In the time since Nihon Seito Co., Ltd. and Fuji Seito Co., Ltd. merged to form Fuji Nihon Seito Corporation in 2001, we have enjoyed consumers' support and patronage as we endeavor to strengthen our business foundations towards further expansion and growth. It is thanks to all of you that we now mark our current success.
Japan's demand for sugar has dropped from 2.3 million tons at the time of our merger to 1.9 million tons today. In response to this changing operating environment, early on, we moved our raw sugar refining business from the former Nihon Seito Yokohama Plant and our solid sugar refining business from the former Fuji Seito Shimizu Plant to Pacific Sugar Mfg. Co., Ltd. plant in Yokohama where we operate in cooperation with other partners. This enabled us to successfully increase production efficiency and decrease costs. We are currently exploring options towards our ultimate aim of consolidating all sugar refining processes into Pacific Sugar Mfg.
Meanwhile, we have also focused on our functional food and materials business in order to reduce our reliance on sugar refining. We have managed to develop this field as the second pillar of revenue for our company by consolidating management resources and bolstering our development of new technologies.
As part of our efforts to achieve further growth, we set a new 3-year mid-term management plan, which started from April 2016. Our plan is to take a proactive approach, whereby we carefully cultivate our budding businesses and develop new projects which will lead us into the next generation at Fuji Nihon Seito, all while maintaining our existing basic businesses.
Our Corporate Philosophy states that 'we aim to be "a strong company with a vision", helping to create a healthy lifestyle for consumers'. Under this banner, we have set a five-part 'Management Policy' and in order to realize these policies over the next three years, we will need to reinforce our foundations towards further growth and develop even more new businesses. We have now undertaken the first steps towards executing this plan. As a Group, we will demonstrate our total capabilities to successfully meet these goals.
We will continue to give back to our shareholders, customers, partners, the local community and Group employees through our steady growth, while also fulfilling our responsibilities to society.
All of us at Fuji Nihon Seito will do our utmost to create a company which can distinguish itself and command a presence in the global market. We look forward to your continued support.
President & CEO