Sustainable Procurement


Sustainable Procurement

Social Issues


Improve traceability of cocoa

FYE 3/2020 Performance

New Target

Increase procurement ratio of sustainable cocoa beans*2 to 100% by FYE 3/2027*3

  • *1 Meiji Co., Ltd. and its group companies in Japan
  • *2 Cocoa beans produces in the regions where Meiji has implemented supporting program for farmers
  • *3 Meiji Co., Ltd. and its group companies.
  • New KPI and target from FYE 3/2021


Use 100% of RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) - certified*2 palm oil by FYE March 2024

FYE 3/2020 Performance

New Target

Use 100% RSPO certified*2 palm oil by FYE 3/2024*3

  • *1 Meiji Co., Ltd. and its group companies in Japan
  • *2 Mass balance supply chain model
  • *3 Meiji Co., Ltd. and its group companies.
  • New KPI and target from FYE 3/2021


Use paper raw materials with 100% forest certified (FSC®, PEFC) and/or recycled paper by FYE 3/2021*1

FYE 3/2020 Performance

  • *1 Product containers and packaging produced in Japan
  • *2 Meiji Group in Japan

Procure Raw Materials With Consideration Toward Human Rights and the Environment

Development of Responsible Supply Chain

Our Policy on Raw Material Procurement

In recent years, there has been international demand for fair and free competition, fair transactions, and responsible procurement. 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 procurement that considers human rights and the global environment. We will develop responsible procurement with our business partners and strive to prevent and reduce risks.

Establishment of Supplier Code of Conduct

We established the Meiji Group Supplier Code of Conduct for our business partners in June 2020. We will work to build a stronger and more responsible supply chain by sharing our policy to suppliers.

Supplier Code of Conduct

  1. Human Rights and Labor
    Respecting the rights of employees, prohibition of forced labor and child labor, etc.
  2. Safe and Hygienic Workplace Environments
    Protection for employees, ensuring safety, etc.
  3. Fairness
    Preventing corruption, protection of intellectual property rights, etc.
  4. Environmental Friendliness
    Reducing greenhouse gas emissions, effective water usage, etc.
  5. Sustainable Procurement
    Environmentally friendly raw materials procurement, etc.
  6. Development of Relief System and Prohibition of Retaliation
    Customer service line for complaints and reports
  7. For Pharmaceutical Companies
    Compliance with pharmaceutical-related laws
Sustainable Procurement Survey

From October 2020, we will conduct the Sustainable Procurement Survey to understand the current status and identify issues in our supply chain. In fiscal 2020, we plan to implement this for about 70 of the suppliers that the head offices of each operating company of the Meiji Group directly deal with. After that, we plan to expand the target companies and expand the scope to domestic and overseas group companies. The survey results will be shared with suppliers, and we will work with them to address the identified issues.

Procurement of Cocoa

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

Sustainable Cocoa Bean Procurement

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% procurement 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 procurement target and contribute to sustainable cocoa bean production.

Lessons at cocoa farm



Support Cocoa Farmers through Meiji Cocoa Support

Since 2006, the Meiji Group has supported the sustainable production of cocoa, working to improve the operating environment of cocoa farmers. Our employees visit cultivation sites to speak directly with cocoa farmers and confirm local needs before determining a support plan. We conduct seminars on cultivation technology and insect-pest control and supply seedlings to increase yield. Additionally, we support community and infrastructure development by building wells, donating school supplies, and supporting environment-friendly farming practices. We teach our own fermentation technology to promote the production of high-quality cocoa, which in turn increases farmer income.

Tackling Deforestation in our Cocoa Supply Chain

The governments of Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana and the world’s leading cocoa and chocolate companies signed landmark agreements in November 2017 to end deforestation and promote forest restoration and protection in the cocoa supply chain.
This new public-private partnership – called the Cocoa & Forests Initiative (CFI) – has been organized by the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), IDH - the Sustainable Trade Initiative, and the Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit (ISU). The Prince of Wales launched CFI in March 2017 in London. Thirty-three companies, accounting for about 85% of global cocoa usage, have joined CFI.
We implement an initial action plan from one part of Meiji Cocoa Support that spells out the specific actions it will take in 2018-2022 to deliver the commitments set out in the Framework. The Meiji’s Cocoa & Forests Action Plan focuses on three pillars: forests protection and restoration; sustainable cocoa production and farmers’ livelihoods; and community engagement and social inclusion.

Started Meiji Cocoa Support in Madagascar, the Ninth Country to Receive Support

We have conducted Meiji Cocoa Support in eight countries—Ghana, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Vietnam—and expanded these activities to include Madagascar in 2019. This was supported by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as a “Popularization, verification, and business creation project” related to creating the foundation for a sustainable cocoa industry. We will develop a system to produce and purchase high-quality cocoa, applying the know-how we have accumulated thus far, and help the cocoa business in Madagascar to become sustainable.

Procurement of Palm Oil

Palm oil, taken from oil palm trees cultivated in the tropics, is widely used in food processing. We implement procurement with consideration toward human rights and the environment, cooperating with suppliers in accordance with the Meiji Group Procurement Policy and the Palm oil Procurement Guideline.


Systematic Shift toward Certified Palm Oil

Meiji Co., Ltd. joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in March 2016. Meiji Group, including overseas subsidiaries, is aiming to use 100% certified palm oil that includes Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)-certified (mass balance supply chain model) palm oil by FY2023. We started using certified palm oil at eight factories in Japan in FY2019. In addition, we are visited plantations in Malaysia, a palm oil-producing country, to achieve our targets.

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

Procurement 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.


Expand Use of Environmentally Friendly Paper Through the Paper Procurement Guideline

We are expanding the range of eco-friendly papers (including paper with FSC®* or other certifications and post-consumer paper) that we use for product containers, packaging, printing, and copying. By fiscal 2020, we aim to use only eco-friendly raw materials for paper.


■Various Products

We use eco-friendly FSC®-certified paper for products such as Meiji Oishii Gyunyu 900ml (a drinking milk product), chocolate snacks, Kinoko no Yama and Takenoko no Sato, Strawberry Chocolate and (SAVAS) MILK PROTEIN Fat 0. We are expanding the range of products.

■Various Printings

We use eco-friendly FSC®-certified paper for company guidebooks and various reports.

  • * FSC®: The Forest Stewardship Council. An independent non-profit that operates an international forest certification system to spread responsible forest management around the world.

Procurement of Raw Milk

We implement procurement 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.


Initiative in Accordance With the Raw Milk Procurement Guideline

We established the Raw Milk Procurement Guideline in October 2019 and upheld feeding management that considers the “Five Freedoms” animal welfare policy. In addition to responding to ethical considerations, we will drive the sustainable development of dairy farming and the dairy industry in cooperation with relevant parties.

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.

Drinking milk value enhancement, maintaining hygienic operations and facilities, healthy cows, consideration for food quality and safety, and consideration  for environment


Partnership with Domestic Dairy Farmers to Ensure Stable Raw Milk Procurement

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.

Initiatives for stable procurement 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
Discussion on production base support

In domestic dairy farming, there are concerns about the raw milk production base weakening, and dairy farmers are having problems, such as a lack of labor force and/or training that labor force. To address these issues, the Meiji Group is currently pouring resources into the Meiji Dairy Advisory (MDA), which is our own farm management support program designed to help improve farms’ productivity.
The goals of the MDA are to increase work efficiency and to improve work satisfaction for the employees. For management, the goals are to raise the productivity of the farm overall and to attract and secure good workers. To be more specific, the Meiji Group has assigned specialized advisory staff and is creating a system that provides continuous and various support. That support includes building a sense of ownership in each employee, reducing waste or loss on the farm and standardizing work processes or tasks. Thanks to the help of the Meiji Feed Co., Ltd., our Group company who is building a close relationship with producers nationwide, this MDA initiative will be developed even more. Accordingly, we hope to secure sustainable dairy production by improving work on farms and developing management skills.

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.

Supplier Assessment

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.


Supplier Audit in Accordance With the Meiji Group Procurement Policy

To strengthen our response to sustainability issues in the supply chain, we conduct supplier audits to monitor activities and initiatives regarding human rights and the environment, based on the Meiji Group Procurement Policy.

Number of Supplier Audits
FYE 3/2017 FYE 3/2018 FYE 3/2019 FYE 3/2020 Total
Meiji Co., Ltd. 105 98 98 80 381
Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd. 80 0 0 3 83

Initiatives for Sustainable Procurement

Stable Supply of Agricultural Chemicals and Veterinary Drugs

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


Environmentally Friendly Herbicide ZAXA

We develop and sell environmentally friendly agricultural chemicals. ZAXA is a highly-effective long-lasting herbicide suitable for a variety of plants. The main constituent of ZAXA is a type of amino acid commonly found in nature. As a result, this herbicide has minimal effect on soil and is highly safe for livestock. The active ingredients in Meiji Eco Series pesticides and fungicides are also derived from natural sources. The leading product in this series, Harmomate Water-soluble Powders, meets Japan Agricultural Standards for use in organic cultivation.

ZAXA nonselective foliage treatment herbicide

R&D on New Agricultural Chemicals and Veterinary Drugs That Protect the Environment

Our research and development of agricultural chemicals and veterinary drugs produces ground-breaking products that are eco-friendly and very safe. These products additionally contribute to human prosperity by developing global agriculture and stabilizing food production.


R&D of Agricultural Chemicals

Afidopyropen / ME5343 (insecticide)

Afidopyropen provides highly effective control of insect pests such as aphids, whiteflies and psyllids which have developed serious resistances to the existing insecticides. Furthermore, Afidopyropen is highly safe for mammalian and natural environments. Therefore, Afidopyropen can be one of the most important tools for pests control in the next generation.
Afidopyropen was discovered through a collaboration between Meiji and Kitasato Institute, Prof. Satoshi Omura group. Based on a license agreement between Meiji and BASF in May 2010, BASF is developing exclusively in all countries except for parts of Asia.
Afidopyropen was registered in Australia, India and the United States in 2018, and in Canada and China in 2019. Afidopyropen’s registration will also be approved in Mexico and Argentina in the near future.


Fenpicoxamide / ME5223 (fungicide)

Fenpicoxamide is a silver bullet against wheat leaf blight, which is highly resistant to many fungicides, and rapidly degrades in the environment while maintaining its long-lasting effect.
Through a co-development with Dow AgroSciences, Fenpicoximide was registered in France, 2020. Fenpicoxamide will also be approved in other European countries in coming years.

Flupyrimin / ME5382 (insecticide)

Flupyrimin is not only highly effective for sucking pests and chewing pests but also highly safe for beneficial insects such as bees and has a low environmental impact. Flupyrimin was registered in Japan in 2019 and is contributing to rice cultivation along with Oryzemate.
In India, Flupyrimin is also expected to save labor with one-shot protection against plant hoppers and stem borers. Flupyrimin’s registration was submitted to an authority in India in 2019.