Sustainable Sourcing

SDGs

Sustainable Sourcing

Targets for Our Sustainable Sourcing Initiatives

Targets of the 2020 Medium-Term Business Plan (effective until March 31, 2021)*1

KPI Result
FYE 3/2019 FYE 3/2020 FYE 3/2021
Increase procurement of sustainable cocoa to 100% of total by FYE 3/2027 - - around 40%
Achieve 100% replacement with certified sustainable palm oil*2 by FYE 3/2024 7% 21% 68%
Increase usage of FSC® or PEFC-certified paper and post-consumer paper to 100% of total usage by FYE 3/2021 55%*3 60% 77%
  • *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 Scope of aggregation: Consolidated domestic subsidiaries of Meiji Group excluding KM Biologics

Targets of the 2023 Medium-Term Business Plan (effective until March 31, 2024)*1

KPI Target
FYE 3/2024 FYE 3/2027
Begin conducting a sourcing survey for suppliers for domestic Meiji Group companies by FYE 3/2022 Begin by FYE 3/2022
Begin conducting a sourcing survey for suppliers for the major overseas Meiji Group companies by FYE 3/2023 Begin by FYE 3/2023
Increase procurement of sustainable cocoa to 100% of total by FYE 3/2027 65% 100%
Achieve 100% replacement with RSPO-certified palm oil*2 by FYE 3/2024 100%
Increase usage of eco-friendly paper to 100% of total usage by FYE 3/2024 100%
Hold Meiji Dairy Advisory program (MDA) to support management of dairy farms 250 times a year, and a total of at least 2150 times by FYE 3/2024 400 times annually, accumulated total 2150 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

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.
Additionally, from October 2020 we began conducting the Sustainable Sourcing Survey on Meiji Group’s suppliers. The surveys make use of either the EcoVadis rating system, or Meiji’s original rating system.
Using this survey, we will determine the presence or absence of human rights or environmental issues in our supply chain. If at any point Meiji Group identifies such issues, we will cooperate with our partners to address them.

<FY2020 Measures>

June 2020
-Meiji Group Supplier Code of Conduct established
-Distribution of the Code of Conduct to Meiji, Meiji Seika Pharma and KM Biologics’s 563 suppliers
October 2010
-Meeting conducted for suppliers subject to the Sustainable Sourcing Survey (participating companies: 74)
-Sustainable Sourcing Survey conducted for Meiji, Meiji Seika Pharma and KM Biologics’s 74 suppliers

<Breakdown of surveyed companies>

Companies answered using EcoVadis survey: 35
Companies answered using Meiji original survey: 39

The results were analyzed between January and March 2021. We gave feedback from the survey results to our suppliers in May 2021. We will engage in sustained dialogue and cooperation with our suppliers concerning any points that need improvement, and work to address relevant social issues.
In the future, we plan to further expand the scope of companies surveyed. Through dialogue with our business partners based on the results of this survey, we will work towards building an even stronger, stabler, more responsible supply chain.

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.
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.
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.

Lessons at cocoa farm

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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.

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.

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.

Please see here for details on our activities

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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.

Employees working with Madagascan cocoa farmers to understand their present conditions
  • * 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.

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 3/2017 FYE 3/2018 FYE 3/2019 FYE 3/2020 FYE 3/2021
Ratio of Certified Palm Oil (%) 0 1 7 21 68
  • * 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 2021 thirteen of our domestic plants, as well as two of our overseas plants, have obtained RSPO supply chain certification. In the future, we will continue to push for RSPO certification, and also aim to shift entirely to RSPO-certified palm oil by FY2023.
Additionally, as a member of Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Japan Sustainability Local Group (JSLG) we are collecting and sharing data 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.

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

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*

FYE 3/2017 FYE 3/2018 FYE 3/2019 FYE 3/2020 FYE 3/2021
Usage rate of FSC®-certified paper, PEFC-certified paper, and post-consumer paper (%) - - 55 60 77
  • * paper used in containers and packaging for products manufactured by domestic Meiji Group companies. KM Biologics Co., Ltd. was included in the calculation from FYE 3/2020.

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.
Our target was to shift to using only eco-friendly paper raw materials for containers and packaging for domestically-made products by FY2020. While we were able to switch to nearly 100% within FY2020, our rate of switching for base annual usage is currently approximately 77%.
From FY2021 onwards we will further expand the scope to the entire Meiji Group, as well as to paper used in printing and copying (company information, various reports), for miscellaneous office uses (business cards, envelopes, paper bags, etc.), and for 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” and “Kinoko no Yama.”
Additionally, we obtained COC certification* for our yogurt and chocolate production processes in October 2020, with the goal of increasing our usage of FSC®-certified paper.

  • * COC (Chain of Custody) certification: a system for certifying that wood and paper products in a production and distribution system were procured from Forest Management (FM) certified forests, and were appropriately managed and processed
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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.

Initiative in Accordance With the Raw Milk Sourcing 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

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.

Traceability of raw milk

We can 100% guarantee the traceability of raw milk to its specific production area. (FY2020 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>

1) Held a “Kickoff Meeting” for managers to inform employees of the new year’s targets.
2) Held a “Foreign Intern Study Group” to help foreign employees acquire necessary skills.
3) 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: 948

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.

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.

Mr. Kenichi Ishikawa, Chairman at Tsubetsu OrganicDairy Farming Society, and his wife

Initiatives for Sustainable Sourcing

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.

ZAXA Non-Selective Foliage Herbicide

Zaxa Liquid 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 has been recognized as highly safe for livestock.

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.

Afidopyropen was registered as an agricultural chemical in Australia, India and the US in 2018, as well as in Canada, China, Mexico and Argentina in 2019. In the future, we plan for it to be registered as an agricultural chemical in Brazil, and in several countries in Asia.

Afidopyropen is a new pesticide created by joint research between Meiji Seika Pharma and the Kitasato Institute. Based on a joint licensing contract signed between Meiji Seika Pharma and BASF in May 2010, BASF is continuing with exclusive development around the world (excluding some parts of Asia).

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Fenpicoxamid / ME5223 (fungicide)

Fenpicoxamid 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.
After joint development with Dow AgroSciences, LLC, Fenpicoxamid was registered as an agricultural chemical for use on wheat in France in 2020, and in the United Kingdom in 2021.
Fenpicoxamid 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.

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