotion Headquarters.

The announcement of the award
The announcement of the award
Miho Tominaga Chairperson NPO Shinsei
Miho Tominaga
Chairperson
NPO Shinsei

This award is thanks to the efforts of everyone involved in this project. I would like to express our sincere gratitude to the people who gave their sympathy to Fukushima after the disaster and who, seven years later, are still providing us with background support.

A polvorón is a traditional Spanish sweet eaten at celebrations. It is known for its cinnamon fragrance and the way it melts in the mouth when eaten.
A polvorón is a traditional Spanish sweet eaten at celebrations. It is known for its cinnamon fragrance and the way it melts in the mouth when eaten.
A set sold within the Group featuring sweets paired with a Christmas card.
A set sold within the Group featuring sweets paired with a Christmas card.

Livelihoods and prosperity

Spinning a future for agriculture in Fukushima – supporting an organic cotton project

The area around Iwaki in Fukushima was heavily impacted by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the tsunami that followed it, which caused saltwater damage to the land. It also suffered reputational damage due to the accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and as a result, many farmers were forced to give up production. Iwaki OtentoSUN Enterprise Cooperative is a cooperative comprising local farmers and volunteers from the Greater Tokyo Area. Since 2012, it has been advancing the Fukushima Organic Cotton Project in which it grows Bicchu Brown cotton without using pesticides and then turns the harvested cotton into products, such as T-shirts, washcloths, and towels.

We have been supporting the project’s activities since 2014 by sending volunteers to participate in farming activities. We hope that it will help develop a sustainable economy for the region, conserve local biodiversity, promote sustainable lifestyles, and lead to the active social participation of women and disabled people through handicrafts.

In-house sales and group purchasing of goods produced in affected areas

As part of our efforts to help areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake, we have been carrying out in-house sales and group purchasing events within the Group with the goal of providing continuous support for the revival of local production and tourism in these areas. We have been focusing on products by businesses and producers in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefectures, areas where our other recovery aid efforts are being carried out.

Event dates Location Producer and products
December 17-18, 2020 Nisshin Seifun Group Inc. Kanda Head Office Building, Koamicho Building NPO Shinsei
In-house sale of Magical Sweets Polvorón and handmade masks
November 27-28, 2020 Nisshin Seifun Group Inc. Kanda Head Office Building, Koamicho Building Tonarino Foundation
In-house sale of apples
December 2, 2019 NBC Meshtec Head Office SAVE TAKATA Foundation
In-house sales festival
November 28-29, 2019 Nisshin Seifun Group Inc. Kanda Head Office Building, Koamicho Building SAVE TAKATA Foundation
In-house sales festival
November 28-29, 2018 Nisshin Seifun Group Inc. Kanda Head Office Building, Koamicho Building SAVE TAKATA Foundation
In-house sales festival
January 7, 2018 Nisshin Seifun Group Inc. Kanda Head Office Building NPO Miyagi SELP (Support of Employment, Living and Participation)
Food and sundry goods produced by welfare centers in Kumamoto and Miyagi Prefectures
December 2017 Nisshin Seifun Group (all Group companies) NPO Shinsei
Magical Sweets Polvorón Christmas sets
November 30, 2017 Nisshin Seifun Group Inc. Koamicho Building SAVE TAKATA Foundation
Local food products from Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture
November 29, 2017 Nisshin Seifun Group Inc. Kanda Head Office Building SAVE TAKATA Foundation
Local food products from Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture
August 24-September 22, 2017 Nisshin Seifun Group Inc. Kanda Head Office Building, Koamicho Building, Osaka Office Iwaki OtentoSUN Enterprise Cooperative
Towels and washcloths

Our in-house sales events featuring products from Rikuzentakata in Iwate Prefecture provided by Tonarino Foundation (formerly SAVE TAKATA Foundation) were carried out in partnership with Certified NPO Sodateage Net. Some of the sales operations were handled by trainees on the NPO’s career skill training program, which helps socially isolated young people prepare for employment (the event in 2020 was the sixth of these events).

Ten years on from the Great East Japan Earthquake – holding a lecture on “Change Based on the Lessons of March 11”

In order to ensure the lessons of the Great East Japan Earthquake are not forgotten, we held an in-house lecture with the aim of encouraging employees to think once again about the disaster and to raise their disaster awareness. The lecture focused on the importance of making preparations in time of safety based on the tragedy of Okawa Elementary School, where many of the children and staff lost their lives.
(Lecturer: Toshiro Sato, special lecturer from the Smart Supply Vision Foundation)