This month, Mars Wrigley Australia celebrates the 40th birthday of its chocolate factory in Ballarat, Victoria. The factory produces some of Australia’s most well-loved chocolate brands such as MALTESERS®, MILKY WAY®, M&M’S®, MARS®, and PODS® with the help of more than 350 Associates.
Opened in November 1979 by the Premier of Victoria and members of the Mars family, the Ballarat factory has long been considered a leader within the Mars network. MILKY WAY® and MARS® were the first products to roll off the factory’s main bar line, and today the factory produces 18 billion chocolates every year.
The Ballarat factory is a Regional Technical Hub for Mars Wrigley’s global brand development and innovation pipeline. As a result, many of Mars Wrigley’s most celebrated innovations – including PODS® and M&M’S® Honeycomb were invented in Ballarat by Australian Associates.
On Thursday, 7 November, Mars Wrigley Australia’s Ballarat-based Associates took part in the 40-year milestone celebrations alongside the Mars family, who opened a commemorative reflection garden built for Associates’ enjoyment.
General Manager Mars Wrigley Australia, Andrew Leakey said, “The success of our Australian business is a testament to the hard work and passion of our Associates past and present. Their commitment and our Principles-led culture has allowed Mars Australia to continually be recognised as the #1 FMCG manufacturer in the Australian Great Place to Work rankings.
“As we look ahead to the next 40 years, we’re committed to exploring sustainable solutions to ensure we remain a competitive, local manufacturer. In line with our commitment to minimise our local carbon footprint, we’re proud that from the start of 2020 all of MarsAustralia’s local operations will be powered by 100% renewable energy.”
In 2018, Mars invested $14 million into the Ballarat factory to maintain and upgrade our operations. Ballarat is one of four Marsfactories in the world that manufactures and exports MALTESERS®, so back in 2012 Mars invested close to $50 million to build a new MALTESERS® production facility.
As part of the 40th anniversary celebrations, the Ballarat factory opened its doors to members of the public for the first time in October, with three residents chosen by Ballarat-based Associates to tour the factory and win a year’s supply of chocolate.