MCLEAN, Va., Nov. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Mars, Incorporated announced a $500,000 commitment towards creating a Global Food Safety Fund (the Fund) at the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Fund would be a public-private partnership managed by The World Bank. Partners have pledged an initial $1 million, out of a goal of $15-20 million over the next decade, towards expanding knowledge and understanding for effective food safety management around the world.
In recognition that food safety is a critical element of food security, poverty alleviation, and economic growth, Mars and The World Bank Group, in cooperation with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and The Waters Corporation, created the Partnership to improve understanding and technical competencies that underpin the effective management of food safety throughout the global food supply chain. Mars recognizes the importance of building and maintaining consumer trust in food safety and will also provide support with its scientific and technical expertise, international best practices, trade knowledge and multinational presence.
"Together with the World Bank, Mars is proud to be a founding member of this much-needed initiative to expand knowledge and build capacity for further understanding of effective food safety management across the world," said Frank Mars, president, Mars Symbioscience. "The global food supply chain is becoming increasingly integrated, food safety issues in developing countries now have a global reach and a global impact and there is a need for international cooperation and leadership."
"Food safety issues increasingly bear a major impact upon economies, public health and food security around the world. Each impact has its own issues and consequences, and as the global economy becomes more interdependent, the impacts become heightened," said Sri Mulyani Indrawati, managing director, The World Bank. "The Fund will raise awareness of the importance of food safety capacity building, develop policy and economic analysis, identify best practices and mobilize and target funding for activities worldwide."
The Fund will be based on a three-part model pioneered by the APEC Food Safety Cooperation Forum involving government, industry and academia partners to focus on supporting broad global food safety efforts through three main pillars:
- Developing, testing and validating programs in APEC that will result in customizable training modules for roll out to developing countries in Africa, South Asia, East Asia and Pacific, Latin America and Caribbean and the Middle East;
- Addressing high priority food hazards, contaminants and pathogens; and
- Strengthening analytics and metrics, including laboratory competency and the evaluation of the performance of food safety systems.
The Fund will operate in the APEC region to develop pilot programs for the first three years and will continue to recruit additional private and public donors to assemble a budget of $15-20 million over the next decade.
The Global Food Safety Partnership gathered representatives including Pamela Bailey, president and CEO, Grocery Manufacturers Association; Sri Mulyani Indrawati, managing director, World Bank; Ambassador Demetrios Marantis, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative; Robert Hormats, Under Secretary of State for Economic Energy and Agricultural Affairs; Frank Mars, president, Mars Symbioscience; Dr. Rohit Khanna, vice president, Worldwide Business, Waters Corporation and Nancy Lindborg, assistant administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development.
About Mars, Incorporated
In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars' first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920's, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the philosophy of a "mutuality of benefits" for all stakeholders – this vision serves as the foundation of the Mars, Incorporated we are today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $30 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 65,000 Associates worldwide that are putting our Mars Principles in action to make a difference for people and the planet through our performance.
Mars brands include: Petcare – PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, KITEKAT®, BANFIELD® Pet Hospital and NUTRO®; Chocolate – M&M'S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Wrigley – DOUBLEMINT®, EXTRA®, ORBIT® and 5™ chewing gums, SKITTLES® and STARBURST® candies, and ALTOIDS® AND LIFESAVERS® mints. Food – UNCLE BEN'S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS®, SEEDS OF CHANGE® and ROYKO®; Drinks – ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA COMPANY™, KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience – COCOAVIA™, WISDOM PANEL™ and SERAMIS®. For more information, please visit www.mars.com. Follow us: facebook.com/mars, twitter.com/marsglobal, youtube.com/mars.
SOURCE Mars, Incorporated