Mars, Inc., McLean, Va., opened a Global Food Safety Center, what is said to be a first-of-its-kind facility for pre-competitive research and training that aims to raise global food safety standards through collaboration. The Mars Global Food Safety Center, located in Huairou, China, is intended to drive global focus on addressing the challenge of food safety, leading to better access, availability and nutrition, as well as reduced food waste and an increase in overall quality of life.

Building on decades of research, the Mars Global Food Safety Center is a $15 million investment in the company’s ongoing commitment to working with world-leading experts to ensure the safety and security of food for generations of families.  

“Food safety is a global issue that concerns us all—business, governments, academics and the world’s population. Working together across all disciplines is the only way we can truly advance efforts at scale, with the ultimate goal of increasing access to safe nutrition for billions of people around the world,” says Grant Reid, president and CEO. 

With an emphasis on pre-competitive research and collaborative solutions, the Mars Global Food Safety Center will leverage insights and expertise from over 60 Mars partnerships, including World Food Programme (WFP), the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) and the IBM/Mars Consortium for Sequencing the Food Supply Chain dedicated to innovative, sustainable and responsible food safety practices.

“Unlike an R&D or innovation center focused on product development and improvement, the Mars Global Food Safety Center is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to advancing food safety research through collaboration and the pre-competitive sharing of information,” adds David Crean, vice president, corporate R&D. “We firmly believe that in order to ensure generations of families have access to safe and nutritious food, we must work together to evolve food safety management programs and create robust, sustainable supply chains.”

The Mars Global Food Safety Center will employ approximately 30 associates working on food safety research and training, plus a variety of sabbatical positions open to academic and regulatory researchers. The facility will house analytical chemistry and microbiology laboratories, interactive training laboratories and a conference auditorium to enhance knowledge sharing. Through scientific forums and media platforms and events, the Mars Global Food Safety Center will also promote the findings to help advance others’ research efforts.