Nairobi, Kenya — Mars, Inc. is collaborating with the International Fund For Agricultural Development (IFAD) and World Agroforestry on the Sustainable Farming In Tropical Asian Landscapes program, a five-year research-in-development project exploring sustainable ways to connect small-scale farmers to global supply chains, IFAD reports.
The project will initially focus on palm oil growers in Indonesia and cocoa farmers in the Philippines and Indonesia, the agricultural agency reports. The program is supported by an investment of approximately $4 million.
IFAD reports many of the globe’s 500 million small-scale producers face issues such as poverty and negative impacts from climate change, but continue to be a major source for the world’s food supply.
The Sustainable Farming In Tropical Asian Landscapes program aims to:
- Enhance environmental and social management systems and/or production standards in whole landscapes to meet sustainably and strategic positioning in the worldwide market.
- Increase participation of small-scale farmers in value chains based on sustainably sourced materials.
- Expand the global scale of sustainable supply chains for palm oil and cocoa by engaging local governments and other stakeholders.
- Generate and promote learning through integrated and effective knowledge and project management.
“Mars has a responsibility to the millions of small-scale producers in our value chains,” says Barry Parkin, chief procurement and sustainability officer for Mars. “And for many of these producers, meeting sustainability standards that are required for access to global markets is incredibly costly. We believe this landscape approach will demonstrate environmentally and socially viable models for more effectively integrating small-scale producers into global supply chains. We need thriving farmers in our collective supply chains to build a safer, more resilient food system for the long term.”