From February 25, 2011, Rakuten, Inc. (“Rakuten,” Chairman and CEO: Hiroshi Mikitani, Head Office: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo), and TABLE FOR TWO International (“Table for Two,” “TFT,” Director: Masahisa Kogure, Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo), a Japanese NPO working to solve global food issues, will begin “A Good Thing: Rakuten Recipe’s Table for Two,” with the goal of providing international assistance using “Rakuten Recipe,” a recipe site operated by Rakuten.
The “A Good Thing: Rakuten Recipe’s Table for Two” program will donate 10 yen to TFT each time a Rakuten Recipe member posts an original recipe. Registration for the site is free, and by simply by posting a recipe, members can participate in food-related assistance activities which will provide a gift of one half of a school meal to an African child via a 10-yen donation (since one school meal in the area of assistance costs 20 yen, two recipe postings will provide one full meal). This is the first time that TFT has collaborated with a recipe site.
Rakuten Recipe enjoys strong support from its users. Since October 2010 when the site opened over 80,000 recipes have been posted to it (as of February 25, 2011). Rakuten Recipe is part of the Rakuten Group’s CSR activities, and as such is being used not only for posting and viewing recipes, but also for contributing widely to the world at large through recipes.
In February 2011, a questionnaire was sent to Rakuten Recipe members, with 1,546 people responding. When asked what was important to them when thinking about what to eat every day, over half of the respondents answered either “Being able to use the ingredients I have at home” (77%), “Making food my family likes” (52%), and “Making something easy” (62%). When asked whether or not they would want to participate if it were possible to contribute to the alleviation of food problems in the world through the use of recipes, about 77% replied that they would want to participate.
Rakuten Recipe decided to initiate this program based on these results, and hopes that via this program, by preparing food at home and posting recipes, users will be able to essentially share food with children in Africa as if they were seated at the same dinner table. This will also allow site members to enjoy their meals with a warm state of mind.
At the same time, TFT is working in Japan to make social contributions aimed at simultaneously addressing lifestyle-related diseases and other problems associated with food opulence in developed countries while working on the problem of hunger in developing countries. TFT is promoting the TABLE FOR TWO @HOME program, through which users prepare healthy meals at home and make donations through TFT.