Mars is a company known for the confectionery items that it creates, such as M&Ms, Snickers and Twix.
But the company makes more than just chocolate; six distinct and different businesses — Petcare, Mars Wrigley Confectionery, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience — have helped it reach billions of consumers.
Mars has committed to gaining greater transparency of its palm oil and pulp and paper supply chains in order to produce goods without deforestation and social exploitation. Earthworm Foundation is helping Mars to identify the origin of its raw materials and to engage their suppliers to understand and adhere to the Mars responsible sourcing policy.
In both palm oil and pulp and paper supply chains visibility is key to understanding risks of deforestation and social exploitation. Mars’ main objective in its Earthworm Foundation membership is to maintain traceability to mill and forest sources and work with suppliers to identify where interventions are needed in order for production practices to align with Mars’ values and responsible sourcing criteria.
In pulp and paper, Mars faces challenges in reaching the large number of upstream companies that take their supply chains to a variety of different countries around the world, from Brazil, to Canada, to China, and Russia. Mars is tackling this challenge by communicating its sourcing expectations upstream through 100% engagement of their direct suppliers and prioritising the riskiest areas for on the ground assessments of indirect supplier practices.
All palm oil supply chains face risk in Indonesia and Malaysia, so the biggest challenge for Mars is to understand how best to contribute to industry transformation in these countries. Mars has supported supplier action plans for improvement through Earthworm Foundation's Aggregator Refinery Transformation (ART) program, as well as mapping of key deforestation risk areas.