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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.

Food

Our Nutrition Initiatives

Our Nutrition Initiatives

Our goal is to improve the lives of people of all ages around the world through nutrition, from infants to older adults, and we are dedicated to achieving this goal.

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)
[ ] Scope of KPI
Meiji G: the Meiji Group (consolidated)
Meiji: Meiji Co., Ltd.
KPI Results Targets
FYE 3/2022 FYE 3/2023 FYE 3/2024 FYE 3/2027
Start conducting a sustainable sourcing survey of suppliers for Group companies in Japan by FYE 3/2022
[Meiji G, Japan consolidated]
Suspended Suspended(Plan to survey from April 2023) Start by FYE 3/2022
Start conducting a sustainable sourcing survey of suppliers for the major overseas Meiji Group companies by FYE 3/2023
[Meiji G consolidated excluding Japan]
Launched for 46 suppliers Launched for 17 suppliers Start by FYE 3/2023
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 [Meiji, Japan consolidated] 475 times annually, accumulated total 1,423 times 477 times annually, accumulated total 1,900 times At least 400 times annually, accumulated total 2,150 times or more
Increase sourcing rate of Meiji sustainable cocoa to 100% of total by FYE 3/2027 [Meiji consolidated] 42% 62% 65% or more 100%
Swich 100% to RSPO1-certified palm oil1 by FYE 3/2024 [Meiji consolidated] 84% 90% 100%
Swich 100% to eco-friendly paper by FYE 3/20242 [Meiji G consolidated] 98% 98% 100%

1. 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.

2. 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.

The Meiji Group has set forth its procurement activities in consideration of human rights and the global environment in the "Meiji Group Procurement Policy" and is working with suppliers to realize responsible procurement and to implement preventive and mitigating measures against associated risks.

In June 2020, we established the Meiji Group Supplier Code of Conduct, which requires our supplier business partners to fulfill their social responsibilities. Furthermore, in April 2023, we revised this Code of Conduct in order to respond to social issues that have become more diverse as the years have passed.

The Meiji Group Supplier Code of Conduct applies to suppliers of Meiji Co., Ltd., Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., KM Biologics Co., Ltd. and other domestic and overseas group companies (consolidated). In addition to disclosing the Code of Conduct on our website, we also hold briefing sessions to promote understanding and awareness among our many suppliers.

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.

Overview of Meiji Group Suppliers

The Meiji Group procures or commissions the manufacture of food and pharmaceutical ingredients, packaging materials, and finished and semi-finished products from approximately 2,600 suppliers globally.

Photo: Percentage of suppliers by product supplied
Photo: Percentage of suppliers by country of location (based on number of suppliers)
Photo: Percentage of suppliers by country of location (based on procurement amount)

(FY2021 Results)

* Some of the above supplier information is now under review and will be subject to updated as appropriate.

Our Approach to Key Suppliers

The Meiji Group identifies the total number of suppliers based on the transaction results of domestic and overseas group companies (consolidated) and identifies key suppliers from among them, taking into consideration the procurement amount and the substitutability of procured raw materials.
As a next step, we conduct sustainability risk assessments among key suppliers through the sustainable procurement questionnaire and engage suppliers identified as potentially risky through requests for improvement and direct dialogue.

Sustainability Assessment through the Sustainable Procurement Questionnaire

Potential negative impacts related to human rights, labor, environment, and business ethics in the supply chain affect business potential and corporate reputation. Corporate management practices regarding human rights, labor, the environment, and corporate ethics vary depending on the country/region where the company is located, industry, size, etc. In order to identify and appropriately address potential risks that could have a significant impact on its business, the Meiji Group assesses and manages risks using the following methods.

Evaluation Target

The evaluation covers the suppliers identified based on the concept of key suppliers.

Evaluation Method

We conduct the "Sustainable Procurement Questionnaire" using the evaluation system of EcoVadis, a comprehensive corporate social responsibility (CSR) evaluation service provider, or the Meiji original questionnaire, to determine whether there are human rights or environmental issues in our supply chain. In cases where improvements are necessary, we work to solve social issues and build a stronger and more responsible supply chain, while promoting cooperation and dialogue with suppliers.

Evaluation Item

Labor and human rights, safe and healthy work environment, environment, ethics, fairness, sustainable procurement, development of redress system and prohibition of retaliation, etc.

Evaluation Frequency

We conduct risk assessment based on the results of the Sustainable Procurement Questionnaire and request suppliers to re-take the questionnaire based on the assessment results.

Suppliers whose results meet the criteria: re-evaluated after 2 years
Suppliers whose results do not meet the criteria: re-evaluated after 1 years

Sustainable Procurement Questionnaire Implementation Results
FYE
3/2021
FYE
3/2022
FYE
3/2023
Total number of suppliers Approx. 2,600*
Number of suppliers assessed for risk (Including reassessment) A single year 74 77 33
Cumulative total/Percentage of total suppliers 74 2.8% 151 5.8% 184 7.0%

* FY2021 Results

Overview of Engagement Implementation

Since FY2022, we have implemented engagement with suppliers whose questionnaire survey results indicate that they need to strengthen or improve their initiatives. Through engagement with some of our major raw material suppliers, we confirmed the progress of their initiatives to address environmental issues while mutually sharing our goals and current performance related to reducing environmental impacts such as climate change, water resources, and waste. Through this initiative, we have promoted solutions to social issues such as GHG emissions reduction and water risk. We also conduct engagement with Meiji Group companies in Japan to promote a responsible supply chain.

(Number of companies that implemented the program in FY2022)

  • Suppliers which need to strengthen or improved initiatives: 5 companies
  • Major raw material suppliers: 7 companies
  • Domestic group companies which need to strengthen or improved initiatives: 3 companies

Sourcing of Raw Milk

The Meiji Group believes that in addition to pursuing delicious milk production, it is also one of essential efforts to support dairy farming that considers the environment and the health of cows.

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.

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 the traceability of 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

Supporting dairy farm management with Meiji Dairy Advisory (MDA)

MDA is an activity focused on human resource management, aiding the growth of those involved in dairy farms through improving farm operations and enhancing their business management techniques. MDA is a system for establishing a culture based on the lean production method so that farms can continue to achieve their management goals. Meiji staff members work with farms to devise ideas together, adopting an advisory approach where the awareness of the farm staff is used to build better environments and systems. As continuous improvement progresses, this advisory work will shift its position accordingly.

In May 2021, we set a KPI of conducting 400 MDA support activities per year and a cumulative total of at least 2,150 MDAs by FY2023 to support dairy farmer management. We will further strengthen these activities and contribute to the realization of sustainable raw milk production.

unit FYE
3/2022
FYE
3/2023
Number of implementations of the Meiji Dairy Advisory (MDA) program, which supports dairy farmers to improve their management Annual times 475 477
Total 1,423 1,900
Meiji Dairy Advisory

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.

Unit FYE
3/2021
FYE
3/2022
FYE
3/2023
Procurement ratio of Meiji Sustainable Cocoa Beans % 40 42 62
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.

Meiji has proceeded with various activities as a signatory of the CFI according to Action Plan 2022. This report consists of Annual Progress Report 2022 and Action Plan 2023-2025. It shows Meiji’s key activities to end cocoa-related deforestation and forest degradation in Ghana.

Over the past five years, the CFI signatory governments and companies have made significant progress towards eliminating deforestation and restoring forests areas. We have developed new action plans that set our targets for CFI 2.0 (2023-2025) in alignment with Ghana National Implementation Plan and Frameworks for Action.
As part of Meiji Cocoa Support, we are working alongside both the Ghanaian government and related organizations to implement these plans.

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

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

In cooperation with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), we will further promote actions to eliminate child labour in cocoa-producing areas.

In January 2020, JICA has established the "Platform for Sustainable Cocoa in Developing Countries," and Meiji Holdings Co., Ltd. joined this platform in September 2022, with the aim of solving social issues facing the cocoa industry, such as poverty among farmers, deforestation, and child labour. Within the platform, on September 30, 2022, "Action plan to eliminate child labour in the Cocoa Industry" has announced which outlines concrete actions expected from each standpoint with the aim of eliminating child labour. By joining this platform and supporting this action, and in collaboration with Japanese industry associations, food manufacturers, trading companies, consulting companies, NGOs, etc., Meiji Holdings Co., Ltd. will accelerate and expand its efforts to eliminate child labour in the cocoa industry.

Photo: Platform for Sustainable Cocoa in Developing Countries

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. Major producer nations of palm oil face human rights issues such as forced labor and child labor. These countries also face environmental issues such as deforestation and the destruction of peatland areas due to the development of agricultural land.

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.

Shifting to Certified Palm Oil

Meiji Group joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in 2016. As of October 2022, 18 of our domestic plants, as well as 5 of our overseas plants, hold RSPO supply chain certification.

In FY2022, 90% 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

Ratio of Certified Palm Oil*
Unit FYE
3/2019
FYE
3/2020
FYE
3/2021
FYE
3/2022
FYE
3/2023
Ratio of Certified Palm Oil % 7 21 68 84 90.4

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

Confirmation of Palm Oil Traceability

To ensure that deforestation, peatland development and exploitation are not occurring in the palm oil production areas, we are working to confirm the traceability to mill of palm oil.
We have completed the verification of the oil mills for 100% of the volume of palm oil we sourced in the 1st Half of 2023 (January -June).

Sourcing of Soybean

Soybeans are widely grown and used as food materials around the world and are used for a variety of purposes other than food, such as feeding livestock. Soybeans are one of the most important raw materials for the Meiji Group's business, but issues related to deforestation and human rights caused by overdevelopment of plantations have been pointed out, particularly in Brazil. Based on "Meiji Group Procurement Policy" and "Soybean Procurement Guideline", the Meiji Group will engage in socially responsible soybean procurement activities in collaboration with supply chain partners.

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.

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 FY2022, 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.

Usage rate of FSC®-certified paper, PEFC-certified paper, and post-consumer paper*1
Unit FYE
3/2019
FYE
3/2020
FYE
3/2021
FYE
3/2022
FYE
3/2023
Usage rate of FSC®-certified paper, PEFC-certified paper, and post-consumer paper *2 % 55 60 77 98 98.2

*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 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, Kinoko no Yama  (Chocorooms) , Takenokono no Sato (Chococones)