At Mars, it's not only about creating products that taste great. It's also about helping families feel confident in the products they serve. That’s why Mars Food is paving the way to promote healthier food choices and encourage families to cook and share healthier meals with each other. In addition, Mars is a leader in creating awareness on climate change, receiving two awards for initiatives promoting the COP21 Paris Summit and hosting the first Global Science Symposium in China.
Mars Food Launches Health & Wellbeing Ambition
On April 14, Mars Food announced a new global Health & Wellbeing Ambition that will roll out over the next five years, to create and promote healthier food choices and to encourage consumers to cook and share healthier meals with others. By delivering on this ambition, Mars Food will encourage families to share one billion more healthy meals on dinner tables around the world.
“We’re incredibly proud and excited to share our new five-year Health & Wellbeing Ambition,” said Fiona Dawson, Global President of Mars Food, Drinks, and Multi-sales. “I’m delighted that Mars Food is helping to provide healthy solutions through our famous brands.”
Through the Health & Wellbeing Ambition, Mars Food will reduce sodium by an average of 20 percent by 2021 and reduce added sugar in a limited number of sauces and light meals by 2018. Additionally, Mars Food will further improve its nutritional product composition by adding more vegetables and whole grains across its global product portfolio. This builds upon the Mars Food Nutrition Criteria, which was developed based on recommendations from leading public health authorities such as the World Health Organization. Mars Food will work over the next five years to ensure that 95% of our products meet these Criteria and can be eaten “everyday.” Any products that ultimately fall outside our Criteria due to the authentic nature of the recipe (e.g., lasagna) will be labeled “occasional.”
“Our Nutrition Criteria sets a very high standard for our products, and our labeling of ‘occasional’ products higher in sugar, salt, or fat will help our consumers understand how to fit these products within a balanced diet,” Dawson said.
Through leading brands such as UNCLE BEN’S®, MASTERFOODS®, and DOLMIO®, Mars Food hopes to build awareness about the value of shared meals and help consumers practice healthy cooking at home. Multiple studies have demonstrated that eating family meals together can lead to numerous social and emotional benefits. All of Mars Food’s everyday meal recipes on packaging and online will meet the Mars Food Nutrition Criteria and encourage the consumption of more vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
The launch of the Health & Wellbeing Ambition was well-received by top-tier media internationally including the New York Times, CNBC and ABC News, and shared by Mars with over 100 North America government stakeholders including Members of Congress, State Governors and Legislators and city health partners.
For more information, please visit www.mars.com/food-health-wellbeing.
Mars Food Partners with Partnership
for a Healthier America
Following the launch of Mars Food’s Health & Wellbeing Ambition, Mars Food declared the business will join United States First Lady Michelle Obama and Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) in the fight against childhood obesity. Mars Food announced this new partnership during the PHA annual summit in Washington, D.C. on May 19, 2016.
The partnership is built around the Health & Wellbeing Ambition that includes: initiatives to improve the health and wellbeing of Mars Food Associates, reducing sodium on average by 20 percent by 2021 in the Mars Food portfolio, increasing the number of whole grain products in the portfolio, ensuring all tomato-based products include at least one serving of vegetables and helping consumers choose between “everyday” and “occasional” products through on-pack labeling. This partnership with one of America’s leading organizations is linked to the long-term efforts of Mars Food in its Health & Wellbeing Ambition while also supporting PHA in its Fruits and Vegetables campaign (‘FNV’), designed to promote more consumption of produce.
“PHA has worked successfully with other food companies to help them make healthier products available to consumers,” said Craig Annis, Global VP Corporate Affairs for Mars Food. “It has the credibility, experience, and commitment to help us advance our Health & Wellbeing Ambition. PHA will serve as a third-party validator of the commitments we have made – monitoring us annually to ensure we are ‘walking the talk’ over the next five years.”
Mars Global Food Safety Center Hosts First Global Science Symposium
In April, Mars’ Global Food Safety Center in Beijing held its first international science symposium. The event hosted over 60 scientists and food safety experts from around the globe as well as representatives from the food industry, academia, NGOs and government agencies including U.S. FDA Deputy Commissioner Stephen Ostroff, M.D. With the theme “Uncommon Collaborations and the Future of Food Safety Science", delegates participated in plenary sessions, research reviews and discussions on key themes such as pathogen management, regulation and collaboration. Mars and several collaborators presented overviews of the company’s food safety research.
An important aspect from the symposium is that food safety is a global challenge that cannot be addressed by any one entity. “The Mars Global Food Safety Center is proud to bring together different stakeholders across the entire industry chain to explore solutions to this critical issue,” said Peter Markwell, Corporate Head of Food Safety Research. “We seek to promote and deepen collaboration with partners across academia, government and NGOs working together towards a common goal of ensuring safe and nutritious food.”
New threats to food safety are constantly emerging through variations in agricultural practices and food production, changes in the environment and the globalization of supply chains. That is why pre-competitive research in food safety science is crucial.
“It’s the common responsibility of the entire industry to enhance food safety and Mars’ symposium was a valuable platform for global experts to jointly explore solutions,” said Bob Baker, Director of the Global Food Safety Center and Head of Technical Food Safety Development. “We look forward to moving our conversations and ideas forward with other organizations.”
Mars Awarded EPA 2016 Climate Leadership Award and MVP for Climate Change
In March, Mars, Incorporated received the Climate Leadership Award for Organizational Leadership from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The award, presented in partnership with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry, was received by Mars Global Sustainability Director Kevin Rabinovitch at the EPA’s Climate Leadership Conference in Seattle, WA. This important recognition confirms Mars’ efforts to set aspirational goals that enable us to do more. Mars tracked their operations and supply chain impacts against planetary and societal boundaries since 2009 – basing decisions on the best available scientific data, collaborating with a broad variety of partners and stakeholders, and working directly with suppliers to achieve lasting results.
In addition, Mars was awarded the Most Valuable Player by CERES/BICEP, an environmental NGO, for climate change action and advocacy. The award recognizes Mars’ work on climate change, starting with the Sustainable in a Generation (SIG) commitments and the announcement of the wind farm. The award also spotlights the significant advocacy work Mars has done during the last year.
Last fall, Mars led a food industry CEO letter, calling on U.S. and other government leaders to reach a climate change agreement and sponsored a bi-partisan/bicameral meeting on Capitol Hill. Additionally, several of Mars’ senior executives attended the COP21 Paris Summit last December to continue to make the case directly with negotiators. Mars also joined more than 100 companies in celebrating the signing of the Paris Climate Change Agreement and one of the few companies supporting EPA’s Clean Climate Change Plan by joining in an amicus brief.
“We’re honored by the award and will continue to play a lead role in using our voice to advocate for meaningful climate action in the United States,” said Brad Figel, Vice President of Public Affairs North America. “As a BICEP member, we have played – and will continue to play – an active role in pressing Congress and other governments to reach a comprehensive climate change agreement.