The Mars journey towards 100% sustainable rice

Posted: 19 May 2017 | Luc Beerens, Global Sustainable Sourcing Director, Mars Food | No comments yet

Luc Beerens, Global Sustainable Sourcing Director for Mars Food, discusses smart packaging and transparency in the supply chain with regards to their brand, Uncle Ben’s.


I joined Mars almost 25 years ago and have been working in Mars Food since 2006. My role is to embed and deploy sustainability in our sourcing strategies and activities within Mars Food, and drive our Ambition to source all of our rice more sustainably by 2020.

Our ambition is to source our materials in a sustainable way and make significant changes in five impact areas that are most material to our business: green house gas emissions, water, land, human rights, and income.

Rice is one of the key ingredients for Uncle Ben’s rice. In 2015, we made a commitment to source all of our rice from farmers who are working towards the Sustainable Rice Platform standard by 2020. We are making this commitment to reduce our environmental footprint, ensure a consistently high quality supply of rice for our business, and improve the lives of rice farmers in our value chain. 

Mutuality and Responsibility are two of the key principles we follow at Mars, in the way we do business and engage with stakeholders in our supply chain, including customers, suppliers, and farmers. In our rice supply chain, our Mutuality Principle guides our work supporting our farmers, helping them learn more sustainable growing techniques so they can improve yields and income, and grow a high-quality rice product. Our Responsibility Principle guides us in embracing the important role we can play in leading the world toward more sustainable rice and protecting our planet for the next generation.

SGS together with Transparency-One and Blippar are offering an end-to-end supply chain transparency solution. Mars already works with SGS in many countries so it is a proven platform for us. SGS provides credibility, Transparency-One tool provides transparency through supply chain mapping and proactive risk management, and Blippar provides engagement through its mobile application, enabling shoppers to scan the Uncle Ben’s pack and get connected with our farmers.

We’re committed to providing transparency in our supply chains back to the initial source: knowing the regions where our materials are coming from and how they are being produced, understanding the impact production has on the farmers, the communities, and the planet. By bringing this clarity, we know where we need to act and help deliver positive change. The solution SGS is offering will help us meet our responsibility to provide more information to customers and consumers, building trust and demonstrating a commitment to sustainable sourcing.


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