Mars has signed a new partnership agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to help make food safer across the globe, with a specific focus on the developing regions of the global South.
The partners will do this by promoting international standards for food safety and quality, improving food safety management to reduce illness caused by unsafe food and improving global access to information. The plan is to share our expertise and data, helping the FAO to identify food safety issues early, as well as to develop tools that will help support food safety programs in developing countries.
“If it’s not safe, it’s not food,” Dave Crean, Mars Vice President of Corporate Research & Development said this week, upon signing the agreement at a UN event in Rome. “We want to make sure that all food, around the world, is safe and sustainable.”
The partnership with the FAO is the latest in a number of recent Mars projects which focus on the significant public health challenge of food safety:
In September, the company opened the Global Food Safety Center in China, which is intended to help bring together governments, academics, regulators and industry peers to collaborate on the challenge of global food safety. This is meant to lead to better access, availability and nutrition, as well as reduced food waste and an increase in overall quality of life, Mars said.
Likewise, Mars and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in April made public a new partnership that will provide more safe, locally-sourced food to those in need in Africa.
In January, in partnership with UC Davis, Mars announced a new Innovation Institute that will bring together the right expertise needed for targeted innovation at scale to tackle complex sustainability challenges related to food, agriculture and health.
Taking on climate change, Mars recently was among the 81 companies to join the White House-led American Business Act on Climate Pledge, which sets significant greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy sourcing goals for 2020 and beyond. The pledges focus on increasing energy efficiency, boosting low-carbon investing and making sustainability more accessible to low-income Americans.