As part of Mars Food Australia, MasterFoodsTM is committed to the company’s Sustainable in a Generation Plan, which addresses key areas of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. Through it we focus on the impact of our direct operations as well as our entire supply chain. It reflects our commitment to making the world a better place for future generations. Our Sustainable in a Generation Plan has three interconnected strategic pillars we believe are essential for sustainable growth: Healthy Planet – including targets for climate action, water stewardship and land use. Thriving People – focussed on increasing income, respecting human rights and unlocking opportunities for women. Nourishing Wellbeing – ensuring food safety and food security, product renovation to improve nutrition, and responsible marketing.
Sustainably Sourcing Rice Far The Future
Preserving the Rice Crop For Generations Rice is a staple for half the global population, so it needs to be protected. As the maker of UNCLE BEN’S®, the world’s largest global rice brand, we are working to create a sustainable rice supply that can help support business growth and the nutritional needs of a growing population. As always, we’re challenging ourselves to transform how we do business today, to help create the world we want to see tomorrow. And how our products’ rice is grown plays a big part. THE SUSTAINABLE RICE PLATFORM As a proud leading member of the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP), a global alliance led by the UN, we’re working with dozens of government agencies, private companies, and NGOs like World Wildlife Fund, Oxfam and GIZ. To increase sustainably sourced rice and support farming communities, SRP launched the first global standard for sustainable rice in 2015. Members developed a set of criteria for reducing the environmental footprint of rice production and helping people thrive including: Productivity Food safety Worker health Labor rights RESEARCHING LOWER-IMPACT RICE Improving sustainability takes research, which is why we’re partnering with the University of California-Davis and the University of Arkansas to study the “alternate wetting and drying” watering technique. We’ve found it can reduce water use by 30 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent—all without reducing rice yield! So we’ve introduced this technique to our U.S. farmers, and are doing the same in Spain and almost 5,000 rice farmers in Asia. As well we support rice farmers improving laser levelling, maintaining optimum soil moisture, improving underground pipes and concrete-lined water channels and direct seeding. AND THE RESULTS In Pakistan we have seen a 32 percent increase in farmer income and a 17 percent increase in yield. Muhammad Idris, a rice farmer in the village of Sidham Pakistan, says “I have been a contract farmer for the last three years. They have a quality team that visits us regularly and advises us on what to do and what not to do including pesticide and fungicide usage and timing. Because of this my crop quality has improved." In the U.S., Jim Whitaker in California has also seen serious improvements thanks to SRP techniques. “Using innovative rice-farming methods supported by Mars Food, I’ve been able to use 20 percent less fertilizer, 50 percent less water and become one of the first U.S. rice growers to sell carbon offsets, using the California Cap and Trade Compliance market.” As more farmers learn sustainable rice farming techniques—and more manufacturers commit to sourcing sustainable rice—we can greatly improve the sustainability of the global rice supply and make sure this crucial crop is around for generations to come.