Associates Take to Asia in Celebration of Mars Ambassador Program’s 10th Anniversary
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Associates Take to Asia in Celebration of Mars Ambassador Program’s 10th Anniversary

At Mars, we recognize what people want from their workplace: the opportunity to be creative, learn about global issues through hands-on experience and add real value to the communities in which their business operates. For the past decade, we’ve offered Mars Associates the chance of a lifetime to broaden their horizons and contribute to the world in which they live through the Mars Ambassador Program (MAP) - a trip that allows our Associates to use their talent and skills to support our partner organizations around the globe. Over the years, we’ve had over 600 ambassadors travel to over 30 countries and dedicate more than 36,000 hours to driving positive change in our sourcing and operating communities.

To mark the 10th anniversary towards the end of last year, Mars planned a special assignment for which all former Ambassadors could apply. We sent a group of nine Associates to Malaysia and Indonesia for a week to learn all about the five focus areas connected to our supply chain: sustainable operations, coral reef rehabilitation, and sourcing palm oil, tea and cocoa.

As we begin the new year, our ambassadors have begun to reflect on the special 10th anniversary trip, highlighting that they had the opportunity to witness first-hand how we train and support local farmers to become Cocoa Doctors who share their knowledge and best practice methods with farms across the region. This was in addition to shadowing smallholder tea farmers to learn the art of aerating leaves from the experts, while helping to harvest cocoa beans and graft trees.

“To have seen the sustainability work we’re doing and the progress we’ve made across five areas…and share the experience with people from other regions…what an incredible opportunity!” said Matt Ziegler, our Health Safety Environment Specialist for Chocolate, who was also an individual ambassador in 2013.

Our Ambassadors agree that one of the definite highlights was learning more about our marine conservation projects.

“On the island of Badi, Mars has set up a Learning Centre on the wharf, where our Makassar Associates are helping the community establish sustainable sea horse farms for added income,” explains Emma Satchell, a Product Development Technologist and 2015 ambassador to Brussels. “Of course, the best part was snorkeling in the now-thriving reef itself, which our ambassadors have literally brought back to life.”

Our MAP assignments have offered unique opportunities that allow our Associates to grow and develop outside their regular place of work and be part of something bigger – a chance to see the positive impact that businesses, together with partner organizations, can have on the world in which we live.

We know that a workplace in which there is appreciation for people of all walks of life, knowledge of the diverse communities that exist and the innovative projects that truly make a difference around the world, make our culture richer and allow our business and Associates to grow in a way we can all be proud of. That’s why we were pleased to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of a program that creates these opportunities and makes a difference to the lives of others. As we move forward, we’ll continue to invest in programs and enriching experiences that our Associates love, while helping communities all over the world to contribute to our ambition of achieving a sustainable future.