Established in 1937 and headquartered in Japan, Kyokuyo is a vertically integrated seafood company. The group produces, processes and sells marine food products with its own fishing operations and, more recently, bluefin tuna farming. Sea Marché is the group’s retail brand, while its frozen foods product series is known as Dandori Jozu in Japan. The group has subsidiaries and representative offices across the United States, Southeast Asia, China, and Europe, among others.
Governance and management of stewardship practices
Kyokuyo mentions several measures it has implemented to reduce the risk of bycatch and ghost gear in its fishing operations. The group, however, can improve on disclosing how it addresses the broader impact its operations have on ecosystems, through its wild-catch or aquaculture activities. Kyokuyo could increase its transparency around how it mitigates any negative impacts of its activities on ecosystems.
Implementation of human and labour rights policies
Through its Corporate Behaviour Charter, Kyokuyo shows commitments to respect human and labour rights. While the group states that its operations comply with relevant labour laws, it does not provide any evidence of processes in place to identify risks, track responses or enable the remediation of potential adverse human rights impacts resulting from its operations.
Kyokuyo provides information on how it supports local communities. The group states that its activities contribute to local economic development through local employment. Moreover, its social contribution activities are limited in scope. Kyokuyo should consider more systematic approaches to involve local businesses in its operations and contribute to the livelihoods of people living in surrounding areas.
In its “Change Kyokuyo 2021” management plan, the group outlines a sustainability strategy. The strategy includes qualitative targets linked to the sustainable use of marine resources alongside a number of other environmental and social factors. However, Kyokuyo does not present any quantitative data to indicate its progress on these targets, therefore restricting further analysis and limiting its accountability.
Compared to its peers, Kyokuyo lacks formal policies on key supply chain responsibilities. For instance, the group does not disclose any policies or procedures on sustainable sourcing or traceability mechanisms it has in place. Furthermore, Kyokuyo does not disclose any supporting evidence that could demonstrate how it performs on these important supply chain issues.
Kyokuyo provides information on its environmental footprint but has room for improvement in its performance across important metrics. The group discloses quantitative data to indicate that greenhouse gas emissions, electricity use and water use have all increased from 2013 baseline figures through to 2017. However, Kyokuyo does demonstrate that it has reduced food waste per kilogram of product across the same time frame. The group should set clear targets to go alongside this reporting as a means by which to increase its accountability to stakeholders.