SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva, Glenn Rossman, Ava Smith, Elizabeth White

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Mars Food Marks 35 Years in Greenville, Mississippi

Gov. Phil Bryant congratulates the company, proclaims "Mars Food North America Greenville" Day

GREENVILLE, Miss., Dec. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Mars Food North America, maker of UNCLE BEN'S® and SEEDS OF CHANGE® products, marked 35 years in Greenville, Miss., with an event on Friday, December 13 that was attended by Mississippi Development Authority Brent Christensen, Greenville Mayor John Cox, and other elected officials.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131213/SF33575)

In recognition of Mars Food's community contributions over the last 35 years, numerous dignitaries offered remarks and presentations including Mayor Cox who presented a key to the city to Mars Food Greenville.  Along with government officials, company representatives planted the Mississippi State Tree, a Southern Magnolia, at the factory site to mark the occasion in the "Magnolia State."

"I would like to congratulate Mars Food North America on its 35 years of successful operations in Greenville," said Gov. Phil Bryant. "With more than three decades of providing jobs in the Mississippi Delta, Mars Food has proved to be an outstanding corporate partner with the state of Mississippi and I wish them many more years of success in our state."  In an official proclamation, Gov. Bryant also declared December 13 as "Mars Food North America Greenville Day."

"We have been a proud member of the community for 35 years and it is an honor to be recognized for our contributions," said Sherry Day, Mars Food Greenville Plant Director.  The plant is celebrating its 35th year of operations in 2013 by completing a $42 million multi-year investment and plans are underway for expansion in the years ahead. 

Mars opened its plant in Greenville in 1978 with 5 packaging lines and 1 processing line.  Increasing market demand necessitated convenience lines to be added in 1987, a Ready to Heat area added in 2007, and a new milled rice area added 2011.  Today, the plant sits on 110 acres of property, has 250,000 square feet of space, and has close to $140 million in fixed assets.  More than 160 associates in Mississippi manufacture products under iconic brands such as UNCLE BEN'S®, SEEDS OF CHANGE®, and ABU SIOUF®, which is exported to Middle East. 

"Thank you Greenville for being a great neighbor and community partner!" Sherry said.   

About Mars Food: 

Mars Food Global Headquarters is based in Brussels, Belgium, where it also oversees the Mars Drinks business.  More than 2,000 Associates are employed at 10 manufacturing sites around the world.  Mars Food North America is based in Rancho Dominguez, California and has 2 manufacturing sites – one in Greenville, Mississippi and one in Bolton, Ontario, Canada.   Mars Food is dedicated to creating Better Food Today and A Better World Tomorrow. The company seeks to make everyday meals tastier, healthier and easier, and to serve more communities responsibly.  Its 12 brands are UNCLE BEN'S®, DOLMIO®, MASTERFOODS®, MIRACOLI®, SUZI WAN®, KAN TONG®, SEEDS OF CHANGE®, ROYCO®, EBLY®, ABU SIOUF®, RARIS® and PAMESELLO®.

Mars Food North America is the North American food operations of Mars, Incorporated.  In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars' first roots as a confectionery company.  In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar.  In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of  building a business based on the philosophy of a "mutuality of benefits" for all stakeholders – this vision serves as the foundation of the Mars, Incorporated we are today.  Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion and six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience.  More than 72,000 Associates worldwide are putting our Mars Principles in action every day to make a difference for people and the planet through our performance.

Mars brands include: 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 – ALTERRA COFFEE ROASTERS™, THE BRIGHT TEA CO.™, KLIX® and FLAVIA®; Symbioscience –SERAMIS®, CIRKU™ and COCOAVIA™.  For more information, please visit www.mars.com.

About the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand
The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand, the number one rice brand in America, is proud to offer a wide range of rice dishes with flavors and grains that will help bring more to your meals, both for convenient side dishes and savory main courses. The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand offers a wide variety of white, whole grain brown, and flavored rices in cook times ranging from 90 seconds to 30 minutes, as well as rice for food service operations such as restaurants, schools and hospitals. The first mass-produced parboiled rice, UNCLE BEN'S® Brand is the top-selling branded rice in the United States and products can be found in more than 100 countries worldwide. The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand products are manufactured by Mars Food North America, part of Mars, Incorporated. For more information, visit www.unclebens.com.

About the SEEDS OF CHANGE® Brand

Seeds of Change® was founded in 1989 by passionate gardeners with a vision to make organically grown seeds available to gardeners and farmers, while preserving countless heirloom seed varieties in danger of being lost to the "advances" of modern industrial agriculture. For over 20 years, we have remained true to our original vision by offering the largest selection of organic seeds in the industry, including heirloom, traditional, and rare seeds. Our seeds are produced through a network of certified organic family farms and professional growers. Through these partnerships, we continually cultivate, study and develop seeds with the goal of producing the finest certified organic, open-pollinated varieties to share with our fellow gardeners and farmers. In 1997 our business expanded to also include Organic Food inspired by the notion that great taste and sustainability go hand in hand. We now offer a wide variety of Dry and Ready to Heat organic Rice and Grain varieties as well as organic cooking sauces.  Seeds of Change® is a 2013 Vegetarian Times Foodie Award winner. For more information about Seeds of Change® visit www.seedsofchange.com for our seed products and www.seedsofchangefoods.com for our food products.

Contact: Alice Nathanson
714-856-0902

SOURCE Mars Food North America

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