The story of Lee Kum Kee begins with our premium and best selling Oyster Sauce. In 1888, a restauranteur named Mr. Lee Kum Sheung from Southern China was boiling a pot of oyster soup and forgot about it until the soup was simmered down to a thick gravy. He tasted it and discovered an irresistible, delicious new flavour.
Since then, he started selling this as ‘Oyster Sauce’. Mr Lee was the founder of Lee Kum Kee and his story is how Chinese staple larder oyster sauce was invented. With a food heritage dating back more than 130 years, Lee Kum Kee now manufactures and distributes its authentic Chinese sauces and famous condiments across more than 100 countries and regions worldwide.
Watch the videos below to discover more about the history of Lee Kum Kee and our brand development.
WHY LEE KUM KEE?
In Hong Kong during the 1950s, Lee Kum Kee Oyster Sauce was so sought after that consumers were willing to pay HK$1.80, which, considering that the average person earned only HK$10 per month at the time, meant 20% of their monthly salary was spent on Oyster Sauce! This goes to show how valued a commodity it was! Because after all, it’s all about quality, quality… Oh and did we mention quality?
Lee Kum Kee sauces were space travellers with China's space mission "Shenzhou IX", "Shenzhou X" and "Shenzhou XI".
Want to be one of the selected oysters and be part of the Premium Oyster Sauce?! Make sure they are 2-3 years old or, they are out!
All oysters are freshly processed and freshly extracted on the day of harvest… Delay no more!
All selected soy beans must be “non-GM” in Lee Kum Kee soy sauce – absolutely no question!
3000 years ago, the great, great, great... grandfather of soy sauce was born in China. The soy bean flavour remains in both hot and cold dishes, whereas Japanese soy sauce might dissipate under high temperature of cooking.
LEE KUM KEE IN THE MEDIA
Below is a selection of the great things Lee Kum Kee and our partners have achieved in the media of the last few years.
Lee Kum Kee’s Xinhui Production Base receives the LEED Platinum Certification
Sustainability is integrated into every operation of Lee Kum Kee. Our six core values laid a solid foundation for sustainable business operation.
We move forward the sustainability approach through four pillars with corporate governance as our foundation, supporting the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
Si Li Ji Ren (Considering Others’ Interests)
Benefiting the Community
Sharing Fruits of Success
LEED Platinum Certified
Lee Kum Kee’s Xinhui Production Base receives the LEED Platinum Certification
Pioneers in Sustainable Development
First company in the global fermented food industry to receive LEED Platinum Certification.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is a globally recognised green building rating system.
Our production base in Xinhui, Jiangmen, Guangdong province, which houses our green soy sauce fermentation project, has recently received the prestigious LEED-NC V4.0 Platinum certification, which is the highest level in the rating system (Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum).
Lee Kum Kee's Xinhui Production Base has a comprehensive energy efficiency and environmental protection strategy, and is equipped with:
Solar photovoltaic power generation systemc
Geothermal heat pump system
Wetland park and wastewater treatment facilities.
These facilities enable the green soy sauce fermentation project of Lee Kum Kee to achieve remarkable performance in various aspects of green building technologies such as sustainable development, energy and water conservation, and environmental protection. Analysis shows that the project saves 55% more water and 50% more energy
than general projects, and renewable energy constitutes 6% of its total energy consumption. Watch this video to learn more.
Solar Photovoltaic Power Generation System & Man-made Wetland
The solar photovoltaic power generation system is installed on the rooftop of the soy sauce plant. Solar energy is directly converted to electricity by the semiconductor interface, thereby greatly reducing the consumption of electricity.
The wetland park, with an area of 16,000 square metres will be capable of treating 4,000 cubic metres of wastewater per day through natural ecosystems after completion. Besides, the grey water recycling system minimises water consumption with its high water efficient design to reuse water as much as possible.
Take a look at this short video which introduces how we harness clean energy at our production base.
Geothermal Heat Pump System
Lee Kum Kee is the first in the world to have adopted geothermal energy in Soy Sauce production. But how does it work? Take a look at our video which explains how we can use the natural heat of the earth to power our production.
The geothermal heat pump system provides both hot and cold water for soy sauce fermentation via the heat exchangers and condensers; it utilises the thermostatic geothermal energy underground, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the consumption of electricity and water.
Promote Sustainable Development and Create a Green Future
“Si Li Ji Ren” and Promote Green Industrial Practices.
The 2,800 staff at the Xinhui production base All uphold the corporate core value of “Si Li Ji Ren” (Considering Others’ Interests). Lee Kum Kee encourages its staff to adopt the "3Rs strategy” (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) to reduce waste through measures such as promoting cycling in the plant areas, using clean energy for staff shuttle buses, and encouraging the use of recyclable paper.
You may have noticed in recent years that our sauce bottles have become lighter. This is another way we are implementing our 3Rs strategy.You can find out more by watching this video.
The production base in Xinhui is the largest of Lee Kum Kee Sauce Group’s production bases worldwide, with an area of 1.33 million square metres. As a leading sauce company, Lee Kum Kee has been actively promoting green industrial practices and advocating the construction of a green manufacturing system. Our efforts have earned us a string of recognitions:
Xinhui production base is accredited as a “National Green Factory” by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) of the People’s Republic of China - the first enterprise in Jiangmen to receive the honour.
LEED Platinum certification thanks to the energy saving practices at the Xinhui production base.
Lee Kum Kee will continue to adhere to the LEED standard when developing new projects, minimize the use of natural resources, and further increase the use of low-carbon energy in an effort to protect the environment and achieve sustainable development.
Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
Lee Kum Kee already embraces sustainability on the farm. We have dedicated teams to help farmers adopt Good Agricultural Practice, or GAP.
But what is GAP? Essentially, it’s a set of principles to be implemented in on-farm and post-production processes. This can include:
And many more!
Watch our video, and see how we are working with farmers to improve the quality and safety of farmlands.
Creating Shared Value (CSV)
When we source raw materials, we strive to ‘Create Shared Value’ with farmers. We provide farmers with:
Advanced agricultural knowledge and resources
On-site technical support
This means that farmers can benefit from higher yields and income, which ensures there is a reliable supply of high quality raw materials.
Watch this short video, which explains how we create economic value while addressing social needs.
Life at Lee Kum Kee
Feeling Good with LEE KUM KEE
During the pandemic, the HR Wellbeing program was formed based on the challenges employees were facing, such as new working structure, less human interaction, emotional vulnerability due to uncertain times etc.
"Feeling Good with LKK" was launched as a safety net for staff struggling to cope with the challenging times provoked by health safety, fear and isolation. Supporting the Mental, Emotional and Physical wellbeing of employees would help combat high turnover and performance inconsistency.
Lee Kum Kee is and always will be dedicated to making a difference in the community. This is why we work alongside many different charities to engage employees with doing good.
Apart from different form of corporate volunteering, we also have a partnership with Ming-Ai (London) Institute in the Fun Healthy Chinese Cuisine Ambassadors Programme, we offer cooking workshops to students and teachers in UK schools as part of the new GCSE Food Preparation & Nutrition curriculum since 2016.