The Meiji Group established the Meiji Group Procurement Policy. Through this policy, we build collaborative, trusting relationships with suppliers and ensure all of our procurement activities fulfill our social responsibilities.
In March 2016, Meiji Co., Ltd. joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
We are aiming to shift to certified palm oil by 2023.
Dairy farmers in Japan are ageing and their numbers are decreasing. Dairy farming is hard work and there is a lack of successors.
Drinking milk is an excellent food that provides a convenient source of good quality protein and calcium. However, the diversification of drinking beverages is leading to a decline in the consumption of drinking milk.
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 we have stable access to high-quality raw milk. Hygiene is critical to the production of good-quality raw milk.
In 2009, the Meiji Group launched our drinking milk value enhancement campaign to increase fans of drinking milk.
We work with dairy farmers to develop dairy farms and produce raw milk that our customers find appealing. We convey the troubles and stories behind these efforts.
As part of this campaign, we promoted activities based on unique policies, including establishing a system for maintaining hygienic operations and facilities. We also established a system that awards accreditation to farms meeting goal criteria and producing high-quality milk. As of the end of March 2017, we have awarded accreditation to 251 farmers. In FY2017, we are planning to expand this support to 683 farmers. Through these activities, we will increase the number of farms producing high-quality milk. By communicating our commitment and these unique efforts to consumers, we will help increase the value of drinking milk.
Recent years have seen an increasing focus on chocolate with a high cocoa content.
The stable procurement of high quality cocoa beans is important to making good chocolate.
However, some predict cocoa bean production will fail to meet demand due to the global increase in chocolate consumption. Cocoa farmers face difficult operating environments.
Problems include trees aging, difficulty obtaining seedlings and fertilizer, a lack of information sharing regarding cultivation technology, and climate change.
Also, some cacao-producing countries do not have sufficient social infrastructure.
Since 2006, the Meiji Group has supported the sustainable production of cacao beans by working to improve the operating environments of cacao farmers. Our cacao managers visit cultivation sites to speak directly with cacao farmers and confirm local needs before determining a support plan. For example, we conduct seminars on cultivation technology and insect-pest control, and supply seedlings to increase yield in Ghana.
Additionally, we are supporting 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 cacao beans, which in turn can increase the incomes of farmers in Latin America.
However, the support we can provide on our own is limited. Therefore, since 2006 we have been affiliated with the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), an NPO that supports cocoa farmers to ensure sustainable cocoa bean production. The organization has its head office in Washington, D.C. in U.S.A. WCF is the largest NPO in the industry and boasts more than 100 member companies. We are producing sustainable cacao beans by expanding production to countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
One of our new activities was the opening of the Meiji Demonstration Farm in Ghana.
By having farmers increase their yields by applying the content of these seminars, we hope that experiencing and witnessing these improvements will lead to increased motivation for investing in farming. In Latin America, in addition to distributing seedlings and providing rental agricultural equipment, we also are planning to provide educational support, including donations of school equipment and school stationery for students.
Once a year, Ghana conducts national farmers' day to honor the best produce farmers, including cacao, coffee, and shea nut farmers. We attended the 32th farmers’ day in 2016 as one of the sponsor companies. We awarded a promising young cacao farmer selected by Ministry of Food and Agriculture with a prize of a tricycle and Meiji Milk Chocolate. The tricycle has a cart attached to the back and is used for carrying a load.
We expect the tricycle will be very useful for cacao farming.