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FAO and Mars Partner to Enhance Food Safety and Support One Health Initiative

The expanded collaboration between FAO and Mars underscores a shared commitment to leveraging science, technology, and private-sector partnerships to address complex food safety challenges.

Shivam Dwivedi
FAO and Mars Partner to Enhance Food Safety and Support One Health Initiative
FAO and Mars Partner to Enhance Food Safety and Support One Health Initiative

In a significant move towards bolstering global food safety efforts, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Mars, Incorporated have announced an expansion of their collaboration. This strategic partnership aims to amplify their joint efforts in strengthening food safety, supporting the One Health approach, and contributing to the FAO Hand-in-Hand Initiative.

Focused Efforts on Food Safety Standards

The partnership was solidified through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by Maximo Torero, FAO’s Chief Economist, and Dr Abigail Stevenson, Chief Science Officer for Mars. Central to their agreement is a commitment to advancing the understanding and application of Codex Alimentarius international food safety standards. Specifically, they will concentrate on improving mycotoxin management within maize value chains through innovative modeling approaches and enhancing information-sharing on emerging food safety threats.

A Shared Vision for Safe Food

Highlighting the importance of scientific rigor and public-private cooperation in ensuring resilient agrifood systems, Maximo Torero stated, “Strong science to support food safety decisions and strong public-private cooperation for food safety are increasingly important to ensure sustainable and resilient agrifood systems. FAO and Mars will continue to collaborate to build on work that’s already been done and demonstrate impact and concrete results.”

Dr Stevenson echoed this sentiment, affirming Mars' commitment to safe food for all. She emphasized the necessity of collaboration in addressing food safety challenges, particularly highlighting Mars' dedication to extending their partnership with FAO initiated in 2015.

Cooperative Strategies for Implementation

Under the MoU, FAO and Mars will exchange critical knowledge and information to facilitate science-based decision-making on food safety. Their joint efforts will focus on developing guidance to encourage broader adoption of Codex standards and codes of practices within the private sector. For example, they will target food allergen management and identify best practices for mycotoxin control and mitigation in maize value chains.

Moreover, the partnership will facilitate ongoing collaboration in analyzing emerging food safety issues, novel methods and technologies, and research trends that impact food safety. This alignment with the FAO Strategy for Private Sector Engagement (2021-2025) underscores the significance of leveraging private sector partnerships to enhance impact on the ground through innovative tools and resources.

FAO and Mars share mutual objectives in strengthening food safety to ultimately enhance food security globally. Mars, a distinguished global family-owned enterprise renowned for its diverse portfolio of quality snacking, food, and pet care products, brings invaluable expertise to the table. Together with FAO’s longstanding commitment to food safety initiatives, this partnership promises to yield tangible advancements in early warning systems, risk reduction, and health risk management across food value chains.

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