As a family-owned business driven by The Five Principles, we believe the global economy — and global businesses like ours — need to do much more to ensure that work empowers people.
That’s why a cornerstone of our Sustainable in a Generation Plan is our Thriving People ambition to meaningfully improve the lives of 1 million people across our value chain to enable them to thrive. To do this, we’re engaging a network of partners from NGOs to governments and focusing on three areas where we believe we can drive meaningful change — increasing income, respecting human rights and unlocking opportunities for women.
Hundreds of millions of smallholder farmers may be part of producing food within the world’s supply chains, and far too many of them live in poverty. The reality is for us to have secure and sustainable access to raw materials like cocoa, mint and rice, we must focus on how best to increase the income of smallholder farmers.
At Mars, we believe everyone working within our extended supply chains should earn sufficient income to maintain a decent standard of living.
We’ve started by investing in activities that have a direct impact, beginning with our cocoa, mint and rice supply chains, which extend from Cote d’Ivoire to Cambodia. We created the Farmer Income Lab, a collaborative “think-do tank” to serve as a catalyst for cross-sector dialogues to identify what works and breakthrough barriers to find new approaches to driving increases in farmer income.
Together with Danone and others, we co-founded the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming in 2015, which has begun investing over $120 million euros to develop sustainable agriculture on more than 200,000 farms around the world. The goal of the fund is to improve incomes for smallholder farmers, as well as tackle food security and restoring ecosystems.
Respecting Human Rights
Respecting human rights is the foundation for any successful and sustainable business. Yet challenges to human rights are widespread across the global economy and can be particularly complex at the farthest ends of global supply chains.
We are dissatisfied with what’s been achieved to date and believe it’s critically important to explore new approaches. From factory workers in Chicago to farmers in Cote d’Ivoire, our goal is for everyone touched by our business to be treated with fairness, dignity and respect.
Protecting children and empowering women and communities are pivotal to a thriving cocoa supply chain. Read the full Respecting Human Rights in the Cocoa Supply Chain report to learn more about our actions, progress, learnings and insight against child labor and forced labor.
Full Potential – Our Platform for Action
Whether in the boardroom, in a retail shop or on the farm, women play a powerful role in our business. And research proves that unlocking opportunities for women bolsters communities, drives profitability and enhances value. At Mars, we’re taking action to address the barriers women face. Because gender equality not only fuels our ability to grow and thrive as a business, it ensures women reach their Full Potential.
As part of our Sustainable in a Generation Plan, we are focused on elevating women and truly listening to what they have to say through our #HereToBeHeard campaign. That’s because in the world we want tomorrow, our society is inclusive.