Ajinomoto, Japan’s biggest and the world’s 14th biggest food and beverage company, is contributing to the sustainability and global access of food, thanks to its R&D power and innovation technologies. With investments made upon entering Turkey in 2013, Ajinomoto has become one of the biggest food producers and is determined to maintain the same momentum in Turkey. Ajinomoto has conducted important work on fair access to food in Turkey andhas collaborated with the ÇorbadaTuzunOlsun Association for the second time this year to distribute soup to the homeless on October 16, World Food Day. HülyaGündoğanUçarlar, Chief Marketing Officer at Ajinomoto Turkey, said: “With its R&D power, innovation technologies and understanding of sustainability, Ajinomoto regards as one of its priorities to contribute to solving the problems of food resources, healthy living and global sustainability in the world generally. We will continue to work towards this aim.”
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations declared October 16 ‘World Food Day’ to ‘promote worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all’.
With a sales network spread across 130 countries, 123 factories in 30 countries and 34,452 employees, Ajinomoto is the biggest food and beverage company in Japan, and the 14th biggest in the world. It carries out value-creating activities on a global scale in the areas of healthy living, healthy eating and food resources. Ajinomoto is focused on the sustainability of food resources across the world, with its R&D power and innovation technology and carries outcrucial social responsibility activities in many countries on the subject of food.
A bowl of hot soup
Ajinomoto entered the Turkish market in 2013 and incorporated two of the country’s deep-rooted food sector companies,Kükre Gıda veÖrgen Gıda. Merging under the name Ajinomoto Istanbul Food Industry and Trade Limited Company last July, it continues to operate with the same growth mentality in Turkey. Ajinomoto believes in the right of all people to have fair access to food resources, and organized an example-setting activity in Istanbul in the World Food Day on October 16.
Ajinomoto cooperated again this year by distributing hot soup for two evenings with the ‘ÇorbadaTuzunOlsun’ Association, one of the non-governmental organizations in Turkey working toward fair access to food, and providing regular food assistance to around 150 people each evening.
Çorbada Tuzun Olsun Association Chairman Ahmet Türker said everybody must shoulder responsibility to bring homeless people back into society.
“The food distribution which we carry out is not a goal but a vehicle for us, in terms of bringing people who have to live on the streets back into society, both securing the right to nourishment, one of the fundamental rights, and meeting the need for nourishment, one of the fundamental needs. Saying ‘Hello, how are you?’ when you hand out a bowl of soup, making these people feel they are not alone and establishing dialogue with them, amounts to holding a branch for them to hold onto life. Soup is an important symbol. As a result of the field work we have carried out, we estimate that there are around 10,000 homeless people in Istanbul, consisting of the hidden homeless (those who stay in places which cannot be described as homes and do not meet even the minimum life requirements) and the fully homeless (those who live outside in places like parks and on pavement). At the moment, our daily food distribution activities are focused on reaching the homeless in Beyoğlu and Beşiktaş. At least once a month we distribute food in other districts and explore to try and make contact with as many homeless as possible. We carry out food distribution daily (on average 150 people each day just in Beyoğlu), one day a week to 50 people in Beşiktaş, and exploring other districts in our work to reach all the homeless in Istanbul and bring them back into society. Regarding the social development which we aim for and the establishment corporate social responsibility awareness in Turkey, we attach a lot of importance to Ajinomoto, which has started to produce soup in Turkey, standing beside us and saying ‘have your finger in the pie’.
“Fair access to food is a human right”
Ajinomoto Turkey Chief Marketing Officer Hülya Gündoğan Uçarlar said the event which they carried out was just a beginning:
“With its R&D power, innovation technologies and understanding of sustainability, Ajinomoto regards it as one of its priorities to contribute to solving the problems of food resources, healthy living and global sustainability in the world generally. We have carried out very important work in this area and will continue to do so. We will maintain our activities with this mentality in Turkey, which we have recently entered. We took the first, example-setting step in the last year with World Food Day on October 16, with which the United Nations aims to create awareness on the issue of hunger and poverty.
We distributed soup to the homeless this year for the second time together with ÇorbadaTuzunOlsunAssociation and our friends, in order to draw attention to this subject and to reach out our hand and support people who have limited access to food resources. We believe that fair access to food resources is a right of humanity and we want this right to be exercised by all people in full. We will continue to work towards this aim.”
Growing in Turkey with investments
In 2013, Ajinomoto bought a 50 percent stake in Kükre Gıda A.Ş., a deeply-rooted company in Turkey which produces sauces such as vinegar and pomegranate syrup under the Kemal Kükrer brand. Subsequently Ajinomoto bought from Ülker in a share sale agreement dated November 15, 2016 the shares in Örgen Gıda, the producer of the BizimMutfak brand, which has products such as powdered soups, bouillon, menu-specific seasonings, pudding, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. It became the owner of the remaining shares in Kükre Gıda with an agreement signed on August 17, 2017. With the investments it has made, Ajinomoto has become one of the most important food producers in Turkey. Ajinomoto has invested more than 500 million lira in Turkey to date,and aims to make Turkey a regional management and production base within five years.