Mars Food to sustainably source its rice by 2020
27 October 2015 • Author(s): Victoria White
Mars Food, in partnership with the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP), has announced the first global standard for sustainable rice.
As the leading corporation with the SRP and owner of the world’s largest rice brand, Uncle Ben’s, Mars Food played a pivotal role in developing the standard. Mars Food also announced today its commitment to sustainably source 100% of its rice by 2020 using the SRP standard.
“Caring for our environment as well as our entire supply chain from end-to-end is more than usual corporate responsibility. It’s an imperative for Mars Food,” said Fiona Dawson, President of Mars Food. “Through the global standard, we hope to create benefits for all involved from the farmers to our consumers. The benefit for us is that is that we are ensuring premium quality rice, whilst also ensuring a higher income for farmers, and a better environment for current and future generations. It is a truly mutual solution.”
Mars Food is piloting the standard in Pakistan and India
The SRP standard consists of a set of criteria for sustainable rice cultivation that can be used across the globe to reduce the environmental footprint of rice production. Rice plays a critical role in global food security, providing livelihoods for over 140 million smallholder farmers in developing countries and is a staple food for nearly half of the world’s seven billion people.
Mars Food has said it will use the standard as a benchmark against which to assess its rice supply chains – identifying where there are gaps and developing strategies to improve sustainability. Mars Food has already begun piloting implementation of the standard with rice farmers in Pakistan and India. A controlled farming programme in Pakistan has grown from 31 smallholder farmers in 2011 to 400 farmers in 2015 who produce Basmati rice grown with the correct application of chemicals and harvested with practices to improve food safety and water quality. In India, Mars is embedding new learnings while also piloting the SRP standard.
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