In order to advance agriculture development, address malnutrition and improve food safety in India, Tata trusts and and Belgium based Mars Foods have signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Mumbai.
A coalition of philanthropic trusts, the Tata trusts pursues a mission to improve the quality of life of the communities it serves in India. The Trusts include the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Sir Ratan Tata Trust, and Navajbhai Ratan Tata Trust.
As one of the world’s leading food manufacturers, Mars Incorporated plans to work with the Tata Trusts to develop methods and tools to increase crop productivity, farm income, sustainability of agriculture commodities, and to collaborate on the availability of safe, affordable, and sustainable raw materials from India. Commodities of particular focus will include mint, peanuts, rice, and legumes. Mars Food, a segment of Mars Incorporated, will also conduct joint research with the Tata Trusts on nutritional guidelines that can help address anemia and other forms of malnutrition.
“Given Mars global leadership in nutritive foods and sustainable agriculture, the Tata trusts believes this collaboration would have lasting, meaningful benefits for Indian communities,” said Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata trusts. “We are particularly inspired by Mars Food’s commitment to address malnutrition in India – a challenge of growing concern in this country, particularly among children.”
Mars and the Tata Trusts also plan to collaborate on reducing Aflatoxin contamination in India’s supply chain. Aflatoxin – a naturally occurring, poisonous chemical produced by certain molds – is a critical food safety issue in India.
“Today’s Memorandum of Understanding with Tata Trusts is an important step in Mars’ journey to improve nutrition, food safety, and sustainability in India,” said Fiona Dawson, president of Mars Food. “Tata trusts’ strong commitment to improving the quality of life in India, and the depth and breadth of their expertise, makes them a natural partner for Mars.”