Announcing New Partnership with Mars Food: Appraising Rice Supply Chains

The Institute for Development Impact is pleased to announce that our long-standing partnership with Mars, Incorporated is expanding. Recently, I4DI was awarded a contract with Mars Food to conduct four rapid appraisals of their rice supply chains in Cambodia, Thailand, India, and Pakistan.

Mars is committed to helping create a safe, healthy, and sustainable world for their partners and the communities in which they operate. As a key pillar of their Sustainable in a Generation plan, Mars looks to improve income for smallholder farmers to ensure they can maintain a decent standard of living, and to build their resiliency against climate and economic shocks. To that end, I4DI will generate evidence to help Mars understand the conditions, constraints, and opportunities for improving incomes at rice origin locations and to produce insights which will inform the design of new sustainable sourcing models.

I4DI’s rapid appraisals will include a targeted analysis of crop income, household income, and supply chain systems and a review of stakeholder perspectives to center constituent voice. The perspectives of women, with an eye to understand Mars’s potential role in supporting women’s economic empowerment, will be highlighted. Most importantly, the rapid appraisals will enable I4DI to calculate the Living Income Gap, or the gap between the actual income of farmers and the Living Income Benchmark, the average cost of a decent standard of living in a particular country. By understanding the extent of this gap, Mars Inc. will be better able to develop responsive and contextualized programs to reduce the smallholder income deficit, ultimately improving farmer and supply chain resiliency.

I4DI has already kicked off data collection activities in Cambodia. Our office in Battambang, the headquarters of our Tech for Green Cities project for USAID, will also serve as a hub for our enumerator team, who has begun to map the communes and villages our team will visit beginning in March. Along with the household survey, deployed to our sample of nearly 300 farmers, we will also be conducting key informant interviews with different supply chain actors to map supply chain activities and identify areas where additional support to farmers can be leveraged.

I4DI’s engagement with Mars Food builds upon our growing portfolio of corporate sustainability projects.

We are committed to supporting the bold action by the private sector to accelerate the global transition into a circular, shared, and regenerative economy. We work with businesses and their partners to strategize and strengthen their corporate sustainability plans, to monitor the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria affecting their supply chains and overall financial health, and to facilitate cross-sectoral partnerships for shared risk, resources, and reward. Our solutions help businesses to create and measure shared value for all stakeholders along their value chains.