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Mars Food has partnered with SGS and Transparency-One to achieve transparency along its UNCLE BEN’S® rice supply chain.

Consumers are becoming savvier and more curious about their food. They recognize the importance of buying sustainable products; minimizing their impact upon workforces and the environment. As supply chains increase in length, transparency and the ability of the end supplier and final consumer to identify the origins of the product, diminishes. End suppliers, as the final link in the chain, find it hard to regulate and identify potential instances of fraud, unsafe facilities and unknown sources, along the entire supply chain.

One company that has taken the initiative is Mars Food. By setting themselves the goal of ensuring all the rice they use for their UNCLE BEN’S® brand comes from Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) farmers by 2020, they have also set themselves the task of creating transparency along the whole supply chain.

Uncle Ben's

SGS provides credibility, Transparency-One provides transparency through supply chain mapping and proactive risk management, and Blippar provides engagement through its mobile application.

Luc Beerens, Global Sustainable Sourcing Director, Mars Food

The SRP aims to promote efficient use of resources, improve climate change resilience in rice production, contribute to food security and improve smallholder incomes. To achieve its SRP goal, Mars Food has partnered with SGS and Transparency-One. This will enable the company to create a complete supply chain map, allowing management of risk in a proactive way and enforcing transparency along the entire supply chain. Transparency-One allows brands to discover, analyse and monitor all their suppliers, components and facilities. The system uses real time supply chain data to reduce risk, identify component origins and ensure compliance.

“We want to connect consumers with our farmers in a credible way,” said Luc Beerens, Global Sustainable Sourcing Director, Mars Food. “SGS provides credibility, Transparency-One provides transparency through supply chain mapping and proactive risk management, and Blippar provides engagement through its mobile application, enabling shoppers to scan the UNCLE BEN’S® pack and get connected with our farmers.”

How it works

Once a supply chain has been created in Transparency-One users can examine all the recorded facilities in their supply chain and ensure individual suppliers are compliant with certification schemes.

Utilizing Transparency-One offers several other benefits. The system can be used to detect non-certified suppliers, alerting brands to potential business risks and triggering remediation plans. In this way, it helps to reduce the possibility of food fraud, unsafe food practices and forced labor, while enhancing supply chain efficiency, building consumer confidence and helping to improve trust in brands.

Image recognition

This project also sees the introduction of Blippar, an app that uses image recognition, augmented reality and computer vision technology to bridge the gap between the physical and digitals worlds. Using smart devices, the app allows brands to interact with consumers through their packaging, enhancing the communication channels between brand and consumer. By adding digital experiences to objects, known as ‘blipps’, consumers can be connected to farmers, helping to create verified transparency, image recognition and augmented reality, such as product information, recipes, sustainability, video, and responsible sourcing.

SGS Transparency-One

Working with SGS and Transparency-One provides several benefits for food brands, including building consumer trust, further enhanced by the innovative use of the Blippar app.

Transparency-One supports the global supply chain industry by helping companies ensure their products are safe and conform to product safety rules and regulations. Learn more about Transparency-One.

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For the complete range of SGS services and support visit SGS Food Safety.

Guy Escarfail
Vice President, Global Head of SGS Transparency-One
t: +33 33 679 76 24 37

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 90,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,000 offices and laboratories around the world.