Melodie Bolin, Mars ambassador at Vredeseilanden/VECO

Melodie Bolin, Mars ambassador at Vredeseilanden/VECO


The past four weeks we had a temporary colleague from Mars working at our headoffice. Mars Incorporated is one of world's leading food manufacturers known for its chocolates, candy and pet care products. VECO works together with Mars in a joint cocoa program in Indonesia.

To give Mars associates worldwide the opportunity to show their personal commitment to making a difference to people and the planet, Mars sends out its Ambassadors. We had the honor to welcome Melodie Bolin at our office. Melodie is working as a Petcare Marketing associate in Nashville, USA. During this month she helped us developing a marketing campaign on scarcity of food resources towards the food sector. These are her impressions…

A view from the outside

It has been my good fortune to be able to spend four weeks at the VECO headquarters getting to know the mission and the amazing people that work here. Since I had no prior knowledge of the organization or its mission, I was uniquely positioned to bring an external view. This experience has been nothing short of eye-opening and completely rewarding for me and I am more than happy to share my perspective with the broader team.

You are a humble group of people who give yourselves too little credit. The things that are being done — not just with the farmer projects in the South — but the networking efforts, educational sharing opportunities and connection-building in the North, is truly remarkable. No other organization in the NGO sector is working in quite this way or performing this same service. You recognize that simply getting more farmers to farm will not change the world and so you make connections, build bridges, lobby governments and work with large corporations. All in an effort to bring these sustainable foods and implement these changes in the marketplace. I can’t tell you how reassured I am that there are people and organizations tackling the difficult problem of food scarcity that is rapidly approaching. You are making sure that the people who stand to win the most from solving that food shortage are getting the support, education and resources that they need. It makes you unique and sets you apart and should be celebrated.
You are bigger than Belgium and your projects in the South. The rest of the world needs to know who you are. Sustainable food is important to all of us. We live in a global culture and that includes our food. We all want to know where our food is coming from and that the people who are growing and distributing it are getting a fair deal along the way.

Sustainable food is a fast-growing trend in the US, as well as in many other countries, and you are situated in the perfect position to capitalize on this movement and use it to raise awareness globally. If you want to change how people shop and how people eat, then first thing you need to change the way they think. When consumers start asking for sustainable food sourcing, large corporations will change their practices to accommodate that demand. The most important thing you can do is to create public awareness of sustainable food sourcing and the critical role that VECO plays in this process. Now go out and tell the world about it!

Read more on Melodie's blogspot.