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Article
20 January 2020

Japan: Toyo Rice presents on SDG approach to rice cultivation at UN Forum

Author: The Japan Food Journal

[Excerpt translation from Japanese to English provided by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre]

“Toyo Rice announces activities to contribute to SDGs at UN--first in Japan, first among developed countries”, 11 Dec 2019

On November 27, Toyo Rice attended a lunch session at the 8th UN Business and Human Rights Forum at the UN European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. At the event,…President Keiji Saiga announced his company’s presentation theme, “Japanese Rice a Sustainable Approach”. The announcement marked the first time a Japanese company presented on SDGs at the UN and the first among developed countries to present a sustainable approach to rice production…

As part of its new activity, Toyo Rice created a visualization of its processes by applying the SDG Scorecard developed by the Bluenumber Foundation (a non-profit organization with headquarters in New York) to assess its contribution to the SDGs—a first among Japanese companies. To visualize its processes, the company asked 11 organizations, including agricultural cooperatives, as well as 205 producers of rice and other products, to answer approximately 50 questions that make up the scorecard’s indices. Toyo Rice’s Brand-Grind [(BG)] rice initiative focuses on 14 of the 17 SDGs.

At the UN, the initiative was praised, with one attendee saying, “I didn’t know there was circularity to food production. This is a wonderful initiative”…President Saiga responded to these comments by saying that the initiative was a chance to promote the activities of Japanese companies to the world. He said, “Our effort isn’t limited to an announcement by one company. It’s also a future opportunity to deepen the responsibilities of Japanese companies.”

Miho Okada, Executive Director of the Bluenumber Foundation, said the organization is thinking about further developing and maturing the project with Toyo Rice. She said, “We are trying to draw attention to producers’ activities. Toyo Rice’s initiative involves everyone in its value chain, including producers. We are thinking about incorporating consumers’ scores in our assessment as well.”

In 1976, Toyo Rice began research on preventing pollution caused by rinsing rice. In 1991, the company completed the development of no-rinse BG rice, which requires no rinsing…

…Toyo Rice established a consortium of about 200 companies and organizations for no-rinse BG rice with producers and consumers, with a focus on 36 companies producing this type of rice in Japan. At the first consortium summit, it announced its intention to contribute to the SDGs with its “no-rinse rice statement “

In Toyo Rice’s circular agricultural production operation, stakeholders, including producers, retailers, and consumers, produces, sells, and uses brand-grind rice, eliminating pollution from rinsing rice. At the time of BG rice production, the nuka produced as a byproduct is converted into…fertilizer, [which is used] by farmers to produce healthier rice…

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Article
+ 日本語 - Hide

Author: The Japan Food Journal

「東洋ライス、SDGs貢献活動を国連で発表 日本初・先進国初」2019年12月11日

東洋ライスはスイス・ジュネーブの国際連合欧州本部で開催された「第8回国連ビジネスと人権フォーラム」で11月27日(現地時間)…「Japanese Rice A Sustainable Approach」(日本米の持続可能なアプローチ)をテーマに雑賀慶二社長が発表を行った。発表は日本初、先進国初。…

新しい試みとして日本で初めてSDGsへの貢献度をブルーナンバー財団(ニューヨークに本部を置くNPO法人)が開発する「SDGスコアカード」で「見える化」したことも特徴で、スコアの指標となる約50問に農業協同組合など団体11件、コメ生産者205人と生産者を巻き込んで「見える化」を図った。BG米の取組みはSDGs17項目のうち14項目が重なっている。

国連会場では「食に循環があるとは知らなかった。すばらしい取組み」と評価されたほか、「もっと早く世界にアピールすべきだった」という意見も上がったとし、雑賀社長は、「当社1社の発表にとどまらず、日本企業のこれからに向けた意義深い機会となった」と、日本企業の取組みを世界にアピールする先鞭(せんべん)になったと手応えを得ていた。

岡田美穂ブルーナンバー財団エグゼクティブディレクターは「生産者に光を当てたいと活動をしている。東洋ライスは生産者を含むバリューチェーン全体で取り組んでいる。これからは消費者のスコアも入れていくことを考えている」と、今後も東洋ライスと一緒にプロジェクトを進化、成熟させていく考えである。…

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Article
25 November 2019

New discussion paper on mandatory human rights due diligence - includes perspectives from business, government and civil society

Author: Shift

"Let's talk mandatory measures", Fall 2019

[M]andatory measures have not been a central part of the mix considered by states in the initial years of UNGPs implementation... That is now changing, particularly in Europe. A growing number of states are actively considering the use of mandatory due diligence measures...

Civil society organizations have been advocating for greater consideration of mandatory measures for some time. However, we are increasingly hearing businesses across diverse sectors and geographies start to urge consideration of a level playing field... As engagement increases, the discussion is starting to move beyond whether these measures are necessary, towards what shape regulation can take to be most effective in fostering rights-respecting business practice...

This requires that space be made for a diversity of business voices... To inform the design of any future measures, we need to unpack their concerns...

[B]usiness needs to listen to civil society advocates and human rights defenders...

Governments of course have a key role to play both in creating space for dialogue among stakeholders and in crafting thoughtful legislative proposals grounded in a solid evidence base of what works.

A "smart mix" also means looking at all the different levers the state has...

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Report
25 November 2019

New report: "Navigating the Future of Business and Human Rights - Good Practice Examples"

Author: United Nations Global Compact

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights outline the corporate responsibility to respect human rights, including in supply chains, and to provide effective remedy to victims of business-related human rights abuses. These expectations are often difficult to implement in day-to-day business operations, in particular due to the complexity of supply chains or operations in challenging contexts with weak governance and a lack of strong institutions.

In the context of a fast-changing world, new human rights challenges frequently emerge and companies may struggle to keep up with the constant push to play a positive role in tackling such challenges, to align their business strategies and to understand in practice what it means to take a holistic look. Companies continue to face challenges in areas such as...

I. Preparing for the future of work and the technological revolution

II. Ensuring climate justice and a just transition to a zero-carbon economy

III. Putting in place effective remedy and grievance mechanisms

IV. Ensuring the protection of migrant rights and ethical recruitment practices

V. Making investments with a gender lens

VI. Taking a fresh look at human rights due diligence

VII. Tackling working poverty ...

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