Mars announces sustainable rice partnership

Mars has formed the first global standard for sustainable rice with the Sustainable Rice Platform

Mars Food, the owner of Uncle Ben’s, has announced the first global standard for sustainable rice in partnership with the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP).

SRP is a global alliance of agricultural research institutions, agri-food businesses, public sector and civil society organisations convened by the United Nations Environment Program and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

The SRP standard has a set of criteria for sustainable rice cultivation to reduce the environmental footprint and improve the lives of farmers.

Food safety and productivity

There are 46 requirements under eight broad topics including productivity, food safety, worker health, labour rights and biodiversity.

Mars Food has also announced 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.

‘Benefits’

“Through the global standard, we hope to create benefits for all involved, from the farmers to our consumers. The benefit for us 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 will use the standard as a benchmark against which to assess its rice supply chains and develop strategies to improve sustainability.

Mars Food has already begun piloting implementation of the standard with rice farmers in Pakistan and India.

Earlier this month, Mars opened its Global Food Safety Centre in China in a bid to improve levels of food safety across the world.

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