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Asia Pacific: Ajinomoto to restructure certain production systems

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Ajinomoto announces that will restructure its food production operations in Japan, including the formation of a new company.

This policy is the first step in strengthening the foundation of the Japan Food Products business over the medium and long term.

With a total investment of JPY40 billion (US$0.35 billion), the company will consolidate its five production bases for seasonings and processed foods into three, and build production facilities using information and communications technology (ICT) and automation.

In Japan, consumer needs are expected to become more diverse as a result of changes in the social structure, notably the aging population and the increase in single-person households; rising awareness of health, the environment and food safety and security; and changing lifestyles.

Moreover, the projected decline in the working-age population will make it more difficult to secure the personnel necessary to support stable production.

At the same time, rapid advances in ICT and other technologies are expected to significantly transform the production system going forward.

Given these changes, Ajinomoto Co. will consolidate and restructure the production systems of some of its facilities, Knorr Foods Co., Ltd. and Ajinomoto PackagingInc to form a new company with a planned opening in April 2019.

In addition, two production facilities of the new company will be built on the premises of the Kawasaki Administration & Coordination Office and the Tokai Plant, respectively.

These facilities will utilize ICT, including automation technology, to increase efficiency.

Construction is scheduled for completion in the second half of fiscal 2019 at the Tokai Plant and the first half of 2021 at the Kawasaki Administration & Coordination Office.

The changes will help consolidate and restructure production systems for seasonings and processed foods, double current labor productivity at production facilities by fiscal 2021, implement quality control to ensure food safety and security, amongst others.