The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Mars, Inc. have joined forces in a new partnership agreement to make food safer across the world, but particularly in developing countries.

“We want to make sure that all food, around the world, is safe and sustainable.” says Dave Crean, vice president of corporate research and development for Mars. “Unsafe food kills thousands of people every day and damages the economies of developing nations in serious, lasting ways. Our agreement with FAO is a very important step towards doing something about this crisis. And only through open, collaborative, multi-discipline approaches like this will we be able to address the problem in a meaningful way.”

Here’s what FAO and Mars plan to do:

  • Promote international standards for food safety and quality
  • Improve food safety management to reduce illness caused by unsafe food
  • Improve global access to information
  • Share expertise and data
  • Identify food safety issues early
  • Develop tools that will help support food safety programs in developing countries

FAO believes that help from the private sector and other international food safety entities will only help to disseminate information and promote effective food safety practices where it’s needed the most.

“Food safety is complex and addressing food safety issues requires a multi-sectorial approach. Partnership with Mars can strengthen our message to countries that food safety is best achieved through effective public-private partnership,” says Ren Wang, assistant director-general of FAO’s Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department.

News of this partnership comes just one month after Mars announced the opening of a $15 million Global Food Safety Center in China.