March 18, 2022
Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan delivers safe and secure Coca-Cola products from 17 plants operating in 38 prefectures. The "Voice of the Plant Manager" Series introduces the charms of each plant in an interview format.
Our fifth interview will be with Plant Manager Hirayama from the Hakushu Plant in Hakushu, Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture.
―Please introduce yourself.
Hello, everyone. My name is Hirayama, and I'm the Plant Manager of the Coca-Cola Bottlers Japan Hakushu Plant. I joined the company in 1990 and started working at the Hakushu Plant in 2019. I'm from Saitama Prefecture, and I'm currently living away from my family in Nirasaki City, not far from the factory. My hobby is jogging, and on my days off when the weather is nice, I go to Nirasaki Central Park near my home. The park is on a hill, and it has a great view of Mount Fuji. Just the thing to energize me!
―Please give us an overview of the Hakushu Plant.
The Hakushu Plant was built in 1997 and employs approximately 80 people. It's located in the Minami Alps UNESCO Eco-Park, where we collect natural water from Hakushu, a town famous for its water. We mainly produce "I LOHAS Tennensui", which we predominantly ship to the Kanto area.
―Are there any spots around the plant that you recommend?
I would recommend the Ojiro River that flows nearby. The Ojiro River Valley, which originates from a mountain stream that flows down from Mount Kaikoma, has beautiful scenery. In the summer, it attracts many hikers who come in search of cooler temperatures. The river has also been chosen as one of the "100 Best Waters of Japan" by the Ministry of the Environment.
―So the plant is surrounded by beautiful mountains and rivers. What activities do you intend to focus on at the Hakushu Plant in the future?
We would like to be environmentally conscious and work hard to create products that are friendly to both the local community and to the environment. The "I LOHAS Tennensui" manufactured at the Hakushu Plant uses 100% recycled PET bottles※
※100% recycled PET bottles, 555ml PET bottles
In July 2020, we also signed a forest conservation agreement in support of the "nurturing of water resources" activities promoted by Yamanashi Prefecture to protect the water resources used by the plant and by the region. In addition, a portion of our proceeds from the sales of "I LOHAS" was donated to Hokuto City for forest conservation and the protection of water resources. We would like to continue our support so that we can pass the delicious water of Yamanashi on to future generations.
―What are some things that you place particular importance on when manufacturing Coca-Cola brand products safely and securely in this plant?
I LOHAS Tennensui" is shipped after undergoing a strict quality check with over 280 items. In addition to complying with the rules, I hope that each and every member of the Hakushu Plant keeps the customers who pick up our products in mind while doing their work.
―Please tell us what things you keep in mind while working as a Plant Manager responsible for supervising a large number of subordinates.
I take care to observe my team members' work closely and communicate with them more often.
For example, when reporting on project progress, we believe that if members understand why they've been working hard, they will be able to communicate on a deeper level.
―Finally, please tell us about a "happy moment" you had recently.
When I return to my home in Saitama, my dog is always happy to see me and clings to me persistently. It has been 13 years since I adopted my old dog, and now it spends most of its time sleeping. It seems like my dog has been waiting for me to come home, which makes me happy.