Procurement Initiatives

The Kewpie Group fully respects the “Put Product Quality First” for raw materials as well. To fulfill the principle, we have established the fundamental policy for sustainable procurement in our supply chain. We extend our social responsibility to include procurement of ingredients beyond our manufacturing and sales processes.

The Fundamental Policy for Sustainable Procurement

We strongly believe that “Fine quality is found in fine ingredients”. However, in addition to the focus on quality, we must also examine the impact on the environment and human rights caused by our products. Together with our suppliers, we analyse the impact of our products and work to increase sustainability while sourcing quality raw materials.

Policy and activities for procurement of chicken eggs

Basic Policy

The Kewpie Group recognizes that the animal welfare of laying hens is one of the most important issues for the sustainable production and procurement of chicken eggs as well as considerations for impacts on quality and environment or human rights.

The Kewpie Group agrees with the five freedoms* in principles of animal welfare indicated by OIE (World Organization for Animal Health), and we think it is important that the farming laying hens based on OIE’s principles. And we recognize that we should have deep consideration for dignity of life of laying hens since we have utilized chicken eggs for our business for a long time.

*The five freedoms in principles for animal welfare

  • Freedom from hunger, malnutrition and thirst
  • Freedom from fear and distress
  • Freedom from heat stress or physical discomfort
  • Freedom from pain, injury and disease; and
  • Freedom to express normal patterns of behaviors

Activities

Shell eggs we procure and use in the Kewpie Group in Japan are complied with “the animal welfare guidelines for laying hens”*1 published and being tried to be standardized by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
We have been working on the development of products which contains eggs derived from cage-free farms,*2 and we will keep working on them with watching customer’s demand and reasonable price level for customers carefully.
We will keep discussing with administrations and partners in the supply chain of chicken eggs what the sustainable breeding management of laying hens should be. And we will also keep taking actions in the Kewpie Group on behalf of animal welfare by cooperating with them. Shell eggs procured in the Kewpie Group in overseas are complied with standards and legislation in each country and region or considered its social environment in each country and region.*3

*1“Guidelines for breeding management of hens that correspond to the concept of animal welfare” by Japan Livestock Technology Association 5th edition (March 2020)

*2Breeding style of cage-free farm
The above-mentioned “Guidelines for breeding management of hens that correspond to the concept of animal welfare” mentions the following for the animal welfare.
“The most important thing for the correspondence to animal welfare issue is not the structure of the facility or the situation of the equipment, but daily observation and recording of livestock, careful handling of livestock, and proper feeding management such as quality feed and water. And it is necessary for the parties concerned to fully recognize this and promote it.”

*3An Attached URL shows the activities regarding the procurement of eggs and egg ingredients in our business in the USA.

Sustainable Procurement of Vegetables

The Kewpie Group offers salads and delicatessen foods made mostly from vegetable ingredients grown in Japan. We therefore consider the procurement of vegetable ingredients crucial to business continuity. Going forward, we will continue to communicate closely with producers to achieve the sustainable procurement of vegetables for the Kewpie Group and the continued growth and development of the producers.

Activities

Cooperation with farms

The promotion and development of local agriculture is paramount to the steady procurement of quality vegetable ingredients. At the same time, agricultural businesses are facing rising social issues such as extreme weather, lack of successors and an increasing number of uncultivated and abandoned fields. The Kewpie Group cooperates with farms across Japan to help resolve such issues.

Production Awards by the Salad Club

Based on face-to-face interactions with growers, vegetables used in the Salad Club are sourced through “contract purchases” with approximately 400 farms around the country. “Contract purchases” are not just ways to securely source at set prices, but also allows growers to make strategic investments based on a steady income source.
As part of sourcing raw materials safety and reliability, employees from factories and ingredients teams visit farm regularly. Growers are also invited to join factory tours and we proactively work to connect with growers by supporting harvests, providing factory training, and holding barbeques.
Every April, we hold the Grower of Salad Club, an award ceremony to show our appreciation for contracted growers. We evaluate the quality of our primary raw materials and give awards like the Grand Prize, the Award for Excellence, and the Special Award (winners are posted in the Press Release section on the Salad Club website).
We are also building a circular agriculture system by partnering with the producers. We create feeds and fertilizers at our production plants with unused parts of vegetables that are left over from making packaged salad products. We then provide the fertilizers to farms to expand our connections.

The Grower of Salad Club 2019 ceremony

The Grower of Salad Club 2019 ceremony

Initiatives to Procure Sustainable Palm Oil

Palm oil is a vegetable oil harvested from oil palms grown in tropical regions, but recent developments have raised issues surrounding human rights abuses for farm workers and large-scale deforestation to develop farmland.
To ensure that we do not use raw materials that contribute to these issues and to help solve those issues, the Kewpie Group established the Kewpie Group Fundamental Policy for Sustainable Procurement in January 2018. Based on that policy, in July 2018, we joined the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) to procure sustainable palm oil for our group in the future.

About this Initiative

In FY2019, the Kewpie Group began purchasing certified credits: RSPO “Book and Claim System” * for 37% of the palm oil. By FY2021, 100% of the palm oil used by the Kewpie Group will be purchased with certified credits. After 2021, we will continue to examine subsequent initiatives to source certified palm oil.

*Book and Claim System

Certified credits are issued for oil produced by a RSPO-certified manufacturer.
By purchasing those certified credits, this system supports producers of certified palm oil.

Sustainable Procurement of Paper

The Kewpie Group procures paper and paper products from businesses that do not contribute to new deforestations, comply by the laws of the timber producing region and international human rights standards, and produce products through proper procedures.
We therefore aim to procure paper and paper products that are recognized by forest management certifications (such as the FSC® certification*). This allows us to confirm that the products were made from recycled paper or, depending on the business partner, through activities that do not contribute to new deforestations or human rights violations.

*An international forest management certification that ensures products were appropriately procured from responsibly managed forests and that limited forest resources can continue to be used in the future.

Activities

We push forward reduction of the paper consumption by devising corrugated cardboard structure and making it thinner while maintaining its strength.

ダンボールの構造の工夫

Our Nico Nico Box series for baby food began using FSC certified paper in March 2019. A change in the design of the box enabled new functions like trays and puppets* to provide a fun meal experience while also conveying the importance of paper.

*Trays: two cups can be safely held in one hand. Puppet: the animal on the package opens and closes its mouth to encourage babies to chew.

Trays: two cups can be safely held in one hand. Puppet: the animal on the package opens and closes its mouth to encourage babies to chew.

Aohata collaborated with a carton manufacturer to use “Shelf-Ready Packaging” for the Aohata 55 jams UD150 series and the Calorie Half series, which resulted in reduction in carton weight by approximately 55 tons per year and reduction in CO2 emissions by roughly 33 tons per year. In addition to reducing hours required for opening and displaying products at the store, the modified carton shape lowers environmental impact by using less material.

Initiatives to Reduce Packaging (FY2015)

Aohata Initiatives with Fruit Growers

The regions from which the Kewpie Group procures fruits has expanded with the times to countries all across the world.
We believe that the quality of raw ingredients determines 70% of the deliciousness of processed agricultural foods. As such, we strive to build relationships of trust with our producers while also researching cultivation technologies so that we can steadily procure high-quality raw ingredients.

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