Tata Trusts and Mars, Inc. have announced a new partnership solidified by a Memorandum of Understanding that will allow them to join forces to improve food safety, malnutrition and agricultural development in India, one of the world’s most populous countries.

A global, philanthropic enterprise headquartered in India, Tata Trusts is comprised of over 100 independent operating companies serving in more than 100 countries across six continents. The group’s mission is “to improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust.”

In working with Tata Trusts--one of the oldest and most influential philanthropic organizations in India--Mars plans to find ways to increase crop productivity, farm income and sustainability of some agricultural commodities. The two entities also plan to discover affordable, safe and sustainable raw materials in India. Another goal is to address the prominence of Aflatoxin--a naturally occurring chemical usually produced by mold--contamination in India’s supply chain. Mars has experience addressing Aflatoxin contamination based on their recent work with China’s Global Food Safety Center.

"Given Mars' global leadership in nutritive foods and sustainable agriculture, the Tata Trusts believes this collaboration will have lasting, meaningful benefits for Indian communities," says Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Trusts. "We are particularly inspired by Mars Food's commitment to addressing malnutrition in India – a challenge of growing concern in this country, particularly among children.

"Today's Memorandum of Understanding with the Tata Trusts is an important step in Mars' journey to improve nutrition, food safety, and sustainability in India," says 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."

Mars has already established strong ties in India. The company’s Petcare, Wrigley and Chocolate segments all have manufacturing facilities based in India, employing more than 1,000 people.

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