Mars unveils multi-million dairy strategy as key element of confectionery supply chains

Mars has targeted the launch of a new ‘climate-first’ approach to sustainable dairy plan across its global business, which includes supply chains for its core M&M’s and Snickers chocolate brands, writes Neill Barston.

As part of the initiative, the company has confirmed a specific $47 million investment over three years, part of a far broader package of environmental measures totalling $1 billion until 2027, as it continues with its overall plans to enhance its operating infrastructure on an international level.

Central to this, is a pledge to cut emissions by a total of 50% by 2030, backed by the publication of its new roadmap to “net zero” which will be underpinned by project working including on-farm measures including enteric methane reduction, manure management schemes and sustainable feed production.

Significantly, the company’s latest Moo’ving Dairy Forward Sustainable Dairy Plan has seen a collaboration with major player FrieslandCampina for a new combined initiative on delivering sustainable dairy. According to the company, this will be a tech-led venture that will identify processes that can be rapidly scaled up across its network.

As the company revealed, the dairy industry remains a key factor in its operations, with over 200,000 cows and 1,000 farms supply dairy for some of its core brands including M&Ms and across its wider snacking portfolio. Indeed, raw ingredients account for over 70% of the company’s total GHG emissions, which it is seeking to reduce at an accelerated pace.A

Amanda Davies, chief R&D, procurement and sustainability officer, Mars Snacking commented: “Doing our part to keep our planet healthy is an absolute non-negotiable for us at Mars,”  “But our vision for more sustainable dairy will only become a reality with the support and actions of farmers and our suppliers. Which is why, as part of our Moo’ving Dairy Forward Sustainable Dairy Plan, we’re putting millions of dollars directly back into the pockets of farmers through our contracts to help them make climate smart changes to the way they farm. Together, I know that we can forge a path that helps address climate change head on and contributes to reshaping our wider industry for a more sustainable future.”

Furthermore, the company has launched three pilot “net zero” dairy farms with the DMK Group in Germany. The sites will study and aim to implement new science and technology with an ambition to create a scalable and economically viable pathway to net zero dairy. The five-year project is a first-of-its-kind for the prominent food and pet care and services conglomerate.

In addition, the snacking giant also highlighted its membership of the industry-wide Sustainable Dairy Partnership, and has joined with Fonterra and Sea Forest to explore sourcing from their Seafeed seaweed food supplement trial, seeking to reduce levels of cow-produced methane gases.




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