Ajinomoto Group Soy 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

Soybeans are one of the key ingredients that support the Ajinomoto Group's business activities. As the global production of soybeans increases year after year, they are 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 soybean supply chain by working together with our stakeholders to fulfill our social responsibility to stably procure soybeans and provide products. Therefore, based on the Ajinomoto Group Shared Policy, we have established these guidelines, which stipulate matters related to the procurement of soybeans in addition to the matters described in the Guidelines for Group Shared Policy for Suppliers.

2. Applicable items

These guidelines cover soybean oil and soybean meals, which account for approximately 90% of the soybean-derived raw materials procured by the Ajinomoto Group. The application scope may be expanded in the future. These guidelines also apply to all suppliers that handle the above ingredients 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 in light of the risks and international requirements in procuring soybeans 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 soybean supply chain, and take the following measures for the soybean oil and soybean meals that we currently purchase. To ensure transparency, we update the public on the measures we are taking.

  1. Details of measures
    ・Ensure traceability**1
    ・Promote the purchasing of certified products that meet the Ajinomoto Group Shared Policy
    ・Dialogue directly with suppliers and other stakeholders and take initiatives to promote certified products

  2. KPIs for 2030
    Procure SSAP*2 certified and RTRS*3 acertified products or ensure 100% traceability to the primary pickup location*4

5. Revision

We revise these guidelines on a regular basis.

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

*2 SSAP: U.S. Soybean Sustainability Assurance Protocol

*3 RTRS: Round Table on Responsible Soy Association

*4 "Primary pickup location" indicates the location where the first delivery is made from multiple farmers in the production area.