Topic③Garbage if it is thrown out, a resource if is put to use
Material Issues: Efficient Use of Resources and Sustainable Procurement
Japan and the culture of waste (“Mottainai”)
Annual food loss, defined as food that is still edible but discarded, is estimated in Japan at about 6.43 million tons *1. This well exceeds the 3.8 million tons of food given in aid each year to starving people around the world *2.
*1Source: 2018 estimates from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of the Environment.
*2Source: 2017 figures from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
Reducing food waste
The Kewpie Group is working to reduce waste and make effective use of food residue at the production stage. We are also working to reduce food waste at the distribution and consumption stages by displaying expiration dates in a year/month format as well as extending the shelf life of our products.
Initiatives aimed at promoting the more effective use of resources
Giving value what was once considered waste
We aim to use all our valuable raw materials, first in delivering products to our customers, but any materials not used in products are to be used as compost, feed, or as an ingredient in dyes. In the case of cut vegetables, the portions that cannot be used in products can be used as a fermented dairy cow feed that can be stored for a long period of time. It has been reported that dairy cows that have been given this feed also produce an increased volume of milk. Efforts such as these have positive merits on three fronts: for dairy farmers, the country, and the global environment, and have been praised by external agencies, resulting in the company receiving resource recycling awards.
An apron made with vegetable dye and used in the Mayonnaise classes
A dairy cow eating feed
The path to producing feed was more difficult than I had imagined!
While finely grinding, then dehydrating the external leaves and cores of vegetables that couldn’t be used in our products, my first thought was along the lines of “what in the world are we making?” After at first failing to properly ferment the material and struggling with foul odors, a long period of trial-and-error with the single goal of reducing waste led to success in creating a safe and stable source of feed for our dairy cows. I remember feeling that this was one way of making a social contribution, and hope to continue pursuing value from unused on-site resources.