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Verité and Mars, Incorporated are pleased to announce the formation of a long-term, strategic partnership to advance human rights throughout Mars’ global business. The partnership launched last week at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England. The announcement came during the panel, “Building Bridges: Partnerships in Responsible Supply Chains,” which featured Shawn MacDonald, Verité’s CEO; Marika McCauley Sine, Human Rights Director at Mars, Incorporated; and Dan Viederman, Managing Director at Humanity United.

Mars, a private, family-owned business operating across 78 countries, produces some of the world’s most recognizable brands. Through this multi-year, strategic partnership, Mars and Verité will work together to improve the lives of the most vulnerable workers in global supply chains relevant to Mars operations. Verité will advise Mars on global human rights strategy, policies, and practices; provide expert guidance and input as Mars safeguards human rights in its own workplaces; and, support Mars and its first-tier suppliers in high-risk countries through specialized training and management consulting to strengthen human rights monitoring and remediation systems.

In high-risk extended supply chains, Verité and Mars will work jointly to identify human rights challenges and to develop and implement strategies to address them, in collaboration with other actors in business, government, and civil society. Our shared priorities are actions to identify and mitigate risks of forced labor and child labor.

“As a mission-driven organization focused on labor rights, Verité is delighted by this opportunity to promote a worker-centered approach to human rights on such a significant scale,” said Verité CEO MacDonald. “We will be collaborating closely with Mars to strengthen respect for human rights at all levels of global agribusiness supply chains — from factories and first tier suppliers, to mid-level processing facilities, all the way down to plantations and smallholder farms. We commend Mars for strengthening its commitment to action on human rights through this partnership, and look forward to the work ahead.”

Verité and Mars are committed to transparency and will hold stakeholder dialogues to share broadly applicable insights generated by this partnership with outside stakeholders, including other members of the private sector, government agencies, and civil society. A partnership of this scale will facilitate the development of innovative approaches to tackle some of the most entrenched, systemic, and complex human rights challenges in global commodity production.

“As we continue our work on human rights, we are proud to launch this long-term partnership with Verité,” said Barry Parkin, Chief Sustainability Officer at Mars, Incorporated. “Verité brings deep experience, expertise, and innovation to complex human rights challenges facing Mars and others operating in global supply chains. It is a privilege for us to work with Verité as we make progress on this journey together.”

Verité looks forward to reporting on the progress and learnings from this collaboration.

For more please information contact Elizabeth Garland.