Mars China partners American Chamber of Commerce in the People's Republic of China (AmCham China) in organizing the "From Farms to the Dinner Table - How Technology Can Help Enhance Food Safety" webinar.

06/17/2020
20200617 AmCham Event

Beijing, China (June 17, 2020) - - On June 17, Mars China partners with American Chamber of Commerce in the People's Republic of China (AmCham China) in organizing the "From Farms to the Dinner Table - How Technology Can Help Enhance Food Safety" webinar. The two-hour webinar brought together Mr. Alan Beebe, President of AmCham China, Ms. Qin Min, Vice President of Public Affairs of Mars China, Dr. Abigail Stevenson, Director of Mars Global Food Safety Center, Dr. Zhang Guangtao, Chief Scientist of Mars Global Food Safety Center, and eight distinguished guests from industry leaders such as IBM, Walmart, Merck, Danone, and close to 100 participants in discussing the infinite potential of technology to help improve food safety.

As a core partner of the Technology and Innovation Initiative of AmCham China, Mars China has always been committed to promoting the impacts that disruptive technologies have on the food industry among AmCham China's technology innovation enterprise community. With the Covid-19 pandemic becoming a common challenge to the world, consumers are paying more attention to food safety and healthy eating than ever. The changes in online and brick-and-mortar demands has significantly increased the pressure on all aspects of the supply chain, such as food distribution and transportation. In facing the new normal of various industries emerging as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, AmCham China and Mars China jointly organized this webinar, inviting international renowned food manufacturers, retailers, and cutting-edge technology companies to share their experiences and success stories in deploying disruptive technologies, such as blockchain traceability, artificial intelligence, and gene sequencing, in ensuring food production and traceability, and how these can benefit food production and distribution in the post-pandemic era.

At the webinar, Dr. Abigail Stevenson mentioned in her keynote speech, "As a socially responsible company which upholds the principle of mutuality, Mars firmly believes that multi-party collaboration is the key to ensuring food safety and promoting development of the industry. As such, we actively organize and participate in industrial sharing activities, so as to facilitate and promote the exchange of scientific and technical knowledge, cutting-edge technologies, professional insights and reliable practices within the industry, and drive collaboration and mutual benefits between industry and education, research and government sectors." She also added that technology and innovation are key to food companies' responses to food safety risks. "Mars will remain committed to improving food safety and technology awareness, and expanding our capacities, as well as exploring innovative technologies and methods that can potentially push food safety risk management practices from passive response to proactive prevention. This is our promise to ensuring each and every person can enjoy safe food, and to work towards a better future."

Dr. Zhang Guangtao, Chief Scientist of Mars Global Food Safety Center, and other experts from leading companies such as IBM, Walmart, Merck, and Danone, discussed and shared on the best practices in deploying disruptive technologies in the food industry supply chain. The speakers highlighted the breakthroughs that Mars Global Food Safety Center and their partners have achieved in the effective identification of food-borne pathogens based on whole genome sequencing technology, the latest advancements in identifying the sources of Geographical Indication (GI) rice from China through multi-element analysis technologies (such as ICP-MS) combined with machine learning, and the assistance provided to Nepal in establishing a cutting-edge mycotoxins laboratory to provide local capacity in identifying sources of aflatoxin contamination in food supply chains, and other case studies. Those were sources of inspiration to the participants.

Ms. Qin Min, Vice President of Public Affairs, Mars China, added, "The Covid-19 pandemic created a multitude of challenges to all industries. In Mars, we believe in 'Tomorrow starts Today'. Mars is relentless in its pursuit for future development in the food industry, and is committed to sharing our research results and experiences with the world. Based on mutuality of benefits, we will continue to dedicate our efforts to scientific research and product innovation, including food safety, and to build a better tomorrow for humans and pets."

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About Mars Inc. and Mars China

Mars Inc. was founded in 1911 and is headquartered in McLean, Virginia, USA. It is a private family business with more than 100 years of history. Mars Inc. is committed to providing various products and services to people and their pets. The company produces some of the world's best-loved brands across four distinct segments - Mars Petcare, Mars Wrigley, Mars Food and Mars Edge. Guided by the vision of "Tomorrow Starts Today", 125,000+ Mars associates embrace and put "The Five Principles" comprising "quality, responsibility, mutuality, efficiency and freedom" into practice every single day, to provide a wide range of products and services, and to create a better world for people and their pets.

Mars produces some of the world’s best-loved brands, including M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, DOVE®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, BANFIELD® Pet Hospital Chain and VCA® Pet Hospital Chain, which are each valued over US$1 billion; and other highly popular brands, such as CRISPY®, EXTRA®, ORBIT®, 5TM, SKITTLES®, SHEBA®, MASTERFOODS®, UNCLE BEN’S®, COCOAVIA®, and BE-KIND™. In 2017, Mars exceeded US$35 billion in sales.

Furthermore, Mars formulated and is continuously improving on its "Sustainable in a Generation Plan" that focuses on three key areas - Healthy Planet, Thriving People, and Nourishing Wellbeing, to actively create mutual value for all stakeholders in the value chain. To date, Mars has accomplished significant achievements in the areas of responsible procurement, increasing farmers' income, zero carbon emissions, food safety, nutrition and health.

Mars China was established in 1989 and has three major business segments, namely, Mars Wrigley, Mars PetCare (with pet nutrition businesses and Royal Canin food businesses), and Mars Food. The company has 7 factories, 4 innovation centers, 47 branch offices, 30+ brands, and close to 10,000 associates.

Over the past 30 years, Mars China has been continuously introducing new brands and innovative flavors, bringing happiness and joy to millions of families and their pets, with brands such as DOVE®, SNICKERS®, M&M's®, CRISPY®, DOUBLEMINT®, EXTRA®, 5TM, TATA®, PIM POM®, SUGUS®, SKITTLES®, MALTESERS®, PEDIGREE® , WHISKAS®, ROYAL CANIN®, EUKANUBA®, MASTERFOODS®, and BE-KIND™, being highly popular among consumers.

For more information, visit the Mars Global official website: http://www.mars.com, or Mars China official website: https://www.marschina.cn/zh  

About Mars Global Food Safety Center

Mars firmly believes that "if it isn't safe, it isn't food". Food safety challenges are escalating on a global scale, and food companies have an important role in helping the industry identify food safety risks and seeking solutions.

For this purpose, in 2015, Mars Inc. invested in and built the Mars Global Food Safety Center (hereinafter referred to as the "Center") in Huairou, Beijing. The Center brings together top talents in the field, and aims to enhance understanding and to improve food safety throughout the supply chain on a global scale through scientific research, knowledge sharing, and collaboration and exchanges. At the same time, the Center also strives to support the "Healthy China 2030" initiative, and contribute to China's food safety.

The Center is currently focusing on addressing three main long-term food safety challenges, namely, mycotoxin risk management, microbiological risk management and food integrity management, with the aim of strengthening the robustness of today's food supply chains.

Through its collaboration with over 25 organizations and academic institutions, and its sharing of knowledge, the Center has made significant contributions towards food safety infrastructure both in China and the rest of the world. Among the Center's ongoing efforts, specialists from the Center gave expert advice on the "People's Republic of China National Food Safety Standard - Control of Aflatoxin in Food" (Draft), contributed towards the writing of the "Establishing a Food Safety Legal System in the People's Republic of China" published by the European Union, and co-organized the "2019 Seminar on Agricultural Production and Food Safety in Countries - the Belt and Road" with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA).

For more information, visit the Mars Global Food Safety Center official website: https://gfsc.mars.com/ch

About the American Chamber of Commerce in China - Collaboration between China and the United States: the Next Century

The American Chamber of Commerce in China (AmCham China) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization in the People's Republic of China. AmCham China has over 4,000 members and represents 900 foreign-funded enterprises operating in China. AmCham China's mission is to help American enterprises succeed in China by providing its members with advice on policies, opportunities for information sharing, network expansion, and professional services. AmCham China is the only officially certified chamber of commerce representing American companies in China. It has offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Shenyang and Wuhan, and more than 30 working groups. AmCham China holds more than 150 member-exclusive events per year. Visit the AmCham China official website www.amchamchina.org for more information.