Mars Inc. – College Essay
MARS INC. Professor Diane Barrs LEG 100 09 December 2011 ABSTRACT This paper briefly discusses Mars Inc. , beginning with a brief history of its origins in 1911. The paper continues with identifying some of their products, as well as some initiatives they are currently working on here in the U. S. as well as abroad. Some elements of administrative law that may be relevant to the current and up-coming initiatives and are discussed as well as the sales laws needed to be considered. Recommendations are made to help the company minimize threats of lawsuits.
Frank C. Mars began making candies in his Tacoma, Washington, kitchen in 1911 and established the company’s first roots in the confectionary business. In the 1920s, his son, Forrest E. Mars Sr. , joined his father in business and together they launched the now world famous Milky Way bar. In 1932 Forrest Sr. moved to the United Kingdom where he founded his own company with a dream of building a business model based on his philosophy of a “mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders”.
This vision serves as the foundation of the Mars Incorporated we know today. Mars, Incorporated is a private, family-owned company and employs more than 65,000 associates at over 230 sites, including 135 factories, in 71 countries worldwide. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, U. S. A. , Mars Incorporated is one of the world’s largest food companies, generating global revenues of more than $30 billion annually and operating in six business segments: Chocolate, Petcare, Wrigley Gum and Confections, Food, Drinks, and Symbioscience.
These segments produce some of the world’s leading brands: Chocolate – M&M’S, Snickers, Dove, Galaxy, Mars, Milky Way and Twix; Petcare – Pedigree, Whiskas, Sheba, Cesar and Royal Canin; Wrigley – Orbit, Extra, Starburst, Doublemint and Skittles; Food – Uncle Ben’s, Dolmio, Ebly, Masterfoods and Seeds of Change; Drinks – Klix and Flavia; Symbioscience – Wisdom Panel, Seramis, Cirkuhealth and Cocoapro. (Mars. com, 2011) Around the world, Mars is informing stakeholders about the nutritional content of their products. They continuously ncourage people to lead healthy, active lifestyles through local communications, campaigns and partnerships with the government. One future initiative to do this is The “Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation” (http://www. healthyweight commit. org/) a program that seeks to lower levels of obesity in the United states by 2015, particularly in children, Mars is a founding member and plays a leading role in this initiative. Joining First Lady Michelle Obama and the “Partnership for a Healthier America” to announce a pledge to reduce annual calories across member companies from 2008 levels by 1. trillion by the end of 2015(starting with one trillion fewer calories by 2012) and to sustain those levels (“Mars Chocolate”, 2011). Mars is also promoting new chocolate snacks that will lower cholesterol and keep your arteries healthy. Partly true however, please read the small print. In order to benefit from the 2 grams of plant sterol needed to lower cholesterol, you must eat 2 portions of their new fortified chocolate. That means a daily dose also packs on an extra 200 calories (“Take two”, 2006).
Some of the other preliminary research indicates that cocoa flavanols have antioxidant effects; it is hard at present to determine how far these early findings will translate into tangible clinical benefits (Lancet, 2005). Mars has also taken a leading role in a UK government sponsored anti-obesity initiative called “Change 4 Life”. Mars is credited as having initiated the proposal and has joined forces with other food businesses including Cadbury, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft, Nestle and the UK’s biggest supermarket Tesco.
The coalition of food, soft drink, fitness and broadcasting companies will contribute $268 million in cash and “in-kind” donations such as free air time that hit the television screens in 2009. Specific company commitments are still in the planning stages. However, Mars is likely to re-brand future health and fitness initiatives similar to the companies Mars Balls Get Britain Playing and the Domino Health Challenge under the 4 Life campaign. The campaign will continue in some form until the London 2012 Olympics (“Mars Chocolate, 2011).
Mars has also joined forces with Agricultural Research Service scientists and signed a $500,000-per-year cooperative research and development agreement. Its goal is to develop a USDA-managed internationally coordinated, genetic-marker-driven, cacao breeding research program. The purpose behind this is to design a cocoa plant that is immune to the now spreading plant diseases that threatens the cocoa bean plant. During the past decade plants in Brazil have been devastated by a fungal disease called witches’ broom. The fungus penetrates stem and fruit tissue, inhibits pod formation and destroys a tree’s mature pods.
Another fungal disease, monilia pod rot has forced abandonment of many cacao farms in Ecuador, Columbia, and Costa Rica. A new species of black pod has the potential to cause severe losses in West Africa’s cacao production areas. West Africa now supplies over 50 percent of the world’s cacao. Researchers hope that this unprecedented multi-national effort to survey genetic diversity, identify the genes responsible for disease resistance, and develop new disease-resistant varieties will support and improve cacao production abroad, where disease has threatened to undermine this valuable commodity (Garcia, 2001).
Mars is currently working on plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions from factories and offices to zero by 2040. Mars’ Incorporated plans to achieve this through absolute emission reductions, without the use of carbon offsets and regardless of business growth. Mars has already started working on going green. The Mars plant in NJ has an 18 acre solar garden. They also try to limit waste. Excess ingredients that cannot be re-used are sent to animal food. Provided below are some elements of administrative law that may be relevant to the current and up-coming initiatives and what the impact may be (Pacyniak, 2011).
The following are some of the administrative laws relevant to Mars’ initiatives. Under Consumer Health and Safety, The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) will be monitoring Mars to ensure Consumer Protection in that what is in the package, is clearly stated on the label. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would also play vital roles. Since scientists are working to change the actual seeds, and working to ensure the plants and seedlings reach maturity the EPA would be responsible for regulating pesticide residues on food.
Product Liability may also be considered since changes to anything ingested should be clearly labeled. If someone is hurt due to something not clearly labeled a law suit be initiated. When planning for their business to “go green”, they should look at the Environmental Law to ensure compliance. By developing an Environmental Compliance Program, Mars can ensure they are: * Achieving and maintaining compliance * Obtaining timely notice of new requirements * Influencing future requirements * Monitoring compliance accurately * Timely and accurate reporting Responding to emergencies * Maintaining community relations Mars should also plan now for more stringent limits in the future (Bagley & Savage, 2010). This now leads to recommendations for Mars to minimize the threat of lawsuits, privacy protection, product liability, or intellectual property rights. Upon the realization of Mars and the Agriculture Research Service scientists’ goal of developing their cocoa plant that is immune to disease, I would recommend patenting it. This allows them to reap the benefits of all the monies that were spent in discovering.
It would also benefit them to ensure the wording on their future health brands is completely honest and forthcoming, i. e. , not allowing advertising agencies to exploit and promise more than the product is able to deliver. Mars reputation thus far has been impeccable. To date, nothing has ever shown them to be anything but honest in all of their business dealings. This paper described the company Mars Inc. , and some initiatives it has planned for the future, discussed some of the elements of administrative law relevant to their upcoming initiatives, applicable sales laws, and made recommendations for them to minimize the threat of lawsuits.
In today’s world of business, decisions must be made with the best information at hand, utilizing all of the company’s resources. That includes seeking advice from the company’s legal counsel in order to minimize the possibility of a lawsuit. References Bagley, C. E. , & Savage, D. (2010). Managers and the legal environment. Location: Mason, OH. Chocolate-more. (2005). Lancet. P. 608. doi:10. 1016/SO140-6736(05)67114. Garcia, J. (2001). cacao and marker-assisted selection. Agricultural Research, 49(8), 1Retrieved December 5, 2011 from http://www. rs. usda. gov/is/AR/archive/aug01/cacao0801. htm Health and nutrition-mars food. (2011). Retrieved 5 December 2011, from, http://www. mars. com/global/about-mars/mars-pia/health-and-nutrition/mars-food. aspx Health and nutrition-mars chocolate. (2011). Retrieved 5 December 2011, from, http://www. mars. com/global/about-mars/mars-pia/health-and-nutrition/mars-chocolate. aspx Pacyniak, B. (2011). going green. Candy Industry. 176(10), 14-18. Take two?. (2006) Harvard Heart Letter, doi. 16(6), 6.