Now ideas for wellness

About Meiji

At a Glance

At a Glance

Get to know Meiji at a glance – from our core business to our most important numbers.

Quality and Safety

Quality and Safety Target

Targets of the 2020 Medium-Term Business Plan (effective until March 31, 2021)*
KPI Result
FYE 3/2019 FYE 3/2020 FYE 3/2021
Obtain third party Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification, which includes HACCP, at all domestic food plants by FYE 3/2021 and all global food plants by FYE 3/2022 Japan: 50% Japan: 87% Japan: 100%
Overseas: 100%

* Scope of aggregation: Consolidated subsidiaries of Meiji and its group companies

Ensure Product Quality and Safety

Safety System Initiatives for Trusted Quality, Brand Recognition (Food Segment)

Quality Control

The Meiji Group provides high-quality, safe products and services to meet customer expectations for related health and reliability. Through these efforts, we will improve the lifestyles of our customers. Based on our Corporate Behavior Charter, the Meiji Group strives to improve the quality of our products through quality assurance systems developed in house, tailored to the specific characteristics of each business operation. Meiji has established an original quality management system, which includes Quality Policy, Quality Assurance Regulations, and Quality Assurance Standards. Each functional division (development and design, procurement, manufacturing, logistics, and sales and communications) conducts operations based on the Quality Policy. Quality Assurance Regulations stipulate important items for maintaining quality, and Quality Assurance Standards detail specific duties and assessment criteria.

As part of our food safety efforts, we have already introduced HACCP-based techniques at all our plants. Additionally, we obtained certification from the global third-party food safety management system Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) for all food plants in Japan by FY2020. We are aiming to obtain GFSI certification for all international food plants by FY2021.

We test products through various means, including physical and chemical tests, before shipment. Through a range of tests, we check whether products have been manufactured in accordance with established procedures.

We intend to widen the world of Tastiness and Enjoyment to meet all expectations of Health and Reassurance, providing our customers with Promised Quality and offering shared value.

As Food and Health professionals dedicated to food quality and safety, our responsibility is to meet customer expectations according to three central principles:

  1. We promise to enforce strict quality assurance at every step in our food chain, implementing the best system possible in each division and product to ensure Promised Quality.
  2. We promise to maintain a close relationship with our customers and respond immediately to customer inquiries, questions, and concerns. We will maintain the trust of our customers by striving to understand and satisfy their expectations.
  3. We promise to comply with all applicable laws and regulations, providing safe, high-quality products and services.
Figure: Quality Policy

Quality Assurance Advancement System

In the Food segment, the Meiji Quality Comm Review Meeting leads quality assurance advancement activities. Held biannually and chaired by the president and representative director of Meiji, the meeting checks the progress of quality related initiatives and discusses measures to address issues. Further, the Food segment's Meiji Food Safety Committee is chaired by the Director of the R&D Division and discusses a wide range of topics approximately twice a year. The committee invites experts in such fields as food chemicals and microorganisms to identify and reduce food risks.

Also, in the Food segment, members of one of the specialized teams from our Quality Division audits compliance with Quality Assurance Regulations according to a prepared checklist. These audits identify issues and improve our quality assurance capabilities.

Figure: Meiji Quality Comm
Working With Suppliers for Consistent Quality Management

We work with suppliers to prevent quality defects and risks arising from raw ingredients or equipment. In the event of an issue, we perform a detailed investigation and share information, striving to prevent the recurrence of any similar problems.

Quality Audits by Internal Expert Teams

Teams of experts from our Quality Management Division perform quality audits based on detailed checklists. These audits ensure strict compliance with quality assurance regulations and other rules. The goal of these audits is to identify issues and improve our ability to assure quality. We performed audits within Meiji and group companies inside and outside Japan. Auditors shared quality assurance information from Japan at overseas plants, being considerate of local customs and culture.

Incorporating Customer Feedback into Quality Assurance Activities

We have established special divisions to analyze customer feedback. We have a monitoring system in place to capture customer feedback, particularly comments that could indicate health hazards. These divisions respond rapidly to feedback requiring an urgent response, performing cross-division confirmation and analysis of information.

Quality Improvement Activities for Improved Production Floor Competence

Each production plant engages in quality improvement activities to reduce mistakes, process errors, and other issues, as well as to improve competence on the production floor. During FYE 3/2020, a total of 209 teams from throughout our group companies conducted quality improvement activities.

Obtaining Anti-doping Certification for Sports Nutrition Products

The Meiji Group has obtained Informed Choice certification, a global anti-doping certification program, for the majority of our sports nutrition products. Based on the program, through analysis using advanced technologies and manufacturing process audits, products are checked to ensure they are not contaminated with any banned substances. We will continue providing certified products for athletes so that they can consume without concern as they strive to achieve their goals, and also for sports lovers.

Logo: Informed Chohice Photo: SAVAS Whey Protein 100

SAVAS Whey Protein 100 (cocoa flavor), with Informed Choice certification

Quality Training for Employees

In order to further improve quality, we hold quality training for both sales representatives and employees involved in production.

In the future, we will continue holding such seminars, and will ensure that we always share information regarding product quality and safety with our customers.

<FYE 3/2021 Educational Activities>

  • Quality training for sales representatives: held biannually (number of attendees per session: approximately 1,500)
  • Basic lecture series on quality control for plant employees: 12 sessions per year (number of attendees per session: approximately 6,000)
  • Quality assurance meetings for section managers at plants: held annually (number of attendees: 68)
Expiration Date Labelling on Ice Cream for the Consumer Market

Meiji has recently been receiving an increasing number of customer inquiries about the best-before date labelling of ice cream. In a consumer survey that we conducted in November 2019, respondents chose "Safe to eat" as being second only to "Tastiness" as priorities when choosing food products. "Safe to eat" was also the priority that increased the most for consumers over the previous year (see chart). In the survey, 75% of respondents answered that ice cream with expiration labels "Provides confidence" and 67% answered that they "Want expiration date labeling." Although the regulations allow best-before date labelling to be omitted from ice cream, in order to meet our customers' high expectations for food safety, we have maintained such information for all Meiji ice cream, including Meiji Essel Super Cup.

Graph of Priorities when choosing food products

Quality Management Based on Reliability Assurance Systems (Pharmaceutical Segment)

Reliability Assurance for Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices

The Pharmaceutical segment's Reliability Assurance Policy assures the reliability of pharmaceuticals and medical devices. This policy states, "We will contribute to society by earning the trust of patients and healthcare professionals."

Accurate information is essential for the appropriate use of pharmaceuticals. We make available to users all information relevant to our products, which we obtain during product development, clinical studies, and post-marketing surveillance.

Based on the Reliability Assurance Policy, we have established the Reliability Assurance Guidelines. Based on these guidelines, we do our best to enhance the reliability of our products and activities.

Reliability Assurance Guidelines and Reliability Assurance System

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in Japan enforces stringent standards for all aspects of pharmaceuticals, from R&D, manufacturing, and shipment to the gathering of information on adverse reactions and the provision of information on proper use.

At each operational stage, we have established original standards and manuals with adherence to laws and regulations. We ensure the reliability of data and information through rigorous efforts to conduct appropriate tests and gather accurate data. The Reliability Assurance Policy also applies to group companies.

The Reliable & Quality Assurance Division ensures reliability by conducting internal audits, as required, in compliance with standards and policies based on the Reliability Assurance Policy. The Reliable & Quality Assurance Division is independent from R&D, production, and sales divisions. In this way, we have established a system that ensures reliability through objective assessment.

We have established Operational Rules of Quality Management Review. This is a system that achieves continuous improvement through plan-do-check-act cycles aimed at ensuring, and enhancing, product reliability.

Based on the Quality Assurance Policy, the Pharmaceutical segment ensures quality globally. In these activities, we assure quality across the entire supply chain, from raw material procurement and manufacturing to distribution and the post-marketing gathering of information on side effects. For example, we visit our own plants, and those of manufacturing subcontractors and raw material suppliers in Japan and overseas to ensure the quality of our pharmaceuticals. Pursuant to relevant laws, an authorized person approves shipment to market after checking all manufacturing-related records. In this way, we provide pharmaceuticals that healthcare professionals and patients can use with complete confidence.

Figure: Reliability assurance system

QMS: Quality Management System
GQP: Good Quality Practice
GCP: Good Clinical Practice
GVP: Good Vigilance Practice
GMP: Good Manufacturing Practice
GPSP: Good Post-marketing Study Practice

Figure: Quality management review
Quality Improvement and Personnel Development

We foster the ability of our employees to improve operations proactively. We hold meetings to share and discuss the achievements of quality improvement activities and engage in other activities to develop our personnel.

Response to Quality-Related Incidents

If a quality-related incident occurs, our head office collects quality information from plants, affiliated companies, and the respective divisions involved. This information is summarized and shared with senior management. We take any necessary measures and implement preventive measures as promptly as possible.

Quality Assurance Training for Employees

Meiji Seika Pharma provides GVP compliance education for all employees and continuous education and training for GVP and GQP personnel.

<FYE 3/2021 Educational Activities>

  • GVP compliance education (e-learning) for all employees (number of attendees: 2,200)
  • GVP training for GVP personnel (attendance rate: 100%)
  • GQP training for GQP related person (attendance rate: 100%)

KM Biologics holds lectures on GMP compliance annually for all employees, and holds training regarding our pharmaceutical quality management system. Our aim is to help each and every employee realize that paying close attention to how to best manage quality at each worksite leads to quality improvements overall.

<FYE 3/2021 Educational Activities>

  • GMP compliance training for all employees: held annually (number of attendees: approximately 2,000)
  • Quality and safety training (e-learning) for all employees: held annually (number of attendees: approximately 2,000)

Supplier Audits

Our goal is to deliver safe and secure products. To this end, we follow the Meiji Group Procurement Policy to ensure the quality and safety of raw materials and packaging. We use a fair and transparent supplier selection process, and practice socially responsible procurement mindful of human rights, the environment, and other considerations. When beginning trade with a new partner, we confirm the raw material and packaging data provided by the supplier and perform quality analysis. We survey and audit the supplier manufacturing plant's production and quality assurance system, production control system, and the supplier's fulfillment of social obligations, including human rights and the environment. Suppliers must meet rigorous planning standards set by each Meiji Group company. In addition, we work with suppliers to improve any problems.

Number of Supplier Audits
FYE 3/2017 FYE 3/2018 FYE 3/2019 FYE 3/2020 FYE 3/2021
Meiji 105 98 98 80 41
Meiji Seika Pharma 438 386 314 372 368
KM Biologics 26 25 45 41 25
Total 569 509 457 493 434