The Ajinomoto Group’s Commitment to Nutrition

Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021 Summary of Results

The Tokyo Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit 2021 is a meeting to promote international efforts to improve nutrition. It is customary for the host country of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to host the Summit, which began in 2013 at the initiative of the UK government. Following the UK (London) and Brazil (Rio), the third Nutrition for Growth Summit was held in Tokyo on December 7-8, 2021, to discuss five themes and compile an outcome document (compact).

The Summit was hosted by the Japanese government and it was conducted in a hybrid format, including in-person participation for those in Japan and online participation from overseas participants. During the High Level Session on the first day, Japanese Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio expressed the country’s commitment to contribute to the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by providing more than 300 billion yen (2.8 billion U.S. dollars) in nutrition-related assistance over the next three years.

The Tokyo Nutrition Declaration (Tokyo’s summary on Nutrition for Growth) was issued to summarize the outcomes of the presentations and discussions during the two-day Summit.

The Ajinomoto Group’s Actions for the Future

Member of the Board, Representative Executive Officer, President & Chief Executive Officer
Takaaki Nishii

The Ajinomoto Group’s “Commitment to Nutrition” is a medium- to long-term goal for comprehensive business activities aimed at improving nutrition. We believe communicating our activities and achievements to the public will help build momentum for nutrition improvement activities in society. Solving the diverse nutritional issues that exist around the world is not something that can be done by one company alone. People from all over the world will need to cooperate to achieve this goal. The Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021 was a great opportunity for various stakeholders to build partnerships, and we hope to continue to play an important role in industry-government-academia-community collaboration, as well as to show leadership in solving social issues.

Outcomes of Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021 and the Ajinomoto Group’s Commitment

Tokyo Nutrition Declaration

As a result of the discussions at the Summit, the “Tokyo Nutrition Declaration” was issued as a consensus document outlining the future direction the international community should take to improve nutrition, with endorsements from 212 stakeholders, including 64 governments, 11 international organizations, 60 private companies, and 58 civil society organizations.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida opened the summit ©Prime Minister's Office of Japan

Nutrition Commitment from the Government of Japan

The Japanese government stated it will further strengthen Japan’s nutrition-related policies.  It also announced more than 300 billion yen (approximately 2.8 billion U.S. dollars) in assistance through bilateral and multilateral frameworks over the next three years.

Issuing Commitments to Nutrition

At the Tokyo Nutrition Summit, 180 stakeholders from 66 countries and 20 companies submitted 394 commitments (statements of policy and financial declaration) totaling more than 27 billion U.S. dollars in nutrition-related funding. This included 22 Japanese companies and organizations that made commitments. At the London Summit (2013), 90 stakeholders from 39 countries, including 22 companies, made commitments; a total of 4.15 billion U.S. dollars in new nutrition-related funding was pledged.

Discussion on "Food: Promoting healthy diets and building sustainable food systems"

Mr. Nishii, CEO of Ajinomoto Co., Inc. (title at the time), participated in the opening ceremony on December 7. In addition, during the High Level Session, he presented the Ajinomoto Group’s “Commitment to Nutrition” as the only representative of a global food company.

Ajinomoto Group's "Commitment to Nutrition"

By 2030, we will help extend the healthy life expectancy of one billion people by increasing the current reach to 700 million consumers and providing products and information that support consumers in enjoying nutritious and delicious foods with Nutrition Without Compromise as basic policy on our approach to nutrition.

Commitment 1

Support the practice of “delicious salt reduction” using umami
  • We will leverage our current reach to 700 million consumers to raise general awareness of salt reduction using umami, and support more people to achieve salt reduction without compromising taste.

Commitment 2

Provide nutritious products to contribute to people’s wellness
  • By fiscal 2030, 60% of our products will have improved nutritional value while maintaining good taste. We will use the Ajinomoto Group Nutrient Profiling System (ANPS) to guide product development and reformulation.

  • Among the nutritious products, we will provide products that promote “delicious salt reduction” and “protein intake optimization” to 400 million people a year by fiscal 2030.

  • By utilizing the physiological and nutritional functions of amino acids, by fiscal 2030, we will double the availability of such products that contribute to health, compared to fiscal 2020.

Commitment 3

Support consciousness/behavior change of consumers by providing information that supports health and nutrition improvement
  • We will provide consumers with information to help them improve their health and nutrition, as well as easy recipes and menus both on product packaging and our website that support delicious and well-balanced meals and healthy lifestyles.

Commitment 4

Improve nutrition literacy of Group employees
  • We will provide consumers with information to help them improve their health and nutrition, as well as easy recipes and menus both on product packaging and our website that support delicious and well-balanced meals and healthy lifestyles.

  • By fiscal 2025, we will provide nutrition education to sum total of 100,000 employees.

Side Event Hosted by the Ajinomoto Group and DSM: School Lunch and the Future of Children

The Ajinomoto Group and DSM co-hosted a side event, "School Lunch and the Future of Children: Creating Sustainable and Healthy Eating Habits through Public-Private Partnership"

Aiming to be a company that solves food and health issues, the Ajinomoto Group and DSM jointly held a forum to improve school lunch programs in developing countries. The importance of improving children’s nutrition, the role of school meals, and the ideal direction for future efforts were discussed.

Ajinomoto Group Initiatives to Improve Nutrition Worldwide

The Ajinomoto Group actively collaborates with academia to solve diverse nutritional challenges around the world, and by participating in many international academic conferences on nutrition, we conduct a wide range of discussions and introduce initiatives to improve nutrition.

Information on Nutrition at Ajinomoto Group Nutrition・Health

Information about Health and Nutrition at the Ajinomoto Group including “Nutrition Without Compromise,” our approach to nutrition.

Nutrition Policy

ESG&Sustainability

Videos

The Ajinomoto Foundation's Nutrition Initiatives

  • In 2017, the Ajinomoto Group established the Ajinomoto Foundation.

    The purpose of the Foundation is to contribute to solving important social issues in Japan and around the world through projects related to improving nutrition through food, along with the support and cooperation of the society. We continue to provide support to the Foundation.

    Click here to see the specific projects.

Achievements of the Ajinomoto Group with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Specific Action Plan for Food Stakeholders in Japan to Implement the "Tokyo Compact on Global Nutrition for Growth"

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries convened stakeholders at a side event with the goal to lead to sustainable development of Japan’s agriculture, food industry, and other sectors. The Ajinomoto Group representatives participated in two panel discussions during the event. As an outcome of the event, a “Specific Action Plan for Food Stakeholders in Japan” was presented.

Our company agreed with the main idea and registered the action plan based on our “Commitment to Nutrition”.

Panel: "A Framework for Addressing and Supporting the Double Burden of Malnutrition - Roundtable Discussion with the Global Community" (Session 3)

Ajinomoto Co. Inc. Executive Officer Chika Morishima participated as a panelist. In addition to introducing the outcomes of “extending healthy life expectancy for 1 billion people” and “reducing our environmental impact by 50%”, which we aim to achieve as a company that solves food and health issues, she also introduced the “Commitment to Nutrition” and our specific activities based on the philosophy of “Nutrition Without Compromise.”

Panel: "Message to the World from the Japanese Food Industry: Balancing Nutritional Improvement and Sustainable Development" (Session 7)

CEO Nishii (title at the time) participated as a panelist. He introduced our “Commitment to Nutrition” and made recommendations on efforts needed to change the behavior of consumers and on improving nutrition in developing and emerging countries, key success factors, and what is needed to scale up.

NJPPP Commitment Making Subcommittee Activity Report

The Nutrition Japan Public Private Platform (NJPPP) presented the vision statements each of the thematic subcommittees for the creation of the commitments in preparation for the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit. Dr. Taichi Ishizaki, General Manager of Wellness & Nutrition Group from the Sustainability Promotion Department in Ajinomoto Co. and chair of the Salt Reduction Subcommittee, presented on the efforts of Japanese food companies to promote salt reduction.

Column: Points of Discussion on Food & Nutrition

The Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit provided an opportunity to learn about the latest food and nutrition issues raised in the global discussions. It was a valuable opportunity for stakeholders in industry, academia, government, and the community in Japan to learn about diverse issues and take advantage of this opportunity to cooperate to solve global nutrition challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Achievements of the Ajinomoto Group with the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry

Side Event Hosted by Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry: "Investing in Workplace Health as a Corporate Strategy - The Potential of Health Management"

Corporate leaders, investors, international organizations and NGOs involved in health management attended an event to discuss corporate strategies and stakeholder evaluation of health investment.

CEO Nishii (title at the time) participated as a panelist. Believing that improving employee health can lead to improved employee engagement, motivation, and productivity, he introduced the company’s efforts to promote self-care habits by raising health awareness and increasing nutrition knowledge.

Achievements of the Ajinomoto Group with the Ministry of Finance

Side Event Sponsored by the Ministry of Finance and the World Bank: "Driving Innovation in Nutrition Financing a Round Table Discussion"

Discussions were held on sustainable finance for improving nutrition in developing countries (Africa, Asia, and Latin America).

Takayuki Saito, Director of the Global Communications Department in Ajinomoto Co. Inc., participated as a panelist. In order to create sustainable activity, he stressed the importance for companies to offer their unique areas of expertise, technology, and know-how, and to develop a profitable business by building an ecosystem that includes public, private, academic, and NGO sectors; the key to success is the development of passionate team members as well as the development and education of local human resources. From the perspective of the food industry, he suggested that alignment with local culture and lifestyles, including food culture and food sourcing requirements, is essential, and that good taste is key to promoting improved nutrition.

Initiatives to Solve the World's Nutrition Issues- From Global Nutrition Report 2020

Diverse Nutritional Issues ~From the double burden of hunger and malnutrition to the sustainability of the planet~

Today, one in nine people in the world is in a state of poor nutrition, and many countries are facing the challenge of the “double burden of malnutrition,” which combines undernutrition that prevents growth and over-nutrition that causes lifestyle-related diseases and other problems.

In addition, malnutrition has been further exacerbated worldwide as a result of the stagnation of supply chains and the economic impact on households caused by the coronavirus infection, which led to reaffirming the importance of nutrition in the prevention and treatment of diseases.

Furthermore, there is a growing sense of crisis regarding the impact of global warming on production sites and the sustainability of the food supply as the earth’s population is expected to reach 10 billion by 2050.

Governments, businesses, and civil society need to step up their efforts to address malnutrition in all its forms through addressing inequities in both the food and health care systems.

The Global Nutrition Report (GNR) was born out of the first Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit and it provides the tool to track the N4G commitments to inform, shape and inspire action through evidence and greater accountability on nutrition policy, practice and financing.

About Tokyo Nutrition Summit 2021

The Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit is a meeting to promote international efforts to improve nutrition. It is customary for the host country of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to host the Summit, which began in 2013 at the initiative of the UK government.

Following the UK (London) and Brazil (Rio), the third Nutrition for Growth Summit was held in Tokyo on December 7-8, 2021, to discuss five themes and compile an outcome document (compact).

Summary

Date: December 7-8, 2021

Location: Tokyo, Japan (virtual for overseas, virtual / in-person for domestic)

Organizer: Government of Japan

Attendees: High-level government officials, international organizations, academic institutions, civil society, private sector, etc.

Objective: To review the current status and issues of improving nutrition worldwide and promote international efforts to resolve these issues.

Format: High Level Sessions, technical sessions, side events.

Outcomes

The following five themes were discussed with the participation of each stakeholder and an outcome document (compact) was compiled.

  1. Health: Integration of nutrition into Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

  2. Food: Building a healthy and sustainable food system

  3. Resilience: Measures to combat malnutrition in vulnerable situations

  4. Accountability: Data-based monitoring

  5. Financing: Securing financial resources to improve nutrition

All participating stakeholders registered their own contribution activities as “commitments”. From Japan, we have sent out a package of past results of our nutrition improvement efforts, as well as domestic and international initiatives that could contribute to solving nutrition issues in the future.

Related Website

"Summary of Results"

  • As a result of the discussions at the Summit, the Tokyo Nutrition Declaration was issued as a consensus document outlining the future direction the international community should take to improve nutrition, with endorsements from 212 stakeholders, including 64 governments, 11 international organizations, 60 private companies, and 58 civil society organizations. ​

    https://www.mofa.go.jp/ic/ghp/page6e_000264_00001.html

"Domestic Policies" and "International Support"

  • The Japanese government states it will further strengthen Japan’s nutrition-related policies. It also announced more than 300 billion yen (approximately 2.8 billion U.S. dollars) in assistance through bilateral and multinational frameworks over the next three years.

    https://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/files/100275456.pdf

"Contents of Discussion"

  • In his opening remarks, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida reported on the world’s nutritional challenges. He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating the problem of child malnutrition and that the double burden of malnutrition – undernutrition and overnutrition – has become a common issue worldwide.

    He also touched on the history of nutrition improvement in Japan. He noted that the country has “improved the nutritional status of each and every citizen and built a society of health and longevity” by promoting nutrition policies based on scientific evidence, including nutrition surveys, the nutritionist system, school lunches, and nutritional guidance. He quoted Mr. Teiji Nakamura, President of the Japan Dietetic Association, who said, “The power of nutrition makes people healthy and happy,” and promised Japan’s support to spread this idea to the world.

    ● Ajinomoto Co. CEO Takaaki Nishii (title at the time) participated in the High Level Sessions on December 7. In Session 2, Commitment from Constituency Stakeholders, he presented the Ajinomoto Group’s Commitment to Nutrition as the only representative of a global food. ​

    Click here for the “Ajinomoto Group Commitment to Nutrition”

    In his closing remarks, Mr. Keiichi Ono, Director-General of the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021 Preparatory Office and Deputy Director-General for Global Issues for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, introduced the outcome of the Summit as a symbolic example of the participation of various stakeholders: “Regarding excessive salt intake, we showed the role of companies in improving nutrition by providing evidence that umami leads to salt reduction.”

"Summary of Specific Action Plans for Food Stakeholders in Japan"

  • (Background to the development of the “Commitment to Nutrition “)

    The Nutrition for Growth Summit’s Theme 2, “Food: Building a Healthy and Sustainable Food System,” is the issue to which food companies are contributing. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) led various discussions on this theme, and as a result, the “Action Plan for Japanese Food Stakeholders” was announced.

    This plan states that since the Meiji era, in response to the movement for improved nutrition, the Japanese food industry has developed a “delicious and healthy diet” that utilizes “umami” by incorporating Western food to a moderate extent, devising cooking and preservation methods, while utilizing the traditional Japanese food fermentation technology. It was clearly stated that this has been achieved by the food industry’s innovation, incorporating foreign technology, and has been provided to the public at affordable prices.

    As a guideline for future efforts, four key perspectives were articulated in the action plan to ensure both the health of each individual and the health of the planet (sustainability).

    1.  Transform the food system
    There is no one-size-fits-all solution to transforming the food system. Each country and region will use science and technology to achieve both productivity improvement and sustainability under the natural and other conditions in which they find themselves.

    2. Promote innovation in food-related industries
    Through the promotion of digitalization and other innovations, food-related industries will provide products and services that contribute to the improvement of the nation’s nutrition by enhancing quality and satisfaction while taking into account sustainability and local food culture.

    3. Promote behavioral change in individuals’ nutrition
    In order to help each individual achieve a nutritionally balanced diet, all stakeholders will promote behavioral change related to nutrition in individuals by conducting research that helps improve nutrition, providing information, and promoting nutrition education activities.

    4. Support for improving nutrition in developing and emerging countries
    For the improvement of nutrition in developing and emerging countries, we will support through global partnerships, including the Nutrition Improvement Project Promotion Platform, to eradicate hunger, improve maternal and infant nutrition, and realize healthy diets that make the most of local food culture.

    Click here for “Tokyo Nutrition Summit 2021 Action Plan”

    Click here for “Ajinomoto Group Action Plan”

"Session 3"

  • The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) convened stakeholders at a side event with the goal to lead to the sustainable development of Japan’s agriculture, food industry, and others. Chika Morishima, Executive Officer of Ajinomoto Co., participated as a panelist and introduced our approach to nutrition improvement “Nutrition Without Compromise” and “Commitment to Nutrition”.

    [Session overview and remarks from the Ajinomoto Group]

    1. Overview
    Harmonization of the global food system with local self-sustaining ecosystems is necessary to achieve environmentally friendly and sustainable food procurement. In addition, in order to solve the problem of the double burden of malnutrition, we need to promote healthy eating. For this purpose, we confirmed that it is necessary not only to discuss “nutrients” but also to build new eating habits that respect the local climate and food culture.
    In addition to sharing the latest efforts of everyone in the global community (WFP, FAO, WBCSD, Rabobank, ATNI) who are working to improve nutrition around the world, four financial institutions and food companies from Japan that are contributing to improving nutrition participated in the panel. They discussed their continued efforts from their respective standpoints and the nature of multi-stakeholder partnerships for building social systems.

    2. Remarks from the Ajinomoto Group
    Ms. Morishima introduced the outcomes that the Ajinomoto Group aims to achieve as a company that solves issues related to food and health, namely “extending healthy life expectancy for 1 billion people” and “reducing our environmental impact by 50%.” She also introduced the “formulation of nutrition commitments” and specific initiatives based on our philosophy of “Nutrition Without Compromise.”
    In the discussion, she introduced a partnership project to improve infant nutrition in Africa (introduction of KOKO Plus), in which the Ajinomoto Foundation expanded its activities in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Ghana, University of Ghana, WFP, NGOs, NPOs, local food companies, distributors, and local communities, while staying close to the local food culture.

"Session 7"

  • The panelists shared the commitments made by companies at the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit, summarized the discussions at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) side event, and presented an action plan for building a sustainable food system.
    Mr. Takaaki Nishii, CEO of Ajinomoto Co., Inc. (title at the time), participated as a panelist.

    [ Session overview and remarks from the Ajinomoto Group ]

    1.Overview
    Commitments were provided by representative food companies for the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit. Summarizing the discussions at this side event, the MAFF presented an “Action Plan” outlining the future contributions of the Japanese food industry and expectations for collaboration among various stakeholders in Japan and abroad to build a sustainable food system.

    2. Remarks from the Ajinomoto Group
    In addition to introducing the Ajinomoto Group’s “Commitment to Nutrition”, CEO Nishii (title at the time) made recommendations on two points:

    ●What initiatives are needed to change the behavior of consumers?
    The reality is that 30% of people who are told they have metabolic syndrome do not take action, but in our experience, three approaches have been effective.

    1. Regional collaboration (promotion of administrative initiatives by benchmarking other prefectures based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey)
    2. Regional collaboration (promotion of administrative initiatives by benchmarking other prefectures based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey)
    3. Implementation of promotions using local food ingredients

    However, this alone is not enough for many people to change. We believe that it is necessary to promote “nutritional improvement in the workplace” and “appropriate dietary education for children” as new initiatives.

    ●Improving nutrition in developing and emerging countries
    Nutrition improvement efforts are a local adaptation activity and partnerships are important.
    The response will vary depending on the local situation. In countries that are still developing, it is necessary to wait for the country’s national power to increase in the long term, with the help of NGOs and NPOs. On the other hand, a successful case in Vietnam is the introduction of a school lunch project as the country’s national power has grown. Starting from the successful model of one school, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health joined the project. With the support of the Japanese Embassy, the project was scaled up, and with the participation of the Japan Dietetic Association, various expertise was offered and shared, including the training of nutritionists, and the project developed into a sustainable activity. It is necessary for private companies and NGOs to work together to create and nurture small-scale activities and then scale them up with the support of local governments and the government.

"Details of Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry Side Event"

  • Event hosted by Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry: “Investing in Workplace Health as a Corporate Strategy – The Potential of Health Management

    Corporate leaders, investors, international organizations, and NGOs involved in health management attended the meeting to discuss corporate strategies and stakeholder evaluation of health investment. The Ajinomoto Co. CEO Nishii (title at the time) participated as a panelist.

    [ Session overview and remarks from the Ajinomoto Group ]

    1.Overview
    As the call for international response to malnutrition and overnutrition intensifies, companies are playing an increasingly important role in the health of their employees. Investing in employee health, such as by improving nutritional status through better employee eating habits, will lead to sustainable business activities and increased future corporate value.

    Corporate leaders, investors, international organizations, and NGOs involved in health management attended the event to discuss corporate strategies and stakeholder evaluations of health investments.

    As a future direction, METI expressed its commitment to contribute to the improvement of global nutrition through the workplace by promoting corporate investment in health and by communicating Japan’s efforts in health management internationally.

    2. Remarks from the Ajinomoto Group
    CEO Nishii (title at the time) introduced the company’s efforts to promote the habit of self-care through increased health awareness and nutrition knowledge. In addition, the following recommendations were made regarding the value of health management.

    1. Initiatives that take care of the physical and mental health of employees will increase employee engagement, motivation, and productivity, and will reduce absenteeism and sick leave. It is positively correlated with business outcomes, creating social and economic value
    2. In order to secure employees in an aging society, it is important as a management strategy for companies of any size to engage in health management and extend healthy life expectancy.
    3. We propose to contribute to our supply chain. The Ajinomoto Group’s business uses agricultural products from emerging countries as raw materials, and it would be beneficial to promote health management as part of the support we provide for farmers in the supply chain.

"Details of Ministry of Finance Side Event"

  • Side event sponsored by the Ministry of Finance and the World Bank: “Driving Innovation in Nutrition Financing A Round Table Discussion”

    Sustainable finance for improving nutrition in developing countries (Africa, Asia, and Latin America) was discussed. Takayuki Saito, Director of Global Communications Department in Ajinomoto Co. Inc, participated as a panelist representing a Japanese company.

    [ Session overview and remarks from the Ajinomoto Group]

    1.Overview
    With both donor and domestic resources constrained by the pandemic, concessional finance, private sector, and catalytic innovative financial support are needed to solve nutrition challenges. The roundtable brought together senior leaders and key stakeholders to discuss the nutrition finance landscape, key challenges, and opportunities for realizing ambition, and to develop new ideas for innovative financing for nutrition.

    2. Remarks from the Ajinomoto Group
    Mr. Saito offered the following comments from the perspective of the private sector.

    • It is necessary to become a business that has continuity, rather than transitory aid. To this end, it is important to build a profitable business in which companies offer their unique areas of expertise, technology, and know-how and create an ecosystem that includes the public, private sector, academia, and NGOs.
    • The key to success is the development of passionate team members along with the development and education of local talent.
    • From the food industry perspective, alignment with local culture and lifestyles, including food culture and food sourcing requirements, is essential to doing business. And good taste is key to promoting improved nutrition.

    As an example of such an initiative, he introduced a school lunch program that the Ajinomoto Group has been working on in Vietnam, in collaboration with the Vietnamese government, academia, and local communities.

    3. Statement from Japanese Academia (Kenji Shibuya, Chief Researcher, Tokyo Foundation)
    Although it is very difficult to evaluate the impact of improved nutrition, the world is facing an urgent nutrition policy issue to address the double burden. As a countermeasure, the impact of umami substances on salt reduction is being estimated in Japan. The results show that the use of umami could reduce salt intake of Japanese people by up to 20%. Japan has over 20 years of experience in promoting Universal Health Coverage, emphasized by the government, the private sector, the civil sector, and the media. Now is the time to apply that experience to improve nutrition.