Ajinomoto Group Coffee Procurement Guidelines

Ajinomoto Group
Enacted April 2023

The Ajinomoto Group has products in more than 130 countries and regions and sources raw materials from even more geographies. Our business is built on a resilient food system consisting of a stable supply of food resources supported by a rich and abundant global environment.
But we recognize the burden our business places on the environment. All processes from raw material production to the final products emit greenhouse gases, create plastic waste, and result in food loss and waste, all of which pose environmental and societal risks. In addition, when natural forests are damaged, peatlands developed, and water and soil contaminated, ecosystems are damaged, making it difficult to maintain food resources. It is therefore urgent that businesses such as ours take measures to further decrease our environmental impact across the entire value chain.
This also includes supporting a healthy and vibrant society through the defense of human rights for all people involved in the supply chain and ensuring their occupational health and safety are protected. In addition, since we use animal-based raw materials, it is necessary for us to improve animal welfare.
We will work together with stakeholders throughout our supply chain to address these issues and make improvements to build a supply chain that positively impacts the environment and society.

1. Introduction

Coffee is one of the key ingredients that support the Ajinomoto Group's business activities. As the global production and consumption of coffee increases, it is becoming increasingly important as an ingredient. As a result of our supply chain risk assessment, we identified climate change, water, soil, biodiversity, and human rights as being critical. We are committed to building a sustainable coffee supply chain by working together with our stakeholders to fulfill our social responsibility to stably procure coffee and provide products. Furthermore, we will implement initiatives to positively impact the environment and society by providing support for producers, etc. Therefore, we have established these guidelines, which stipulate matters related to the procurement of green coffee beans (GCBs) in addition to the matters described in the Guidelines for Group Shared Policy for Suppliers.

2. Applicable items

These guidelines apply to GCBs procured by the Ajinomoto Group. In the future, the application scope may be expanded to include instant coffee and other products. These guidelines also apply to all suppliers that handle GCBs that the Ajinomoto Group purchases, trades, processes, or sells.

3. Criteria

The Ajinomoto Group aims to procure raw materials produced in accordance with the following standards considering the risks and international requirements in procuring GCBs and the NDPE principle (No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation).

  1. Do not log primary forests or develop protected areas or peatland.

  2. Do not develop habitats of native plants and wildlife.

  3. Limit the use of agricultural chemicals to those locally permitted for use and take measures to reduce their use.

  4. Protect water resources and maintain and improve soil quality by using water efficiently.

  5. Take measures to appropriately dispose of, reduce and recycle waste.

  6. Consider the best management practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  7. Do not violate land or housing ownership or other rights of indigenous and local residents.

  8. Do not engage in slave labor or child labor.

4. Ajinomoto Group's Action Guidelines

The Ajinomoto Group aims to build a sustainable coffee supply chain, and will take the following measures for the GCBs that we currently purchase. To ensure transparency, we update the public on the measures we are taking.

  1. Details of measures
    ・Ensure traceability*1
    ・Identify risks and implement solutions by dialoguing directly with suppliers and other stakeholders
    ・Promote the purchasing of certified products that meet the Ajinomoto Group Shared Policy
    ・Support producers for sustainable coffee production

  2. KPIs for 2030
    Ensure traceability to the primary collection sites*2 (for regions where this is very difficult, trace down to each cultivation area, such as a county or village) or purchase 100% certified products that meet the Ajinomoto Group policies (e.g. 4C certified*3 and Rainforest Alliance certified*4)

5. Revision

We revise these guidelines on a regular basis.

*1 "Ensuring traceability" means understanding the supply chain for the raw materials and being ready to trace back to the location of origin when environmental or human rights issues arise.

*2 A "Primary collection site" indicates the location where the first delivery is made from multiple farmers in the production area.

*3 4C:

*4 Rainforest Alliance: