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Mars Inc Invests in Sustainable Dairy Production

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As part of Mars Inc.’s commitment to cut greenhouse gas (GHG), the candy and snack manufacturer has introduced a new climate-first approach to dairy sourcing.

Dubbed “Moo’ving Dairy Forward,” the new proposition will work to reduce the carbon footprint of dairy in line with the company’s 2030 ambition to slash emissions by 50%. The sustainability plan will be backed by a $47 million investment over three years — a significant financial backing that is part of the multinational’s broader climate cash commitment, totaling $1 billion over the same period, Mars said.

The move signals another mile-marker in the company’s recently published open-source roadmap to “net zero.” Mars will work with a cohort of industry leaders to implement a host of meaningful on-farm interventions focused on critical areas such as enteric methane reduction, efficient manure management and sustainable feed production.

As part of the “Moo’ving Dairy Forward Sustainable Dairy Plan,” Mars will collaborate with dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina, one of the world’s largest dairy producers, to establish the Mars-FrieslandCampina Sustainable Dairy Development Program, an initiative that will dedicate a group of farms to Mars’ dairy supply.

To deliver more sustainable dairy, the program will serve as a platform where new practices and innovative technologies can be refined and scaled-up in a focused and accelerated environment, with an ultimate goal of broader adoption across the entire co-op.

“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,” said Amanda Davies, chief R&D, procurement and sustainability officer, Mars Snacking. “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,” she continued.

Building on an ethos of investing in long-term innovation, Mars 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, Mars announced.

A founding member of the industry-wide Sustainable Dairy Partnership, Mars is also turning to the seven seas in the pursuit of burp busting technology. The company is partnering with Fonterra and Sea Forest to explore sourcing from their SEAFEED seaweed food supplement trial. The trial seeks to demonstrate how SEAFEED helps reduce the quantity of methane cows generate in digesting their food.

More than 200,000 cows and 1,000 farms supply dairy for Mars’ iconic billion-dollar confectionery brands like M&M’S and Snickers. Dairy is the second largest contributor to the carbon footprint of Mars’ Snacking business and raw ingredients account for more than 70% of the organization’s total GHG emissions.

Other recent collaborations to support the Mars Net Zero Roadmap include:

  • Mars tapped engineering software provider Ansys to adopt simulation software primed to reimagine the packaging innovation process at Mars through digital technology. The multinational manufacturer will leverage the new simulation approach to perform virtual testing and prototyping on new packaging innovation, initially across its Mars Snacking portfolio.
  • Mars Snacking entered into a three-year partnership with the Unreasonable Group LLC to create “Unreasonable Food,” a global initiative focused on supporting rapid-growth companies positioned to redefine food systems through more regenerative, inclusive and equitable future of food.


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Chicago-based Mars Snacking is a division of Mars Inc. With almost $45 billion in annual sales, the global, family-owned business produces well-known brands, including Ben’s Original, Cesar, Cocoavia, Dove, Extra, KIND, M&M’S, Snickers, Pedigree, Royal Canin and Whiskas.

Mars is also creating a better world for pets through its global network of pet hospitals and diagnostic services, including AniCura, Banfield, Bluepearl Linnaeus and VCA.

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