Mars, Incorporated has opened a Global Food Safety Center near Beijing, China. The company calls the center a first-of-its-kind facility for pre-competitive research and training that aims to raise global food safety standards through collaboration. Convening governments, academics, regulators and industry peers, the Mars Global Food Safety Center is intended to drive global focus on addressing the challenge of food safety, leading to better access, availability and nutrition, as well as reduced food waste and an increase in overall quality of life.
Building on decades of research, the Mars Global Food Safety Center is a $15 million investment in Mars’ ongoing commitment to working with world-leading experts to ensure the safety and security of food for generations of families. In 2014, Mars and the University of California-Davis jointly established the Innovation Institute for Food & Health, fostering a new type of public-private partnership that catalyzes much needed innovation at the intersection of food, agricultural and health.
Grant Reid, President and CEO of Mars, Incorporated, stated: “Food safety is a global issue that concerns us all—business, governments, academics and the world’s population. Working together across all disciplines is the only way we can truly advance efforts at scale, with the ultimate goal of increasing access to safe nutrition for billions of people around the world.”
With an emphasis on pre-competitive research and collaborative solutions, the Mars Global Food Safety Center will leverage insights and expertise from over 60 Mars partnerships dedicated to innovative, sustainable and responsible food safety practices. The World Food Programme (WFP), the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA), and the IBM/Mars Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain are among the many organizations Mars is partnering with to try to solve the challenge of feeding a global population expected to grow to nine billion by 2050.
David Crean, Vice President, Corporate Research and Development, at Mars Incorporated, commented: “Unlike an R&D or innovation center focused on product development and improvement, the Mars Global Food Safety Center is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to advancing food safety research through collaboration and the pre-competitive sharing of information. We firmly believe that in order to ensure generations of families have access to safe and nutritious food, we must work together to evolve food safety management programs and create robust, sustainable supply chains.”
Located just north of Beijing in Huairou, China, the Mars Global Food Safety Center will employ approximately 30 employees working on food safety research and training, plus a variety of sabbatical positions open to academic and regulatory researchers. Mars selected the location not only because of China’s significant role in the global marketplace, but also to leverage the intensive scientific focus the region is bringing to food supply and safety issues today. The facility will house analytical chemistry and microbiology laboratories, interactive training laboratories and a conference auditorium to enhance knowledge sharing. Through scientific forums and media platforms and events, the Mars Global Food Safety Center will promote the findings of its work in order to help advance others’ research efforts.