August 10, 2016

MARS DRINKS Towards 2020: The Role of Sustainable Agriculture

Samantha VeideGlobal Director, Corporate Sustainable SolutionsMARS DRINKS

As part of our commitment to sustainability we’re inviting workplaces to think differently about the role drinks solutions can play in inspiring new and innovative ways to bring people together to achieve great results, in a sustainable way.

MARS DRINKS’ 2016-2020 Sustainability Strategy sets out how we will help workplaces around the globe to meet their own sustainability goals by aiming to provide the most sustainable workplace drinks solution. Our Sustainability Strategy has three key pillars: Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Operations and Sustainable Solutions.

Every day, coffee, tea and other beverages fuel millions of workplaces around the world. These beverages play an essential role in the workplace, and our research has shown they can drive wellbeing, productivity, engagement and collaboration. Whether its espresso, coffee, black and green teas or hot chocolate, MARS DRINKS’ solutions brew the perfect drink every time.

The coffee, black tea and cocoa we source are often grown by smallholder farmers in low-income communities. Many struggle with low productivity, reduced income, and increasingly, risks from climate change impacts, which in turn can impact the supply of these raw materials. To ensure we deliver quality products that deliver on taste and choice we must secure the future of the people in our supply chain. We want to improve farmers’ lives, encourage the use of environmentally friendly farming practices, and buy raw materials from traceable and sustainable sources. We recognize that the farmer is just one individual in a community, which is why we aim to build programs that consider farmers, their families and farming communities.

In 2010 we set out a commitment to buy coffee, tea and cocoa for our owned brand products from sustainable sources. We are proud that we currently source coffee for our ALTERRA® range and the black tea for THE BRIGHT TEA CO.™ range from 100% certified sources. By the close of 2020 our aim is that 100% of the cocoa in our DOVE and GALAXY branded hot chocolates will be sourced from third party certified farms as well.

Certifiers like the Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified help to ensure sustainable livelihoods by enabling farmers to harness better farming methods, improve working conditions and take care of the environment. Improved farming practices can produce better quality products, which in turn can result in higher prices and improved standards of living for farmers and their families.

In addition to supporting third party certification, we also work with membership bodies such as The Coffee Quality Institute, World Coffee Research and the Ethical Tea Partnership to support research into improving the livelihoods of growers around the world to ensure a good supply of quality coffee and black tea. We recognize that while certification is an important first step, we want greater visibility into our supply chain and the complex and diverse environmental and social impacts within. Over the next five years, we will focus on improving our product traceability, while maintaining third-party certification.

As we work towards our 2020 sustainability targets, we look forward to sharing our successes as well as the obstacles we face as we continue to progress towards our goal of offering the most sustainable workplace drinks solution.

To find out more about the role of Sustainable Agriculture in MARS DRINKS’ 2016-2020 Sustainability Strategy read our Sustainability Review.

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