Ambassador Berry’s Remarks for the Opening of the Mars Pet Food Factory

It is a great pleasure to be here today for the opening of this state-of-the-art factory. I have known John and Adrienne since I was the Director of the Smithsonian National Zoo.

Their generosity and dedication to conservation, to sustainable growth, and to the many organizations devoted to ensuring the health and well-being of all of God’s creatures – both humans and animals – is an inspiration to us all.

The Embassy community is also tremendously grateful to the Mars family for their kindness. They very generously donated treats for our Halloween party. These were very popular with our kids – both Australian and American – during Trick-or-Treating. No matter what anyone – mostly Curtis – tells you, I still say most of the Snickers bars made it to the kids.

I’m not the only fan of Mars products in the family. Our “Ambassadog,” Hapa, is a loyal consumer of Schmackos treats. After some extensive taste testing, they earned his highest rating of two paws up!

Given the Mars family’s dedication to conservation, wildlife, and sustainability, I was not surprised to hear that this factory was built to use less water and energy per ton of product and to put out less waste.

This is the hallmark of a company that – for many years – has been at the forefront in ensuring their ingredients are responsibly grown or gathered and are sourced from businesses that respect their workers and the environment.

President Obama has said that “[t]he old rules may say we can’t protect our environment and promote economic growth at the same time, but … we’ve always used new technologies — we’ve used science; we’ve used research and development and discovery to make the old rules obsolete.”

This facility – and Mars, Inc. as a whole – is concrete evidence of that fact. I’m thrilled that this American company will continue to lead the way in responsibly preserving the land and resources of this great country.

Hundreds of Australian and American companies take risks every year and decide to do business overseas. They bring their products and their ideas to new lands and make a go of it.

Mars came to Australia more than half a century ago. Hundreds of other companies have since joined them in making the U.S.-Australia bilateral trade and investment relationship one of our most important.

What we have realized over centuries of doing business together is that, when we work together, we all win. In part, that is because we share similar histories and core values. We share a strong work ethic and a belief that everyone deserves a fair go.

But it goes even deeper than that.

When President Obama was in Brisbane last November, he spoke about the traits we share. We are both nations of immigrants. Our forebears bequeathed to us a common desire to push toward the frontier, to seek the next challenge beyond the horizon, and to discover solutions before others even realize that there is a problem.

We know, as the President said, that “the future is ours to make.”

And we are making that future together with business people like you – and innovative and responsible companies like yours – leading the way.

We thank you for your dedication to environmentally cleaner, more efficient, and more sustainable manufacturing processes.

Even more, we thank you for your commitment to keeping our four-legged family members happier and healthier so that they can be with us longer.

Thank you.