U.S – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and American multinational Mars, Incorporated have reinforced their collaboration to enhance food safety.

Signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the two entities are poised to intensify efforts on crucial fronts like Codex Alimentarius standards, mycotoxin management, and emerging food safety threats.

The MoU underscores a shared commitment to promoting better understanding and application of Codex Alimentarius international food safety standards.

With a focus on mycotoxin management in maize value chains, the partnership aims to leverage modeling approaches to bolster safety measures. This entails enhancing information-sharing mechanisms to address evolving food safety challenges.

With Mars’ diverse portfolio spanning snacking, food, and pet care products, the partnership highlights a holistic approach towards ensuring food safety across various sectors.

Dr. Abigail Stevenson, Chief Science Officer for Mars, emphasized the pivotal role of collaboration in tackling food safety challenges.

“At Mars we believe everyone has the right to safe food and that collaboration is essential as we work together to address food safety challenges. This is why we are delighted to extend the strategic global partnership, initiated in 2015, with the FAO to continue working together on food safety initiatives. This is a great opportunity to share our technical knowledge and scientific expertise in mycotoxin management and develop scientific publications which help to ensure safe food for all,” she remarked.

This sentiment was echoed by FAO Chief Economist Maximo Torero, highlighting the increasing importance of robust science and public-private partnerships in fortifying agrifood systems.

“FAO and Mars will continue to collaborate to build on work that’s already been done and demonstrate impact and concrete results,” he said.

Knowledge exchange

Central to the agreement is the exchange of knowledge and information to support science-based decision-making on food safety.

Plans outlined in the MoU include developing guidance for private sector adherence to Codex standards, particularly in allergen management and mycotoxin control. Additionally, both entities will actively engage in analyzing emerging food safety issues and technological advancements to mitigate risks across value chains.

The MoU aligns with FAO’s Strategy for Private Sector Engagement, recognizing the indispensable role of partnerships in leveraging innovative tools and technologies.

Mars and FAO share common objectives aimed at bolstering food safety to enhance global food security. With a history of collaboration dating back almost a decade, the extended partnership underscores a shared commitment to raising the bar in food safety practices.

The collaboration between FAO and Mars builds upon their previous efforts, including initiatives addressing Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and other food safety endeavors.

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