Information Disclosure and Enhancement of Management Oversight
Kagome discloses information to shareholders and investors in a fair, simple, timely manner. We are working to strengthen management oversight by reflecting in our business activities the shareholder opinions and demands that emerge from direct and indirect dialogues and exchanges with them, including the General Meeting of Shareholders, plant and farm tours , and other events, as well as questionnaire surveys.
Promotion of Dialogues and Interactions with Shareholders
At Kagome, we have great respect for our shareholders and call them "Kagome Fan Shareholders." We hold sessions for dialogues and interactions with our shareholders nationwide, aiming to deepen their understanding of Kagome further, securing an even higher level of support, and listening closely to what they have to say.
Reports on these events are posted on our official website and included in e-mail magazines that we distribute to our shareholders.
We will continue to enhance our activities for having dialogues and interactions with our shareholders as a company that is financially backed by Kagome Fan Shareholders.
General Meeting of Shareholders
Our company encourages an ever-greater number of shareholders to participate in its General Meeting of Shareholders by enhancing the content of "convocation notice" and "documents accompanying the convocation notice," disclosing them on the company website and sending them as early as possible. In 2017, we featured a discussion meeting among directors and included suggestions from external directors. At the General Meeting of Shareholders, we made efforts to provide reports in an easy-to-understand manner through speaker explanations and visuals using videos. Furthermore, through displays in the lobby, we work to share information about our activities with shareholders in a more productive manner and encourage their direct feedback.
After the meeting, we promptly disclosed details of the meeting including Q&A sessions and results of questionnaire surveys completed by shareholders who attended the meeting, in order to help shareholders who could not attend the meeting understand the details of the meeting.
"Talks with the President"
At Kagome, we began holding an event called Talks with the President in FY2014 to foster understanding of Kagome's management policy and corporate activities among shareholders and to solicit their honest opinions. In FY2016, this event was attended by 30 shareholders. President Terada gave them a presentation about our businesses and the latest business performance, which was followed by an active Q&A session. After the Q&A session, the shareholders were introduced to suggested recipes made with Kagome products through tastings.
Plant and Farm Tours for Shareholders
We organize plant and farm tours for our shareholders so that they can gain a better understanding of Kagome's production and other facilities. In June 2016, we held a tour at the Iwaki Onahama Greenfarm cultivation facility, and in August, tours were held at the Fujimi and Nasu plants. The tour participants had the opportunity to experience the harvesting of the "Lylyco" tomato variety (specially developed for use in making tomato juice) in the indoor and outdoor tomato cultivation areas, which allowed them to understand Kagome's commitment to high-quality ingredients. They also observed Kagome's production lines and appreciated the impressive level of food safety enabled by Kagome's manufacturing expertise. In addition, these tours brought home to participants the genuine concern that Kagome has, not only for individual ecosystems, but for the global environment as a whole.
Based on the idea that management oversight is enhanced by feedback about a company's corporate activities and business performance from the perspective of numerous shareholders, in fiscal 2001, Kagome began working to attract 100,000 "Kagome Fan Shareholders." This initiative drove shareholder numbers past the 100,000 mark on September 30, 2005, and the number of shareholders stands at approximately 193,000 as of December 31, 2016. We will continue to appropriately reflect the valuable opinions and needs of our shareholders in all our corporate activities.
Our company recognizes that returning profits to its shareholders is one of its most important management issues. We make it a basic policy to distribute stable dividends, targeting a dividend payout ratio of 40%. Internal reserves will be allocated to the strengthening of financial structure, future strategic investments and other activities aimed at even greater shareholder returns through future business growth.
Special Shareholder Benefits
Under Kagome's Special Shareholder Benefits system, a selection of Kagome products is sent to shareholders throughout Japan twice a year. Rather than merely being a case of "giving something back" to shareholders, the main aim of the Special Shareholder Benefits system is to use Kagome products to provide a better understanding of our company; every time, the products are accompanied by a questionnaire survey that helps us to understand shareholders' views and expectations, information that can then be utilized effectively in our business activities.
Our company's financial credibility is rated by Rating and Investment Information, Inc. (R&I) and Japan Credit Rating Agency, Ltd. (JCR). The following are the most recent ratings on Kagome by the two agencies.