Vice President – Research & Development
Mars Food North America
Mars Food has five core principles, and quality is No. 1. We are very proud of our reputation and are actively involved in the rice supply chain from science all the way through to consumer products. We are heavily involved with the breeder programs in the Southern states, such as Mississippi State University and the University of Arkansas.
Our raw material specs for our products are very specific and strict. We have to uphold our Five Principles, quality in particular, to make sure that we are providing the highest quality products to our consumers. We insist on having identity-preserved lots as opposed to co-mingled lots. The majority of our rice is long-grain, and it all comes from the United States. For some of our products, we contract with specific farmers.
We uphold our Five Principles, quality in particular, to make sure that we are providing the highest quality products to our consumers. We insist on having identity-preserved lots as opposed to co-mingled lots.”
What we really foster and look for are new rice varieties that can consistently meet or exceed our customer and consumer expectations. Because of our focus on quality and consistency, Uncle Ben’s® is the No. 1 consumer-branded rice in the world, and we ensure that the consumer experiences what we promise – that Uncle Ben’s® is “Perfect Every Time.™”
Another one of our principles is mutuality, and that means that everybody in the supply chain should prosper as well. We believe that our success is dependent on our ability to create mutual benefits for Mars and our stakeholders. Following our quality and mutuality principles allows farmers to put an emphasis on quality as much as yield.
Mars Food continues to leverage our research and learning from UC Davis, the University of Arkansas and Mississippi State to drive further water savings initiatives such as Alternate Wetting and Drying (AWD). Farming with this methodology is indicating that significant reductions in greenhouse gases occur, in addition to saving water. In 2014, we grew over 600 acres of rice via AWD through our contract farmers, saving over 337 million gallons of water. In 2015, we are striving to grow more acres of rice using AWD, which could save up to one billion gallons of water.