TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Takaaki Nishii, CEO of Ajinomoto Co., Inc. (Ajinomoto)(TOKYO:2802) met with Prof. Yunus, a Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2006 and a founder of Grameen Bank, and discussed about Ajinomoto’s nutrition improvement project in Ghana since 2009, representing a sublimation of business knowledge and social contribution of Ajinomoto.
Ghana Nutrition Improvement Project:
“Ajinomoto started the project in 2009 as part of initiatives to commemorate its centenary. Under this project, we and our partners manufacture and sell a supplement of weaning food “KOKO Plus”, to address malnutrition among weaning infants aged between six months and two years,” said Nishii. “Malnutrition, a serious issue in developing countries, causes various adverse effects on the physical and intellectual growth of children. It is said the growth retardation of children during the period cannot be easily recovered even by sufficient nutritional intake in the subsequent stages of their lives.”
To overcome a range of problems specific to developing countries like Ghana, Ajinomoto built a new sustainable business model in a more effective and efficient manner by forming partnerships to foster open innovation with the local government and other local stakeholders, experienced NGOs, international organizations and other corporate entities.
Social Business using company’s specialty:
During the dialogue, Prof. Yunus commented “It’s a good sign. If a company like Ajinomoto can pay attention to malnutrition, lots of problems can be solved in much easier way by creating social business.” He added to say, “What Ajinomoto is doing in Ghana is also an example of a social business initiative. It is wonderful to use the talent and creative power of this huge and historically long company. And they will be inspiring some other food companies.”
Distribution model for the empowerment of women:
In Ghana, there are areas with few retail stores due to the lack of necessary distribution infrastructure. Ajinomoto cooperated with international NGOs implementing a program to support the empowerment of women, to develop a local system for women of each village using VSLA (Village Savings and Loan Association) to serve as salespersons for the product.
About Ajinomoto Co., Inc.
Ajinomoto is a global manufacturer of high-quality seasonings, processed foods, beverages, amino acids, pharmaceuticals and specialty chemicals. For many decades Ajinomoto has contributed to food culture and human health through wide-ranging application of amino acid technologies. Today, the company is becoming increasingly involved with solutions for improved food resources, human health and global sustainability. Founded in 1909 and now operating in 27 countries and regions, Ajinomoto had net sales of JPY 1,185.9 billion (USD 9.87 billion) in fiscal 2015. For more about Ajinomoto (TOKYO:2802), please visit www.ajinomoto.com.