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About Meiji

At a Glance

At a Glance

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

Pharmaceuticals

R&D

Medical needs are always diversifying – here's how Meiji is responding.

Sustainable Sourcing

Targets for Our Sustainable Sourcing Initiatives

Targets of the 2023 Medium-Term Business Plan (effective until March 31, 2024)1
KPI Result Target
FYE 3/2022 FYE 3/2024 FYE 3/2027
Begin conducting a sourcing survey for suppliers for domestic Meiji Group companies by FYE 3/2022 Initiated planning for implementation during FY2022 Begin by FYE 3/2022
Begin conducting a sourcing survey for suppliers for the major overseas Meiji Group companies by FYE 3/2023 Launched for 46 suppliers Begin by FYE 3/2023
Increase sourcing of sustainable cocoa to 100% of total by FYE 3/2027 42% 65% 100%
Achieve 100% replacement with RSPO-certified palm oil2 by FYE 3/2024 84% 100%
Increase usage of eco-friendly paper to 100% of total usage by FYE 3/20243 98% 100%
Hold Meiji Dairy Advisory program (MDA) to support management of dairy farms 250 times a year, and a total of at least 1650 times by FYE 3/2024 475 times annually, accumulated total 1,423 times 400 times annually, accumulated total 2,150 times

1. Scope of aggregation: Meiji Group consolidated subsidiaries

2. RSPO certified palm oil (Mass Balance supply chain model) As a proportion of all palm oil sourced at domestic and overseas Meiji Group production plants

3. Paper used in containers and packaging for products are covered.

Procure Raw Materials With Consideration Toward Human Rights and the Environment

Development of Responsible Supply Chain

Our Policy on Raw Material Sourcing

In recent years, there has been international demand for fair and free competition, fair transactions, and responsible sourcing. Therefore, we should fulfill our corporate social responsibility throughout the supply chain, including both the Group and our business partners. Also, we should address social issues such as child labor, forced labor, and environmental degradation. In the Meiji Group Procurement Policy, we commit to sourcing that considers human rights and the global environment. We will develop responsible sourcing with our business partners and strive to prevent and reduce risks.

We are continuously working to build a responsible supply chain, and in June 2020 we established the Meiji Group Supplier Code of Conduct. This code of conduct ensures that we and our suppliers are fulfilling our social responsibilities.

Additionally, the Meiji Group is engaged as an active member of Consumer Goods Forum (CGF). We are continuing talks with the goal of helping to resolve social issues such as human rights violations and environmental destruction.

Working to Build a Responsible Supply Chain

In recent years, there has been international demand for fair and free competition, fair transactions, and responsible procurement. We at the Meiji Group aim to fulfil our social responsibility by addressing social issues such as child labour, forced labour, and environmental destruction—not just in our own business, but throughout our entire supply chain.

Our goal is to realize a responsible supply chain built on sustainable sourcing initiatives, and consideration toward both human rights and the environment. In order to work together with our suppliers to realize this goal, we established the Meiji Group Supplier Code of Conduct in June 2020. This code of conduct is intended to raise awareness of the importance of compliance with laws and regulations, fairness, transparency, and anti-corruption efforts by sharing the concept of our Meiji Group Procurement Policy.

In October 2020, we also launched the Sustainable Procurement Survey for Meiji Group business partners, utilizing the EcoVadis evaluation system and Meiji’s own questionnaire. In April 2021, we provided feedback on the survey analysis results, and we plan to further expand the scope of companies subject to the survey in the future. By implementing this survey, we will identify whether or not there are any issues related to human rights or the environment in our supply chain. If there are any items requiring remediation, we will engage our business partners in dialogue and work with them to resolve these issues, building a stronger and more responsible supply chain.

Questionnaire Item Overview

Questions include human rights and labor-related initiatives, safe and healthy work environments, fairness, environmental consideration, sustainable procurement activities, and the development of grievance system and prohibition of retaliatory actions.

FY2020 Measures
June 2020
  • Meiji Group Supplier Code of Conduct established
  • Distributed Code of Conduct booklets to 563 business partners*
September - October 2020
  • Held study sessions for procurement personnel at the Meiji Group to prepare for the implementation of the Sustainable Procurement Survey (31 participants).
    Study Session Overview
    Promoting awareness of the Meiji Group's approach to building a responsible supply chain, procurement policies and guidelines, and the Supplier Code of Conduct in order to promote understanding of Meiji Group initiatives
  • Held business partner* meetings ahead of implementation of the Sustainable Procurement Survey (74 participating companies)
    Meeting Overview
    Presentations on our awareness of human rights, environmental and other issues in the supply chain, the Meiji Group's approach to building a responsible supply chain, and the Supplier Code of Conduct
  • Conducted the Sustainable Procurement Survey for 74 business partners* (primary suppliers)
    Breakdown of surveyed companies
    Companies answered using EcoVadis survey: 35
    Companies answered using Meiji original questionnaire: 39
January – March 2021 Analyzed questionnaire responses

* Business partners of Meiji Co., Ltd., Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd. and KM Biologics Co., Ltd.

FY2021 Measures

In FY2021, we expanded the scope of the Sustainable Procurement Survey to include all Meiji Group companies, contract suppliers of Meiji Co., Ltd., and expanded the scope of primary suppliers covered.

April – June 2021
  • Provided feedback on survey analysis results to all business partners who responded to the questionnaire
  • Issued requests for business partners deemed in need of initiative strengthening or remediation to submit an action report (review of countermeasures and action timing)
    Companies Requested to Submit Action Reports
    Companies falling below threshold EcoVadis questionnaire score: 12
    Companies falling below average Meiji original questionnaire score: 28
  • Held dialogue on countermeasures with the two business partners requiring individual consultation
June – December 2021
  • Held study sessions for Meiji Group procurement, production, marketing, and group company management personnel to prepare for questionnaire implementation (approximately 60 participants)
  • Held meetings for the following target companies ahead of implementation of the Sustainable Procurement Survey
    Questionnaire Target Companies
    Meiji Group: 25 companies (Japan: 22, overseas: 3)
    Of these, 23 companies responded to the EcoVadis questionnaire, while 2 companies responded to the Meiji-original questionnaire
    Meiji Co., Ltd. contract manufacturers: 46 companies
    Of these, 14 companies responded to the EcoVadis questionnaire, while 32 companies responded to the Meiji-original questionnaire
January ‐ March 2022
  • Held study sessions for procurement personnel at the Meiji Group to prepare for survey implementation (17 participants)
  • Conducted analyses of responses to survey implemented from June to December 2021
  • Held meetings (Jan 2022) for business partners with an expanded scope of selected primary suppliers (to 31) ahead of implementation of the Sustainable Procurement Survey

Sourcing of Cocoa

The stable sourcing of high quality cocoa beans is an important issue for us as the global demand for cocoa expands. We implement sourcing with consideration toward human rights and the environment, cooperating with suppliers in accordance with the Meiji Group Procurement Policy and the Cocoa Procurement Guideline.
In 2006, we began our own Meiji Cocoa Support program and have been deepening partnerships with cocoa-producing nations.

Additionally, we are supporting cocoa producing countries and farmers to produce sustainable cocoa in our capacity as a member of the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF). We are also supporting them through SMS-ECOM and the Chocolate and Cocoa Association of Japan, as well as through expanding Meiji Group's own farmer support program "Meiji Cocoa Support".

Sustainable cocoa bean sourcing

Since 2006, Meiji has been conducting the Meiji Cocoa Support program, which deepens partnerships with cocoa farmers overseas and supports the high-quality and sustainable production of cocoa beans. We have decided to expand the Support program and established a new target of 100% sourcing of sustainable cocoa beans (cocoa beans produced in regions where we provide support) by FY2026. As cocoa bean production regions and farmers are confronted with deforestation, child labor, and lack of cultivation techniques, we will solve these issues by achieving this sourcing target and contribute to sustainable cocoa bean production.

Photo: Meiji Cocoa Support program

Lessons at cocoa farm

Support cocoa farmers through meiji cocoa support

Meiji Cocoa Support was started in 2006 in Ghana. We have since expanded its activities to include Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Vietnam. In 2019 we began activities in Madagascar, expanding to a total of nine countries.

Under Meiji Cocoa Support, Meiji employees visit these locations and meet directly with farmers. Through these valuable conversations we are able to better understand the various needs and issues faced by these communities, and thus provide targeted support.

We provide a wide range of support, from cocoa bean production support for farmers (fermentation technology guidance, cultivation technology seminars, establishment of a seedling center, etc.), to initiatives that improve the lives of cocoa producers (donating school supplies, building wells and other community infrastructure, etc.

Through these sorts of activities, we are improving the productivity of cocoa plantations, as well as helping to provide stability to farmers' lives. We will continue working to contribute to sustainable, eco-friendly cocoa bean production.

Figure: Meiji Cocoa Support
Activities in Various Countries
Ghana Well Donations We have donated wells to ensure access to clean drinking water. These wells are also invaluable for raising seedlings
Seedling Distribution We are distributing seedlings of high-yield strains of cocoa, as well as tree seedlings for use in agroforestry to farmers, all free of charge.
Farming Guidance We are offering guidance on agricultural methods for adapting to climate change, as well as actions that can prevent deforestation, including agroforestry.
Art Classes/Chocolate Classes These children's classes involve creating art themed around cocoa, and making chocolate using cocoa harvested in the children's own villages.
Young Cocoa Farmer Award With support from Ghanaian government bodies, we award the recipient of the annual Young Cocoa Farmer Award a gift of a vehicle for transporting cocoa and other materials.
Ecuador We are offering support in improving cocoa bean quality through the introduction of Meiji proprietary fermentation methods. Additionally, we are donating pruning machinery, weeding machinery, protective clothing, sun protection hats, and other equipment necessary for farming.
Venezuela We are donating seedlings and cocoa fermentation boxes, as well as offering support in improving cocoa bean quality through the introduction of Meiji proprietary fermentation methods.
Peru We are setting up tool banks for lending equipment such as pruning and weeding machinery free of charge, as well as donating cocoa fermentation boxes in order to support farmers to produce stable crops of high-quality cocoa.
Brazil We are distributing fertilizer, and supporting the cultivation of cocoa through agroforestry, as well as offering support in improving cocoa bean quality through the introduction of Meiji proprietary fermentation methods.
The Dominican Republic We are offering support in improving cocoa bean quality through the introduction of Meiji proprietary fermentation methods. We are also maintaining and donating equipment and children's school supplies to community facilities such as hospitals and schools.
Mexico We are offering community support to areas that cultivate the rare white cocoa, such as through maintaining public parks and digital communications infrastructure. We are also supporting the preservation and cultivation of single-strain cocoa plantations.
Vietnam We are introducing production of high-quality cocoa beans through research and development aimed at bringing out the value of cocoa beans.
Madagascar We are offering fermentation technology support to cocoa farmers, with the aim of building a high-quality cocoa value chain. We are certified by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as a JICA-SDGs Partner.

Agroforestry Milk Chocolate Initiative

The production of cocoa as a raw material for chocolate causes serious social issues of natural environment destruction and loss of biodiversity through deforestation, as well as human rights issues such as child labor and forced labor. For the cultivation of cocoa beans, Cooperative Agricola Mixta de Tomé-Açu (CAMTA) in Brazil, with whom Meiji has jointly performed quality research over 10 years, undertakes efforts for conservation of natural environment and ecosystems, using the Agroforestry method known as "agriculture to create a forest," where various types of agricultural and forestry crops modeled on natural ecosystems are grown in land wasted by deforestation.

Photo: Meiji Agroforestry Chocolate

Protecting Forests in Cocoa-producing Countries

Meiji has participated in the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI)—an organization aiming to end deforestation and promote forest restoration and protection in the cocoa supply chain—since April 2017.

We have set out a five-year plan for 2018-2022, based on action plans published by the CFI on March 4, 2019. As part of Meiji Cocoa Support, we are working alongside both the Ghanaian government and related organizations to implement these plans.

JICA-SDGs Partner* Certification

With support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), our activities in Madagascar, which began in 2019, have been made into an official project under the name "Necessary Steps for Building the Foundations of a Sustainable Cocoa Industry: Popularization, Verification, and Transformation into a True Business."

These activities have been acknowledged as contributing to the pursuit of SDGs. Additionally, Meiji has been certified by the JICA as a JICA-SDGs Partner.

Utilizing know-how built up over many years, we will enable the production and sale of high-quality cocoa, as well as establish the Madagascar cocoa industry as a truly sustainable industry.

* JICA-SDGs Partner is a certification given by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to domestic companies or groups that have been recognized as working enthusiastically with the JICA to pursue SDGs.

Photo: Madagascan cocoa farmers

Employees working with Madagascan cocoa farmers to understand their present conditions

Joining the International Cocoa Initiative (ICI)

In October 2021, Meiji Co., Ltd. became the first Japanese company to join the (ICI), an NPO that engages activities to eradicate child labor and forced labor in cocoa-growing regions.

An estimated 1.56 million children are in child labor in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana, the world's No.1 and No.2 producers of cocoa. Of that number, 790,000 are in Cote d'Ivoire and 770,000 are in Ghana1.
The ICI reached more than 420,000 children through its Community Development Program and CLMRS2 during the 2015-20 period. Its approaches have reduced child labor by 20% in ICI-assisted communities, as well as hazardous child labor by 50% among at-risk children identified by ICI’s monitoring systems3.

Meiji Co., Ltd. will contribute to the eradication of the issues in Ghana to arrive at truly sustainable cocoa sector.

Photo: International Cocoa Initiative (ICI)

1. Source: Reporting by NORC (University of Chicago, 2020).

2. This ICI-developed system consists of the following steps: 1) awareness-raising and monitoring, 2) identification of child labor cases, 3) remediation support, and 4) follow up.

3. Source: ICI Annual Report 2020

Sourcing of Palm Oil

Palm oil is a plant-based oil derived from oil palms cultivated in the tropics, and is widely used in the production of processed foods. However, environmentally damaging development has led to deforestation and peatland destruction, as well as human rights issues in palm oil-producing countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia.

Our Palm Oil Procurement Guideline outlines our support for the NDPE Policy to No Deforestation, No Peat (i.e. no development in peatlands) and No Exploitation. Based on our Meiji Group Procurement Policy, we are committed to working with our business partners to fulfill our corporate social responsibility by engaging in eco-friendly sourcing of palm oil.

Ratio of Certified Palm Oil*
FYE 3/2018 FYE 3/2019 FYE 3/2020 FYE 3/2021 FYE 3/2022
Ratio of Certified Palm Oil (%) 1 7 21 68 84

* As a proportion of all palm oil sourced at domestic and overseas Meiji Group production plants

Shifting to Certified Palm Oil

Meiji Group joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2016. As of March 2022, 19 of our domestic plants, as well as 2 of our overseas plants, hold RSPO supply chain certification.

In FY2021, 84% of the volume of palm oil and palm kernel oil sourced was RSPO certified palm oil physically certified through Mass Balance supply chain model. In the future, we will continue to push for RSPO certification, and also aim to shift entirely to RSPO-certified palm oil by FY2023, with understanding and cooperation of raw material supplier.

Additionally, we are also asking our contractor to which we outsource our manufacturing activities for priority use of RSPO-certified raw materials by asking their understanding and cooperation regarding environmental impacts.

As a member of Consumer Goods Forum's (CGF) Japan Sustainability Local Group (JSLG) we are collecting and sharing information concerning certification systems, as well as issues at palm oil production sites. In 2019, we observed plantations in Malaysia-a major producer of palm oil.

Photo: Plantations in Malaysia

We visited plantations in Malaysia, a palm oil-producing country, twice in FY2019

Confirmation of Palm Oil Traceability

To ensure that deforestation, peatland development and exploitation are not occurring in the areas where we source palm oil, we are working to confirm the traceability of our palm oil from plantations all the way to oil extraction plants.

Sourcing of Paper

Following the Meiji Group Procurement Policy and the Paper Procurement Guideline, we are working with our suppliers to procure paper raw materials for product and office use in ways that care for human rights and the environment.

Usage rate of FSC®-certified paper, PEFC-certified paper, and post-consumer paper*1
FYE 3/2018 FYE 3/2019 FYE 3/2020 FYE 3/2021 FYE 3/2022
Usage rate of FSC®-certified paper, PEFC-certified paper, and post-consumer paper (%)*2 - 55 60 77 98

*1 Paper used in containers and packaging for products are covered.

*2 Until FYE 3/2021, covers only Meiji Group in Japan(including KM Biologics Co., Ltd. from FYE 3/2020). From FYE 3/2022, covers all Meiji Group companies.

Expanding Use of Eco-Friendly Paper

We are continuing to expand the use of FSC®* and PEFC-certified paper, as well as post-consumer paper for use in product containers, packaging, printing and copying.

By FY2023, our goal is to use 100% environmentally friendly paper raw materials in the paper we use in containers and packaging of all products. As of FY2021, we have completed 98% of this conversion (100% for all Group entities in Japan). As with product containers and packaging, we are promoting the switch to environmentally friendly paper for various printed materials (company brochures, various reports), office supplies (business cards, envelopes, paper bags, etc.), and sales promotion materials.

* FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®): a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading responsible forest management across the world. They carry out an international system of certification.

Expanding usage of FSC®-certified paper in our mainstay products

We are making use of eco-friendly paper in many of our products, including "Meiji Oishii Gyunyu 900ml,""Kinoko no Yama," and "Takenoko no Sato."

Additionally, Meiji Co., Ltd. obtained COC certification (License number: FSC®-C159538)* for our yogurt and chocolate production processes in October 2020, with the goal of increasing our usage of FSC®-certified paper.

* Chain of Custody (COC) certification is a certification system that ensures products are appropriately managed and processed during processing and distribution. It includes products using Forest Management (FM) certified wood from forests and other raw materials that lead to appropriate use of forest resources.

Photo: FSC logo, Meiji Oishii Gyunyu, Meiji Bulgaria Yogurt, Meiji Agroforestry Chocolate, Chocorooms, Takenoko no Sato

Sourcing of Raw Milk

We implement sourcing with consideration toward human rights, environment and animal welfare, cooperating with suppliers in accordance with the Meiji Group Procurement Policy and the Raw Milk Procurement Guideline.

As a member of the Global Dairy Platform (GDP) and the Japan National Committee of International Dairy Federation (JIDF), Meiji is working to realize a sustainable dairy industry, and to exhibit the health value of dairy products.

Establishment of policies and guidelines for raw milk procurement

In October 2019, we established the Raw Milk Procurement Guideline, which stipulates dairy cattle nurturing management conscious of the Five Freedoms guiding principles of animal welfare. In September 2021, we established the Meiji Group Farm Animal Welfare Policy to promote the improvement of animal welfare for dairy cattle in terms of nutrition, barn environments, livestock space, and management methods. Here, we will continue to promote industry-wide efforts in cooperation with stakeholders for not only ethical aspects but also the sustainable development of the dairy industry.

Drinking Milk and Dairy Products Created Through Cooperation with Dairy Farmers

Raw milk, the raw material used to make drinking milk, is milked from healthy cows. The quantity and quality of raw milk is greatly influenced by temperature, humidity and feed. Our dairy managers work closely with local farmers and agricultural cooperatives to ensure stable access to high-quality raw milk. Hygiene is critical to the production of good-quality raw milk.

Figure: Cooperation with dairy Farmers

Production, Distribution and Quality Assurance

By closely working with dairy farmers, the Meiji Group is supporting stable and high quality milk production in order to deliver our customers delicious and quality milk.

Figure: Raw milk delivery and quality control
Traceability of raw milk

We ensure 100% traceability of the raw milk we receive. (domestic and overseas Meiji Group consolidated subsidiaries)

Initiatives for stable sourcing of premium quality raw milk
    Production sites
  • Check feed and environment for breeding cows
  • Hold seminars for the milk producers association on raw milk flavor
    Receiving at plants
  • Train taste testers and ensure thorough incoming inspections
    Research laboratory
  • Physical and chemical analysis of properties and ingredients for maintaining and improving quality
  • Conduct taste assessment and disseminate information
  • Technology development for more accurate and quicker inspections

Support dairy farmers using our unique operations support for producers

In the domestic dairy farming industry, strengthening the foundation of raw milk production is a real issue. We at the Meiji Group are working to address such issues through our farm management support program the Meiji Dairy Advisory (MDA).

The MDA carries out activities designed to support sustainable farm management, and to ensure everyone involved on all sides can work and grow together. Not only does it help farmers improve their farms‘ productivity, but it promotes an environment where employees can approach their jobs every day with a sense of fairness and purpose.

For a specific example, Meiji Group specialist staff work together with managers to lay out a picture of how their farms should operate (including principles, vision, and targets). They support the organizing of meetings designed to answer questions such as "what do I need to do to meet my targets", and "what kinds of things do I need to check".

<An Example of MDA Activities>

Photo: kickoff meeting

Held a "Kickoff Meeting" for managers to inform employees of the new year’s targets.

Photo: foreign intern study group

Held a "Foreign Intern Study Group" to help foreign employees acquire necessary skills.

Photo: improvement activities

Performed on-site "Improvement Activities" with dairy farmers to check the health condition and feeding behavior of their dairy cows.

Through the MDA we are promoting a work environment where dairy farm employees can feel a sense of purpose by making improvements at their farms. We aim to help each and every dairy farm employee approach their day-to-day work with an awareness of relevant issues, as well as a sense of independence and cooperation.

<Activities up to now>
Participating dairy farms: 50 farms nationally
Visits to farmers: 1,423

In May 2021 we adopted a KPI to carry out Meiji Dairy Advisory (MDA) activities 280 times annually, and to carry out activities a total of 1,800 times by FY2023. We will continue expanding these activities, in order to contribute to realizing sustainable raw milk production.

An Example of Activities Pushing for Sustainable Development of the Dairy Farming Industry (Meiji Organic Milk)

Meiji Organic Milk, our special milk product, is certified under Japan Agricultural Standard (JAS) for Organic Agricultural Products. We use only raw milk from cows raised on the basis of organic farming methods at a designated ranch in the town of Tsubetsu, Abashiri District, Hokkaido Prefecture.

Meiji began examining the development of drinking milk that is friendly to both the cows and the environment from 1997. Accordingly, we started developing organic drinking milk in collaboration with dairy farmers in Tsubetsu, where they were practicing environmentally conscious circular dairy farming at the time. After much trial and error, five farmers obtained JAS for Organic Agricultural Products certification in 2006, and we began selling Meiji Organic Milk, our specially prepared drinking milk. The organic farming is the foundation for Meiji Organic Milk; cows are reared with environmentally friendly feedstuffs in a cow friendly environment. The Meiji Group will provide the value of new drinking milk to our customers while supporting dairy farming that is friendly to both the environment and the cows‘ health.

Meiji Organic Milk

Organic Dairy Farmers Share Their Story

After receiving the proposal from Meiji, and realizing that we should practice environmentally conscious dairy farming, we began working to produce organic drinking milk. We didn‘t have any know-how at the beginning, and we struggled to produce feedstuffs without chemical fertilizers and agricultural chemicals. But now that things are going smoothly, we believe more than ever that organic farming is meaningful. Therefore, we would like to continue our efforts to produce organic drinking milk with Meiji.

And we hope that someday customers will purchase drinking milk because it is made from raw milk produced in a way that is friendly to both the environment and the cows.

Photo: Mr. & Ms. Ishikawa

Mr. Kenichi Ishikawa and his wife
Chairman, Tsubetsu Organic Dairy Farming Society

Initiatives for Sustainable Sourcing

Stable Supply of Veterinary products

Our presence in veterinary products contributes to the stable supply of safe and reliable livestock, and marine products, as well as improves productivity around the world.