At Mars, we believe everyone working within our extended supply chains should earn a sufficient income to maintain a decent standard of living. This is our goal. Although our relationship with smallholder farmers is rarely direct, we know they are critical for our business. Not only are we focused on helping smallholder farmers prosper today, we’re also working to ensure that the next generation is motivated to stay connected to farming as a profession that allows them to thrive tomorrow.
Why We’re Invested in Increasing Farmer Income
An estimated 200 million smallholder farmers work to feed the world, but far too many of them face poverty. Although we rarely purchase directly from farmers, we recognize that helping lift smallholder farmers out of poverty is both the right thing to do and vital for the long-term sustainability of our supply chains. The current model isn’t working, and it’s time for change.
Our plan is based on investing in activities that have a tangible impact on the ground, beginning with our cocoa, mint and rice supply chains, where a large number of farmers are estimated to live in poverty.
The Farmer Income Lab
In 2018, we launched the Farmer Income Lab, a collaborative “think-do tank” focused on finding practical insights needed to help eradicate smallholder poverty. This Lab is intended to be a catalyst, driving faster and more effective impact at scale within our supply chains, and amplifying our impacts by sharing our insights with others. We’re proud that Oxfam has agreed to serve as one of our advisers on this work.
Maximizing Impact with the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming
To further our investment in smallholder farmers, we co-founded the Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming, which will invest more than $130 million to develop sustainable agriculture projects aimed at improving incomes, enhancing food security and restoring ecosystems.
We aim to benefit 200,000 farms through the Livelihoods Fund, while developing sustainable supply chains to source high-quality raw materials. Read more in our Income Position Statement and Human Rights Policy.