Osaka, Japan — Mikio Sakai, currently senior executive officer, chairman of Blommer Chocolate Co. and president of Fuji Specialty Inc. has been named president and CEO of Fuji Oil Group effective April 1. Nao Rokukawa has been named chairman of Blommer Chocolate. Rokukawa is currently managing director of Fuji Europe Africa. In addition to his chairman role at Blommer, he will serve as president of Fuji Specialties, which includes Fuji Vegetable Oil and Harald.
Sakai says he will focus on global management in his new role. “Under these severe conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, my first priority is to strengthen our management base, and continue with our purpose and precepts while aiming for a growth strategy. I will implement ESG (environmental, social, and governance) management, and progress our model for its realization.”
He notes that plant-based food solutions have been a core concept for the company since its foundation and that he will establish this as a third pillar for the company alongside the oil and fat, and chocolate businesses.
“Our company was founded to solve the problems of the planet and its people, such as global warming and environmental destruction, which form the backbone of ESG management these days. Our strength lies in processing technology. I want to create a business that promotes ESG management in the processed food business focusing on plant-based protein or vegetable oils and fats as the main raw material.”
Commenting on the development of plant-based, Sakai points out: “Instead of relying solely on soybeans as the raw material for plant-based protein, I want to consider all plant-based materials within plant-based food. Another potential area is to support the many startups that are new to meat analogs by providing ingredients with a ‘plus alpha’ so they can differentiate themselves from their competition.”