Mars opens collaborative food safety research centre
Mars, Incorporated has opened its Global Food Safety Center, a facility for pre-competitive research and training that aims to raise global food safety standards through collaboration. Convening governments, academics, regulators and industry peers, the Mars Global Food Safety Center is intended to drive global focus on addressing the challenge of food safety, leading to better access, availability and nutrition, as well as reduced food waste and an increase in overall quality of life.
Discussing the company’s $15 million investment in food safety and security, Grant Reid, president and CEO of Mars, Incorporated, said, “Food safety is a global issue that concerns us all — business, governments, academics and the world’s population. Working together across all disciplines is the only way we can truly advance efforts at scale, with the ultimate goal of increasing access to safe nutrition for billions of people around the world.”
With an emphasis on pre-competitive research and collaborative solutions, the Mars Global Food Safety Center will leverage insights and expertise from over 60 Mars partnerships dedicated to innovative, sustainable and responsible food safety practices. The World Food Programme (WFP), the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) and the IBM/Mars Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain are among the organisations Mars is partnering with to try to solve the challenge of feeding a global population expected to grow to nine billion by 2050.
“Unlike an R&D or innovation centre focused on product development and improvement, the Mars Global Food Safety Center is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to advancing food safety research through collaboration and the pre-competitive sharing of information,” said David Crean, vice president, Corporate R&D at Mars, Incorporated.
Located near Beijing in Huairou, China, the centre will employ approximately 30 staff working on food safety research and training, plus a variety of sabbatical positions open to academic and regulatory researchers. The facility will house analytical chemistry and microbiology laboratories, interactive training laboratories and a conference auditorium to enhance knowledge sharing. Through scientific forums and media platforms and events, the Mars Global Food Safety Center will promote the findings of its work in order to help advance others’ research efforts.
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