Mars Addresses the United Nations on Food Safety and Security at International Nutrition Conference (ICN2)
Argues that food safety is pivotal to the provision of sufficient amounts of safe, nutritious food
19-21 November 2014 - Dave Crean, Mars, Incorporated’s Vice President of Corporate Research and Development attended the Second International Conference on Nutrition highlighting the scale of food safety issues across the globe, the role of food safety in providing global access to sufficient amounts of safe, nutritious food, and how industry leadership and collaboration can help tackle global malnutrition.
The conference, organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) was the most significant meeting regarding food security and nutrition in two decades.
Speaking at an ICN2 food safety side event - “Food Safety: A Right or a Privilege” – Dave described the ‘scale and pervasiveness’ of food safety problems, which can come from a number of sources including contamination of crops, processing issues, and even adulteration in the global food supply chain, and the serious and far-reaching impacts that unsafe foods continue to have across the developed and developing world.
“Ensuring food is safe is arguably one of the biggest, most fundamental public health challenges of our time…food safety problems continue to have a devastating impact across the world.
He continued: “The linkages among food safety, food security and nutrition must be recognized and addressed through multi-sector, integrated initiatives. Every day businesses around the world consume millions of tons of raw materials, generate vast amounts of data and millions of man hours of experience…we can play a critical role in helping to test, understand, and mitigate the global food safety risks we all face.”
Dave also addressed the delegation at the plenary session on the final day of ICN2 as a representative of the private sector group of the UN Committee on Food Security. During the plenary he emphasized the critical role of industry in helping to raise food safety standards across the world, and echoed the calls made by the FAO and WHO for a joint effort in the elimination of global poverty, hunger and malnutrition.
“Food safety is one of the most significant and pervasive problems in sustainable development efforts…and there is overwhelming evidence linking food safety issues to economic and human development. Often businesses have the tools, capabilities and the expertise to impact food safety and therefore food security solutions. Not only are we well placed to help raise the standard on food safety globally but we have a responsibility to collaborate with regulators, researchers and NGOs to make it happen.
He concluded: “We welcome the continued leadership of ICN2 members and all future collaborative efforts in support of the mutual goal of the elimination of global poverty, hunger and malnutrition.”
Ralph Jerome, Mars Vice President of Corporate Innovation, also attended and participated in discussions about the potential for and challenges of developing and delivering affordable, nutritious food on a global scale, and the role of innovation in improved nutrition, for example the application of genomics as part of Mars’ cocoa and peanut sustainability programs, and as part of the African Orphan Crops Consortium (AOCC) in support of increased nutrition of orphan crops.
The conference proposed a flexible policy framework to malnutrition on a global scale. As a result, the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and the Framework for Action documents were endorsed by participating governments at the conference, which commit world leaders to establishing national policies aimed at eradicating malnutrition and transforming food systems to make nutritious diets available to all.
ICN2 was attended by over 2,200 delegates including ministers, parliamentarians, civil society and private sector representatives, 30 UN agencies, heads of state, royalty and non-governmental organizations. His Holiness the Pope also addressed the delegation.
To listen to the UN Radio recording of Mars’ contribution, visit the UN Radio’s website here.
The Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) was a high-level intergovernmental meeting that focused global attention on addressing malnutrition in all its forms. Over 2,200 participants attended the meeting, including representatives from more than 170 governments, 150 representatives from civil society and nearly 100 from the business community. In addition to plenary sessions held on November 19th, 20th and 21st, several pre-conference events for parliamentarians, civil society and the private sector, as well as round tables and side events, provided a forum for participants to delve deeper into specific nutrition issues. The two main outcome documents–the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and the Framework for Action—were endorsed by participating governments at the conference, committing world leaders to establishing national policies aimed at eradicating malnutrition and transforming food systems to make nutritious diets available to all.
For more information please visit www.fao.org/about/meetings/icn2/en
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®.
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