Kikkoman Marks 40th Anniversary of First U.S. Plant with $1 Million Gift to Water Research and Hosting of Economic Development Conference
Kikkoman Foods Inc., subsidiary of Kikkoman Corp., the world’s largest producer of naturally brewed soy sauce, today marked the 40th anniversary of its Walworth, Wis., soy sauce production facility.
The Wisconsin plant, which began operating in 1973 and was Kikkoman’s first in the United States, has grown to be the largest naturally brewed soy sauce plant in the world. It became the foundation for the company’s international business, which now accounts for nearly half of Kikkoman’s total sales.
To commemorate the 40th anniversary, Kikkoman announced that it will make a $1 million gift to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to advance the study of safe and sustainable drinking water. The gift will establish the Kikkoman “Healthy Waters” Environmental Health Laboratories in the university’s College of Life Sciences.
“We are always looking to the future and striving to be an even better corporate citizen,” said Yuzaburo Mogi, honorary chief executive officer and chairman of the board of Kikkoman Corp. and Kikkoman Foods Inc. “And that includes being a careful steward of natural resources. The safety and availability of drinking water are of vital importance, around the world and right here in Wisconsin.
“Milwaukee has become one of the world’s leading centers for fresh water research, education and industry,” Mr. Mogi said. “We believe the research being conducted at UW-Milwaukee may help solve some of the most critical water stewardship issues. It will also spur economic growth through the development and commercialization of new water-related technologies.”
The new Kikkoman laboratories will be located in the School of Freshwater Sciences building overlooking the Milwaukee harbor.
“We are profoundly grateful for Kikkoman’s support of the great work being done in UW-Milwaukee’s School of Freshwater Sciences,” said Michael Lovell, chancellor of UW-Milwaukee. “We look forward to extending our work on the safety and long-term availability of drinking water through the Kikkoman ‘Healthy Waters’ Environmental Health Laboratories. This work, which will significantly advance the stewardship of a critical natural resource, would not be possible without the generous 40th-anniversary commitment Kikkoman is making today.”
The announcement came at a news conference before the Wisconsin-U.S.-Japan economic development conference being held in conjunction with the anniversary celebration. Kikkoman, UW-Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp are sponsoring the conference. Conference discussions are being lead by preeminent leaders from the worlds of politics, academia and business from Japan and the United States, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
“The U.S. economy is recovering and the Japanese economy also seems to be picking up after two decades of stagnation,” Mr. Mogi said. “We must work hard to maintain this momentum. Old strategies will no longer bring the success we desire. If we are not changing and innovating, we will be left behind. We thank our generous co-sponsors for their support of this important event.”
The Luminis Group, Ltd. for Kikkoman Foods Inc.
Rod Hise, 608-770-7850