Mars Australia and New Zealand

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Key Facts

  • Launched in Australia in 1954 and in New Zealand in 1983

  • Four business segments: Chocolate, Food, Petcare and Wrigley

  • More than 2,200 Associates

  • 14 factory and office locations

  • Popular brands include M&M'S®, SNICKERS®, DOVE®, MASTERFOODS®, DOLMIO®, PEDIGREE®, UNCLE BEN'S®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA®, ECLIPSE®,STARBURST®

Mars in Australia

The MARS® bar first appeared in Australia in 1954, produced under license by McRobertsons. Mars launched PAL® and WHISKAS® in 1965 and built our pet food factory in Wodonga, Victoria, in 1966. In 1967, Mars bought Masterfoods, an Australian business which produced herbs and spices.

The Chocolate, Petcare and Food segments all continued to grow. In 1978, Mars Petcare built a dry petfood facility in Bathurst, New South Wales and purchased the Wanganui factory in New Zealand in 1993. In 1979, Mars opened our first confectionery factory in Ballarat, Victoria, and in 1992, the Food business moved to a state-of-the-art facility in Wyong, New South Wales. The global acquisition of Wrigley in 2008 brought 100 years of iconic brands in Australia, such as EXTRA® and JUICY FRUIT® into our portfolio.

Mars Petcare is the largest pet food manufacturer in Australia, with around 50 percent market share and the broadest brand portfolio of any Mars Petcare business in the world. We employ more than 1,000 Associates at four manufacturing plants and export to 26 countries. We are investing US$100 million to build a state-of-the-art pet food facility (including world-leading environmental facilities to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions) at our existing site at Bathurst. It is the largest investment ever made in the Bathurst community and the only Mars Petcare site globally that manufactures our full range of dry pet foods.

Mars Chocolate is now the second-largest confectionery company in Australia, employing around 525 people and exporting to more than 30 countries in Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Our investment in the region continues, with our pet food plants in Bathurst, New South Wales and Wanganui, New Zealand, both undergoing major development projects.

Principles in Action

Mars Australia has a long history of putting our Five Principles into Action.

Our manufacturing operations are taking action to reduce their environmental impacts. From 2006-2010, Mars Petcare reduced its energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 25 percent across its four manufacturing sites. In 2012, Mars Petcare was awarded Bronze Partner status in the Australian Government’s Sustainability Advantage program.

In Asquith, Wrigley captures an annual volume of 3.6 million liters of rainwater, which is used for all onsite amenities, washrooms and cooling towers. The Asquith site also sends zero waste to landfill. Mars Food has installed a state-of-the-art co-generation plant at its Wyong site that efficiently generates both heat and power, producing 5.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity in its first year. This reduced the company’s greenhouse gas emissions by 5,400 tonnes per year – the equivalent of taking 1,700 passenger cars off the road. Mars Chocolate has more than halved water use in its factories since 2001 and, in 2006, was one of the first companies in Australia to introduce guideline daily amount and front-of-pack calorie labeling.

In 2006, Wrigley launched its Eat Drink ChewTM campaign in Australia to educate consumers that when brushing is not possible, chewing sugar-free gum helps combat harmful plaque acids to improve oral health. The campaign is now active in 40 countries around the world.

Encouraging better health and improved nutrition is a priority for all our segments. Through our membership of the Australian Food and Grocery Council, Mars has signed the Responsible Children’s Marketing Initiative, an industry code that ensures a high level of social responsibility in marketing food and beverages in Australia. We have renovated MILKY WAY® and MARS® bars to reduce saturated fat content by between 19 percent and 22 percent. Mars Food has removed 70 tonnes of salt from Australia's diet by reducing salt across its range, and has improved the nutritional profile of many of its products to gain the Heart Foundation Tick of approval, which is well-respected in Australia. Through its membership with the Australian Industry Group Confectionery Sector, Wrigley partnered in the development of the “Be Treatwise” percentage daily intake labeling device, introduced in 2006 to educate consumers about the role of treat foods as part of a balanced diet.

We encourage Associates to have healthy, active lifestyles and offer Associate Wellness Programs at many of our sites, including discounted gym memberships, smoking-cessation plans, vaccinations, fitness boot camps, health checks and more.

Mars Petcare Australia was instrumental in an initiative that has resulted in all major canned-fish marketers in Australia signing a sustainably sourced tuna products code.

We are working toward Mars Chocolate's global commitment to source 100 percent of the cocoa used to produce our chocolate from certified sources by 2020 and introduced Rainforest Alliance certification for the cocoa in our MARS® bars in June 2011.

Our business segments also sponsor good causes and community events, including the Guide Dogs (since 1974), Mars Petcare Paws in the Park event at Wodonga, the Prison Puppies program at Bathurst, World Animal Day, Seeing Eye Dogs Australia, Earth Hour, Keep Australia Beautiful and Foodbank Australia. The PEDIGREE® Adoption Drive has helped re-home 100,000 dogs since 2009 and over 50,000 cats through the ADVANCE® Cat Adoption Centres in Vet Clinics around Australia.

Mars in New Zealand

Mars New Zealand has four business segments: Chocolate, Food, Petcare and Wrigley. Mars has been registered as a business in New Zealand since 1983; Wrigley, acquired by Mars in 2008, has been present in New Zealand since the DOUBLEMINT® brand was launched in 1923.

We import most of our products, including famous brands such as M&M'S®, SNICKERS®, MASTERFOODS®, UNCLE BEN'S®, ROYAL CANIN®, WHISKAS®, EXTRA® and PK®. But as New Zealand is a growing market for Mars, we recently committed NZ$10 million in developments to our Wanganui pet food plant.

Principles in Action

Like all Mars business units, Mars New Zealand applies the Five Principles both internally and in our dealings with business partners and suppliers.

We partner with Mars Australia on initiatives such as Rainforest Alliance certification for the cocoa in our MARS® bars and our efforts to reduce the saturated fat content of MILKY WAY® and MARS® bars.

Mars New Zealand has introduced many sustainability initiatives, including energy reductions and paper-saving and recycling programs at its head office. We offer Associates ways to improve their health and fitness, such as health checks to measure fitness level, cholesterol and blood pressure. Just on 80 percent of Associates are taking part in the Global Corporate Challenge which encourages exercise and healthy eating. Mars New Zealand has consistently performed well and won awards in the JRA Best Workplaces Awards.

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