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Nippon Meat Packers, Inc.

Nippon Meat Packers, Inc.

6-14, Minami-Honmachi 3-chome
Chuo-ku
Osaka, 541-0054
Japan
Telephone: (06) 282-3031
Fax: (06) 282-1056
Web site: http://www.nipponham.co.jp

Public Company
Incorporated:
1949
Employees: 2,589
Sales: Yen 934.6 billion ($8.7 billion) (2005)
Stock Exchanges: Tokyo
Ticker Symbol: 2282
NAIC: 311611 Animal (Except Poultry) Slaughtering; 115114 Postharvest Crop Activities

Nippon Meat Packers, Inc., is Japan's leading meat processing company. Through its group of over 120 subsidiaries, the international company sells beef, pork, and chicken, as well as processed and cooked foods. A mislabeling scandal in 2002 tarnished Nippon Meat Packers' image and led to a major drop in profits. Since that time, the company has worked to restore consumer confidence and shore up sales and profits.

EARLY HISTORY

In March, 1942, just a few months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, president and founder of Nippon Meat Packers, Yoshinori Okoso, started in the meat business by establishing the Tokushima Meat Processing Factory in Tokushima. After seven years of producing hams and sausages, Okoso founded the Tokushima Ham Company, the forerunner to Nippon Meat Packers.

Supplies of genuine pork were scarce during World War II and on into the 1950s. As a result, the company often used rabbit and fish meat for their hams and sausages. Despite the hardships of short supply, the company's growth remained steady through the 1950s, marked in 1956 by the construction of the company's Osaka plant.

Pork shortages persisted into the 1960s, when mutton was used as a pork substitute. The company continued to grow, and by 1960, it began offering shares on the Osaka stock exchange. Two years later, the company appeared on the second section of the stock exchange in Tokyo, and in 1967, the company was promoted to the first sections of both the Tokyo and Osaka exchanges.

Growth in the 1960s came through the founding of new companies and links with existing ones. In 1963, the year the company adopted its present name, Nippon Meat Packers, the Torise Ham Company became an affiliate. Five years later, the company founded Nippon Broilers Company, a production and breeding facility for pigs and broiler chickens. The company has since set up similar facilities such as the Japan Farm, Kyushu Farm, Shiretoko Farm, and Tohoku Farm. In 1969, Nippon Meat Packers entered into business with Swift & Company, of the United States, one of the largest meat producers in the world at that time. The association lead to the sale of Swift brand hams and sausages in the Japanese market.

Also in 1969, Nippon Meat Packers established one of its most important product-development tools, the Housewives Directors Group. The group gathered opinions and complaints from women regarding the taste, price, packaging, and advertisement of Nippon Meat Packers' products. The organization helped the company produce big sellers such as Bun-ta-ta sausages, Winny skinless wieners, and Swift Loaf.

DIVERSIFICATION BEGINS IN 1970

The early 1970s were a time of diversification for Nippon Meat Packers. In 1970, the company founded a school known as the Nippon Meat Academy. In 1973, the company entered the food service business with the founding of its John Bull restaurant which it opened as a way of collecting product information and introducing new recipes. It soon opened other restaurants including Berni Inn, a combined pub and steak house; Yashiro, a shabu shabu restaurant; and Schau Essen Haus, a German-style pub.

Besides branching into restaurants, the company entered professional sports with the founding of the Nippon-Ham Fighters baseball club. Investment in the baseball team proved a successful advertising vehicle for both the company and the ham industry in Japan.

In the later 1970s, Nippon Meat Packers began taking global interests. In 1976, the company issued 7.5 million Continental Depositary Receipts on the stock exchange in Luxembourg. The following year, in 1977, the company founded Day-Lee Meats, in Los Angeles. Since then, Nippon Meat Packers has set up affiliates in Australia, Singapore, England, and Canada.

The 1980s were marked by continued growth and the introduction of several successful lines of meat. In 1981, the company introduced thin-sliced ham. Only half a millimeter thick, the product became one of the company's biggest sellers in the ham market and even won the Nihon Keizai Shimbun's (Japan's business newspaper) award for "Superior Product of the Year" in 1982. Growth in production and development continued in 1986, with a new production plant at Shizuoka and a new research center in the Ibaraki plant. The facilities improved the company's technology and processing capabilities. Also in 1986, Nippon Meat Packers introduced its highly successful raw ham products known as Schau Schinken.

Nippon Meat Packers' production extended into western Japan in 1987, with the establishment of the Hyogo Polka plant.

The company continued to grow both by adding processing facilities and introducing new food lines. In 1988 alone, the company introduced three new products: the Essen Burg, Mini Polka, and Lemon Chicken.

Introducing new meats and meat products to the Japanese diet made Nippon Meat packers one of the country's top food producers in the 1990s and put Nippon Meat Packers in a strong position to grow with the meat industry in Japan. The company held its leading industry position into the early years of the new millennium.

OVERCOMING SCANDAL IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM

While Nippon Meat Packers remained dedicated to expanding its business at the start of the new century, it was forced to deal with a major scandal. In 2001, the Japanese meat industry was hit hard by an outbreak of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease. The disease infected Japanese cattle and sales of beef fell dramatically. As such, the government launched a plan to help those in the industry by offering a beef buyback program. In 2002, Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries uncovered evidence that Nippon Meat Packers had mislabeled imported beef as domestic in order to receive the benefits of the buyback program.

As part of the investigation, the company's beef was pulled from store shelves and chairman and founder Okoso was forced to resignhe died at age 90 in April 2005. The company also set up a Quality Assurance Division, a Corporate Ethics Committee, and a Safety & Testing Office. Overall, profits fell by 75 percent in 2002.

COMPANY PERSPECTIVES

We will share the pleasure of good food and the enjoyment of good health with people throughout the world. We will value the gift of life and not compromise on quality; we will take the best possible care in offering food that is a joy to eat. We will pioneer the discovery of new eating possibilities to contribute to making life enjoyable and healthy.

The company spent much of the latter half of 2002 and 2003 rebuilding consumer confidence. Management worked to shore up sales and profits and continued to make strategic moves to bolster its business. The company acquired frozen seafood processor Hoko Fishing to strengthen is processed foods division.

In December 2003 Japan implemented a ban on U.S. beef imports after a cow in the United States was found with BSE. At the same time, the price of poultry increased as a result of outbreaks of avian flu in Asia. With bans on chickens from Thailand, China, and the United States, Nippon Meat Packers stood well positioned to benefit from its international importing operations in Australia as well as from its partnerships in Brazil.

Net sales increased during 2004 and 2005 along with net income. Eyeing its global operations as crucial to future growth, Nippon Meat Packers established an International Business Affairs Department in February 2005. The company also restructured domestic production operations and opted to shutter its Osaka Kita and Wakayama plants in 2006. While it appeared as though Nippon Meat Packers had successfully overcome the mislabeling scandal, the company remained dedicating to restoring its tarnished image. With a longstanding history as Japan's leading meat processor, the company would no doubt continue supplying consumers with meat, processed foods including sausages, and dairy products in the years to come.

                         Updated, Christina M. Stansell

PRINCIPAL SUBSIDIARIES

Nippon White Farm Co. Ltd.; Nippon Swine Farm Co. Ltd.; Texas Farm LLC; Oakey Holdings Pty. Ltd.; Nippon Food Packers Inc.; Nippon Pure Food Inc.; Oakey Abattoir Pty. Ltd.; Thomas Borthwick & Sons (Australia) Pty. Ltd.; Shizuoka-Nippon Ham Co. Ltd.; Nagasaki-Nippon Ham Co. Ltd.; Nippon Ham Shokuhin Co. Ltd.; Nippon Ham Sozai Co. Ltd.; Thai Nippon Foods Ltd.; Tohoku-Nippon Ham Co. Ltd.; Minami-Nippon Ham Co. Ltd.; Japan Food Corporation; Nippon Meat Packers Australia Pty. Ltd.; Day-Lee Foods Inc.; Higashi Nippon Food Co. Ltd.; Kanto Nippon Food Co. Ltd.; Naka Nippon Food Co. Ltd.; Nishi Nippon Food Co. Ltd.; Nippon Ham Hokubu Choku-Han Co. Ltd.; Nippon Ham Tobu Choku-Han Co. Ltd.; Nippon Ham Chubu Choku-Han Co. Ltd.; Nippon Ham Kinki Choku-Han Co. Ltd.; Nippon Ham Seibu Choku-Han Co. Ltd.; Nippon Logistics Group Inc.; Marine Foods Co. Ltd.; Nippon Luna Co. Ltd.; HOKO Co. Ltd.; Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters Co. Ltd.; Osaka Football Club Co., Ltd.

PRINCIPAL COMPETITORS

Itoham Foods Inc.; Maruha Group Inc.; Tyson Fresh Meats Inc.

KEY DATES

1942:
Yoshinori Okoso establishes the Tokushima Meat Processing Factory.
1949:
Okoso establishes Tokushima Ham Company, the forerunner to Nippon Meat Packers.
1956:
A plant opens in Osaka.
1960:
The company goes public.
1963:
The company adopts the Nippon Meat Packers name.
1969:
Nippon Meat Packers enters into business with U.S.-based Swift & Company.
1986:
A line of popular raw ham products known as Schau Schinken is launched.
2002:
The company admits to mislabeling imported beef as domestic in order to receive benefits of a government buyback program.
2005:
Founder Okoso dies.

FURTHER READING

"Fading Effect of Scandal Helps Nippon Meat Packers Inc. Post Sharp Profit Gain," Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, May 18, 2004.

"Heads Roll at Nippon Meat Packers," Nikkei Weekly, August 26, 2002.

"Japan Minister Hails Nippon Meat Chm.'s Resignation," Jiji Press English News Service, August 27, 2002.

"Japan Police Raid Nippon Meat Packers' Affiliates Over Illegal Pig Vaccination," Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, July 20, 2004.

"Nippon Meat Expects Loss for Year," Dow Jones Newswires, September 23, 2002.

"Nippon Meat Packers' Profit Hurt by Beef Scandal," Jiji Press English News Service, May 20, 2003.

"Nippon Meat Packers Working to Regain Public Trust," Nikkei Report, November 19, 2002.

"Nippon Meat's Biz Suspension to Continue into Sept.," Jiji Press English News Service, August 26, 2002.

"Police Raid Nippon Meat Packers in Beef Scandal," Jiji Press English News Service, October 1, 2002.

"Yoshinori Okoso, Nippon Meat Packers Founder, Dies at 90," Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, April 28, 2005.

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"Nippon Meat Packers, Inc.." International Directory of Company Histories. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Nippon Meat Packers, Inc.

Nippon Meat Packers, Inc.

47, Minami-Honmachi 4-chome
Higashi-ku
Osaka 541
Japan
(06) 282-3031

Public Company
Incorporated: 1949
Employees: 5,972
Sales: ¥529.29 billion (US$4.23 billion)
Stock Index: Tokyo Osaka Luxembourg Paris

Nippon Meat Packers is one of Japans leading processors of packaged hams, chicken, seafood, and sausages, marketing popular Japanese brands such as Chicken Nugget, Swift, and Schau Schinken.

In March, 1942, just a few months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, president and founder of Nippon Meat Packers, Yoshinori Okoso, started in the meat business by establishing the Tokushima Meat Processing Factory in Tokushima. After seven years of producing hams and sausages, Okoso founded the Tokushima Ham Company, the forerunner to Nippon Meat Packers.

Supplies of genuine pork were scarce during World War II and on into the 1950s. As a result, the company often used rabbit and fish meat for their hams and sausages. Despite the hardships of short supply, the companys growth remained steady through the 1950s, marked in 1956 by the construction of the companys Osaka plant.

Pork shortages persisted into the 1960s, when mutton was used as a pork substitute. The company continued to grow, and by 1960, it began offering shares on the Osaka stock exchange. Two years later, the company appeared on the second section of the stock exchange in Tokyo, and in 1967, the company was promoted to the first sections of both the Tokyo and Osaka exchanges.

Growth in the 1960s came through the founding of new companies and links with existing ones. In 1963, the year the company adopted its present name, Nippon Meat Packers, the Torise Ham Company became an affiliate. Five years later, the company founded Nippon Broilers Company, a production and breeding facility for pigs and broiler chickens. The company has since set up similar facilities such as the Japan Farm, Kyushu Farm, Shiretoko Farm, and Tohoku Farm. In 1969, Nippon Meat Packers entered into business with Swift & Company, of the United States, one of the largest meat producers in the world at that time. The association lead to the sale of Swift brand hams and sausages in the Japanese market.

Also in 1969, Nippon Meat Packers established one of its most important product-development tools, the Housewives Directors Group. The group gathers opinions and complaints from women regarding the taste, price, packaging, and advertisement of Nippon Meat Packers products. The organization helped the company produce big sellers such as Bun-ta-ta sausages, Winny skinless wieners, and Swift Loaf.

The early 1970s were a time of diversification for Nippon Meat Packers. In 1970, the company founded a school known as the Nippon Meat Academy. In 1973, the company entered the food service business with the founding of its John Bull restaurant which it opened as a way of collecting product information and introducing new recipes. It soon opened other restaurants including Berni Inn, a combined pub and steak house; Yashiro, a shabu shabu restaurant; and Schau Essen Haus, a German-style pub.

Besides branching into restaurants, the company entered professional sports with the founding of the Nippon-Ham Fighters baseball club. Investment in the baseball team proved a successful advertising vehicle for both the company and the ham industry in Japan.

In the later 1970s, Nippon Meat Packers began taking global interests. In 1976, the company issued 7.5 million Continental Depositary Receipts on the stock exchange in Luxembourg. The following year, in 1977, the company founded Day-Lee Meats, in Los Angeles. Since then, Nippon Meat Packers has set up affilites in Australia, Singapore, England, and Canada.

The 1980s were marked by continued growth and the introduction of several successful lines of meat. In 1981, the company introduced thin-sliced ham. Only half a millimeter thick, the product became one of the companys biggest sellers in the ham market and even won the Nihon Keizai Shimbuns (Japans business newspaper) award for Superior Product of the Year in 1982.

Growth in production and development continued in 1986, with a new production plant at Shizuoka and a new research center in the Ibaraki plant. The facilities improved the companys technology and processing capabilities. Also in 1986, Nippon Meat Packers introduced its highly successful raw ham products known as Schau Schinken.

Nippon Meat Packers production extended into western Japan in 1987, with the establishment of the Hyogo Polka plant.

The company continues to grow both by adding processing facilities and introducing new food lines. In 1988 alone, the company introduced three new products: the Essen Burg, Mini Polka, and Lemon Chicken.

Introducing new meats and meat products to the Japanese diet has made Nippon Meat packers one of the countrys top food producers and put Nippon Meat Packers in a strong position to grow with the meat industry in Japan.

Principal Subsidiaries

Day-Lee Meats, Inc. (U.S.A.); Nippon Meat Packers Australia Pty. Ltd.; Nippon Meat Packers Singapore Pte. Ltd.; and Nippon Meat Packers U.K. Ltd.; Nippon Meat Packers Canada Ltd.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Nippon Meat Packers, Inc.." International Directory of Company Histories. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Nippon Meat Packers, Inc.." International Directory of Company Histories. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 20, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/books/politics-and-business-magazines/nippon-meat-packers-inc-0

"Nippon Meat Packers, Inc.." International Directory of Company Histories. . Retrieved August 20, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/books/politics-and-business-magazines/nippon-meat-packers-inc-0