Mars has partnered with IBM and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the sequencing of the cocoa genome and as a result IBM featured our strong partnership during their 100 year anniversary celebration.
On Thursday, June 16th IBM released a short film directed by an Academy Award winning director Davis Guggenheim called “Wild Ducks.” Following the theme of making the world a better place, IBM interviewed four partners who have transformed the world through unconventional thinking. IBM’s founding president and former chairman Thomas Watson, Jr. understood how important it is for a company and the world to have people who challenge the status quo. He called them “Wild Ducks.”
Representing Mars as the team leader of the cocoa genome project, Howard-Yana Shapiro is one of four partners featured in “Wild Ducks.” Each scenario in the film focuses on how IBM helped provide a solution for the unique and serious problems in which they were asked to partner.
We were proud to participate in this video because of the important role the genome plays in cocoa sustainability. The cocoa genome will enable cocoa farmers to grow a sustainable crop that is more resilient, higher yielding and drought and disease resistant. The genome also takes the guess work out of traditional plant breeding, by allowing farmers to breed plants with more favorable characteristics, so they can grow more cocoa on less land and diversify their source of income by producing other crops on the “extra” land.
And releasing the genome freely to the public domain has truly showcased Mars Principles in Action, so that everyone along the supply chain can benefit, starting with Farmers First.
Click here to view the film on YouTube.