Mars Global Food Safety Center
Food safety is one of the fundamentals of food security - defined by the Food and Agriculture Organization as existing when “…all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life” - and it is an area of public health relevant to everybody on the planet. New threats to food safety are constantly emerging through many factors including changes in agricultural practices and food production, changes to the environment and increasing globalization of trade. Research in food safety science is therefore critical to better manage both known food safety threats and those that are emerging, as well as the yet unknown challenges we may face in the future.
At Mars, we believe that industry has a crucial role to play in helping all stakeholders in the food supply chain identify food safety risks and solutions; this cannot be achieved by any one entity alone. Over the past few years, we have advocated a new approach to food safety, one rooted in global knowledge sharing and collaboration. And, In September 2015 we officially opened the Global Food Safety Center (GFSC).
The center aims to increase scientific understanding and capability in an effort to ensure safe food for all through knowledge capture, knowledge generation and knowledge sharing.
Approximately ninety-five percent of the work undertaken at our center is of a pre-competitive nature, making it truly outward facing and dedicated to sharing knowledge that will make the world’s food supply safer. The center will also serve as a platform and a catalyst to build partnerships.
As well as being a physical entity, the center operates as a virtual knowledge sharing hub.
The key roles of Mars’ Global Food Safety Center are to:
Accelerate discovery and adoption of new techniques and methods that will enhance food safety globally
Enable networking and collaboration in support of the development of food safety standards, contributing where appropriate to government food safety knowledge and understanding, and
Leverage the skills and knowledge of a global network of universities and research institutions to improve our ability to respond to new challenges in food safety, and support learning across the globe