Originally published on LinkedIn by Guangtao Zhang, Director, Mars Global Food Safety Center
At Mars, we passionately believe if it isn’t safe, it isn’t food, and that’s why we’re proud to support World Food Safety Day (WFSD): to raise awareness of the importance of ensuring food safety around the world.
On top of existing food safety concerns, such as contamination of crops in some parts of the world, new food safety threats like aflatoxins—a type of toxin produced by mold— are constantly emerging through global warming, increased globalization of trade, and changes in agricultural practices and food production.
We’re committed to doing all we can to help ensure safe food for everyone, and while we’ve made progress, there’s still much to do. That’s why we’re investing in food safety research and collaboration; it’s also why we’re enthusiastically supporting the official WFSD calls to action:
“Ensure it’s safe — governments must ensure safe and nutritious food for all
Grow it safe — agriculture and food producers need to adopt good practices
Keep it safe — business operators must make sure food is safe
Know what’s safe — consumers need to learn about safe and healthy food
Team up for food safety — let’s work together for safe food and good health!”
Associates from Mars will participate in WFSD through various platforms to address food safety topics including:
- Why public-private partnerships, along with the commitment to share knowledge and insights, is critical to help overcome food insecurity
- How the food sector is addressing the need for “safe food today for a healthy tomorrow,” including partnerships with organizations like the World Food Programme and our knowledge-sharing work with Kansas State University supporting the design of a mycotoxin lab in Nepal
- How raising awareness of food safety solutions can help drive positive change for people and the planet (recent research shows consumers think about food safety, and many believe that food safety and security is a top global issue)
- The impact of aflatoxins and what it means for the world today and tomorrow
- How food security is intrinsically linked with food safety and integrity, including how the food industry is key to putting the building blocks of trust and transparency in place
As a global food manufacturer operating across more than 80 countries, food safety has long been a priority for us. In fact, it’s the focus of our Mars Global Food Safety Center (GFSC), where we strive to generate new scientific and technological insights which we share openly through scientific publications and forums.
Additionally, food safety is a key part of our Sustainable in a Generation plan, and we’re making progress addressing three long-term challenges through our Mars GFSC: mycotoxin risk management, microbial risk management and food integrity (including food fraud).
We believe industry has a crucial role to play in helping identify food safety risks and in finding solutions through scientific and technological breakthroughs; but we know we can’t tackle global challenges alone. That’s why today we work with more than 25 partner organizations and academic institutions to share new data and critical insights to support supply chain resilience.
We’re proud to support WFSD to raise awareness around food safety and security—and to create positive change through research and collaboration with partners around the world. Together, we can create a world where food is safe for everyone, everywhere.