When their Brazilian cacao supply was wiped out by disease in 1989, Mars Inc. realised they need to act on the changes they were seeing in their supply chain. Since then, they have worked on a range of projects to ensure the raw commodities that go into their confectionary products are resilient to a changing climate, and that the farmers who grow them are empowered to grow more, sustainably. We interviewed Howard-Yana Shapiro, Global Director of Plant Science and External Research at Mars to find out more.
Now, Mars is working together with competitors, to scale up plant research and training for smallholder farmers. “Standing alone is egotistical”, he commented. Mars now works with other food giants under the banner of Cocoa Action. “Governments can’t do this alone”, added. “So we can help in that process and for us, and for other in the industry, is it the future of all agriculture interventions.”
At COP21 in Paris, another group of business, the World Business Council on Sustainable Development also showed that they would be betting on the agribusiness collaboration model, by launching an agriculture working group that seeks to make 50 per cent more food by 2030, while reducing related emissions by one third.
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