Helping Smallholders Adapt To Climate Change

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Helping Smallholders Adapt To Climate Change

The consequences of climate change, such as more frequent storms, floods and droughts, and the spread of pests and diseases, are putting whole habitats and communities at risk
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Helping smallholders adapt to climate change: http://bit.ly/1Jv5YPd via @MarsGlobal

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Wednesday, January 28, 2015 - 8:00am

CAMPAIGN: Mars Principles In Action

CONTENT: Press Release

January 28, 2015 /3BL Media/ - This has serious implications for the security of supply of key Mars crops and the resilience of farmers who produce them. Smallholders and rural communities are particularly vulnerable to these risks. 

We have ambitious targets to eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our operations by 2040. In agriculture, which accounts for over 86% of our emissions, we help smallholder farmers develop the plant varieties and growing techniques needed to adapt to climate change. 

For example, our Cocoa Development Clinics (CDCs) educate cocoa farmers on managing their land and crops efficiently, provide weather information, and give them access to good-quality plants and the right agricultural products, especially fertilizers. 

Even though we have one of the largest global rice brands, we buy less than 0.5% of the total global supply. Rice is a highly water-intensive crop so we have invested in research to minimize water use in rice farming. We source a small quantity of rice from Pakistan, a country vulnerable to droughts, with a poor water conservation record.

To improve the resilience of small-scale producers, we will be piloting an alternate wetting and drying (AWD) irrigation system, which helps save water. We will be working in partnership with others to teach farmers about proper pesticide and fertilizer use, crop rotation, and water conservation techniques. 

Our work with the Ethical Tea Partnership tackles unsustainable energy consumption within the Kenyan tea industry. Energy constitutes up to 60% of the production cost of tea, with approximately half of this coming from the cost of firewood. The continued large-scale felling of trees from the tea growing areas contributes to a risk of changing the local climate, weather and hydrological patterns. 

Our three-year strategic partnership will focus on four of the 65 smallholder-owned tea factories and estates that make up the Kenyan Tea Development Agency, an agency that provides management and marketing services to the individual factories and estates that are its owners. Each factory represents approximately 5000-6500 smallholders, and we aim to help reduce their energy costs while supporting climate change mitigation activities. The project will conduct energy audits at each of the participating tea factories, and identify and implement the most cost-effective energy saving measures and/or renewable energy sources. We will train factory workers to improve energy efficiency. 

About Mars, Incorporated

In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the objective of creating a “mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders” – this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.

Mars brands include: Petcare – PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, BANFIELD® Pet Hospital, CESAR®, SHEBA®, DREAMIES® and NUTRO®; Chocolate – M&M’S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, GALAXY®, MARS®, MILKY WAY® and TWIX®; Wrigley – DOUBLEMINT®, EXTRA®, ORBIT® and 5™ chewing gums, SKITTLES® and STARBURST® candies, and ALTOIDS® AND LIFESAVERS® mints. Food – UNCLE BEN’S®, DOLMIO®, EBLY®, MASTERFOODS®, SEEDS OF CHANGE® and ROYCO®; Drinks – ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA COMPANY™, KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience – COCOAVIA® and WISDOM PANEL®.

For more information about Mars, Incorporated, please visit www.mars.com. Follow us: facebook.com/marstwitter.com/marsglobalyoutube.com/marslinkedin.com/company/mars

Keywords: Environment | Cocoa Development Clinics | Diversity & Inclusion | Ethical Tea Partnership | Kenyan Tea Development Agency | Mars Chocolate | Mars Incorporated | Responsible Production & Consumption | greenhouse gas emissions

CAMPAIGN: Mars Principles In Action

CONTENT: Press Release

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