How the Mars Global Food Safety Center Enables Safe Food for All in China and Around the World


Jane Wang

Communication Specialist

As a famous Chinese proverb says, “for people, food comes first; for food, safety comes first”. This shows just how important food safety is in China. In 2015 Mars created the Global Food Safety Center (GFSC)in Beijing and has ever since been partnering with local and international experts to build collaborations, share our research, host trainings and build capability in food safety. We are very proud of our progress in China and around the world, and for our five-year anniversary we are reflecting on our journey.

Why we built the Mars GFSC in China

Mars decided to locate the Mars GFSC in China not only because of China’s significant role in the global marketplace, but also to leverage the intensive scientific focus the region is bringing to food supply and safety issues today. Mars has been in China over 30 years, and our commitment to China is long-term. Clarence Mak, Regional President of Mars Wrigley China shares, “I still remember in 2011, I was in a Mars leadership meeting in our global headquarters when we initially discussed the idea of building a food safety research center. What I was really impressed by was the decision to locate the GFSC in China, not just for China, but also for the globe. We know food safety is an important topic in China and China is a country with high expectations. Instead of building this center elsewhere, we made the decision and commitment to this very important market and region to drive science that will impact China and the world.”

Gary Teng, Vice President of Corporate Affairs China said, “With this, Mars can not only bring its insights and scientific technologies to China, but also share global advanced technologies and knowledge by leveraging its global and local network. In addition, Mars GFSC is a great platform for people around the world to learn food safety knowledge and best practice from China.”

How the Mars GFSC delivers value locally and globally

At the GFSC, our global team conducts original, collaborative research using cutting edge approaches which are shared openly through scientific publications and forums. One of the key benefits the GFSC has brought to China is the top tier Associate talent we have working at our center and around the world. Forty percent of our Associates hold a Ph.D., 34% hold a M.Sc. degree from world renowned global academic institutions and more than 60% of our GFSC Associates are Chinese. This not only enables us to work with partners around the world, but also better understand China’s needs in a global market.

 “Mars GFSC invites Associates and top talent to help co-create the future of the GFSC, and ensure safe food for all. This purpose attracts the best international and Chinese talent, reinforcing Mars’ commitment to science, technology, quality, and food safety for a better world tomorrow.” said Clarence Mak.

The Mars GFSC has also been actively facilitating industry, academic and research collaborations throughout China.  “Food safety has no borders. The Mars GFSC is a pre-competitive platform based on science, with a commitment to the best interest of our consumers. With this in mind, it has created several cross-sector collaborations in China.” Min Qin, Vice President of Public Affairs China shares, “For example, last year the Mars GFSC co-hosted training sessions with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China (MARA) for agricultural officials from countries alongside the Belt and Road regions, and organized the US-China Food Safety Innovation Collaboration Forum partnering with the U.S. Embassy and the AmCham China. These events brought together government officials, scientists and industry peers around the world to discuss cooperation opportunities. As an open platform, the Mars GFSC can help bridge the gap between the public and private sectors, improve the standard and regulations, as well as drive coalition of thoughts, share knowledge and best practice among all stakeholders.”

What’s next for the Mars GFSC

“I always say the Mars GFSC is a crown jewel for Mars. It represents Mars commitment to our Five Principles and responsibility as a global industry player. I hope the GFSC will continue to learn and share knowledge and wisdom among all parties to benefit everyone through mutual collaboration and sharing,” said Min Qin.

Gary Teng: “Food safety is a global topic. The Mars GFSC has shared its research findings on microbial risk management, mycotoxin risk management and food integrity with the world and China throughout the last five years. I am looking forward to seeing the GFSC contribute more scientific knowledge for the health and well-being of everyone in the world.”

Food safety is not only imperative for people, but we must ensure safe food for all for our pets as well. Brand Niu, General Manager of Mars China Pet Nutrition shares, “The GFSC exemplifies Mars commitment to the quality standard and investment in science, to benefit the whole industry. The work of the GFSC inspires our Petcare customers and partners every time when we invite them for a visit. We are proud to partner with the GFSC and looking forward to hosting more friends here.”

“The world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today, and in the world we want tomorrow, there is safe food for all. The Mars GFSC firmly establishes Mars leading position in food safety, and the decision to put a global food safety research center in China shows how important quality and safety is to our business. For the next five years, my hope for the center is to continue in the same direction we set out from day one, helping us to build food safety expertise in China, for China, but also for the globe. I think this is just the beginning, there is so much the GFSC can do for Mars as a business and people and pets around the world,” shared by Clarence Mak.