We are still assessing the best approach to sourcing some of the raw materials that we use in high volumes or that have high social and environmental impacts. We are committed to working with industry, governments, suppliers and other partners to ensure we source these ingredients responsibly in the long term.
We use a mix of beet and cane sugar in our chocolate and confectionery products and source most of it within the region in which it will be used. For several years, we have worked closely with our direct suppliers to ensure our sugar is responsibly sourced, while maintaining the highest levels of quality. Our sugar sourcing meets all regulatory requirements in all markets, and we assure this through the AIM-PROGRESS initiative.
We are committed to continuing to work with the industry to understand and improve the impacts of sugar cultivation, and are members of Bonsucro, the leading global stakeholder group for the sugar supply chain.
Wrigley uses mint to flavor 70% of its gum formulas, including some fruit-flavored products, so ensuring there is always high quality mint available is vital to our business. And making sure we source it responsibly is vital to all involved in our value chain.
We are identifying best practices to reduce environmental impacts of mint farming related to productivity, water usage, distillation efficiency and reduction of GHG emissions. For example, Wrigley collaborated with the Mint Industry Research Council to educate North American farmers on the environmental and economic benefits of using natural gas over diesel fuel. As of May 2014, these farmers converted 18 percent of total mint production from diesel to propane or natural gas, resulting in a reduction of over 8000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide.
In India, another key mint growing region, Wrigley is developing a sustainable agriculture plan. This assesses our economic, environmental and social impacts, and sets strategies against these impacts to ensure we secure a vibrant Indian mint industry for the future.Read how Wrigley is giving back to mint farming communities in India
Tomatoes are the key ingredient in DOLMIO® sauces and are Mars Food’s second most-used raw material after rice. Tomatoes are a summer crop, typically grown in warm, temperate regions using irrigation. Ensuring a secure supply of irrigation water is of prime interest. In addition, concentrating tomatoes to remove excess water from the fruits is energy-intensive.
We are developing a science-based strategy for tomato sourcing. We currently source mainly from regions where highly efficient drip irrigation is increasingly used to improve water-use efficiency. Research suggests that improved tomato varieties and farming practices can increase yields and further reduce irrigation and water content in the fruit.
We are assessing alternative tomato-growing regions, using agricultural, demographic, environmental and political criteria to ensure new sources are sustainable. Once this process is complete, we will apply the water stress index developed by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization to confirm the most sustainable regions from which to source tomatoes.
We need a consistent and high-quality supply of peanuts for some of our most popular products, including SNICKERS® and M&M’S® peanut candies. We are committed to working with the industry to understand and address the impacts of peanut production. This work includes:
Jointly funding the U.S. Peanut Resources and Efficiency Measures Report conducted by the independent research firm IHS Global Insight, which found major potential improvements in farming practices among U.S. peanut farmers
Leading a collaboration with industry, government and academic institutions to sequence, assemble and annotate the peanut genome
Chairing the American Peanut Council Sustainability Task Force
Supporting research to develop varieties and farming practices that reduce land, energy and water use while improving soil health
Developing improved logistics to reduce fuel use
Evaluating new roasting operations to reduce energy and water use.
Mars, Incorporated buys more corn by weight than any other raw material. Most of our confectionery products and pet food contain corn, corn-based products such as syrup, starch and sugar alcohol, or meat from animals fed on corn. We estimate that 25 percent of the raw materials we buy come directly from corn and another 26 percent are heavily dependent on it. A reliable supply of corn is therefore imperative to our future success.
However, corn is a globally produced and traded commodity with thousands of end uses both in and beyond food products, so our influence is limited. There is a substantial incentive for major users and producers to find ways to reduce the environmental impacts of growing corn. For now, we are relying on wider industry efforts regarding this crop.
Dairy ingredients are a critical component of many of our milk chocolate and caramel brands. We are committed to supporting a strong, high-quality dairy industry by working in partnership with others to promote more sustainable agriculture and responsible sourcing. This work includes:
Membership of the Dairy Working Group of the Sustainable Agriculture Initiative alongside the largest dairy users and producers in the world
Collaborating with other consumer brand companies and suppliers through the AIM-PROGRESS Initiative, which promotes responsible sourcing through industry collaboration
Membership of The Sustainability Consortium. Other members include the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, which has produced a lifecycle assessment of the U.S. dairy industry
Searching for additional regional and global groups focused on driving positive changes in the industry.