Less poverty thanks to fair trade organic rice
Rice is the most important food for many people in the world. Innovative projects for sustainable rice cultivation are called for in order to ensure long-term security of supply. We support such projects in India and Thailand.
Almost all Asian rice sold under our own-label brands – over 98 per cent – is now fair trade. Together with our subsidiary Reismühle Brunnen, however, we are going a step further: In mid-2011, we launched an ambitious project together with Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation in three rice farming groups in India and a rice cooperative in Thailand. Under the professional supervision of Helvetas, the farmers switch to organic farming methods while at the same time attempting to cut water consumption through innovative approaches. Reducing greenhouse gases through alternative cultivation techniques is an important part of the project, as large quantities of methane are generated in wet rice cultivation.
Improved living conditions
The primary aim is to reduce poverty among smallholders by means of secure long-term incomes thanks to minimum prices and bonuses as well as improved self-sufficiency. In addition to rice, the farming families cultivate pulses and vegetables and sell them at the local market.
Transparent value chain
The local rice mills have been modified for sustainable processing, and Reismühle Brunnen imports rice directly from these mills, thereby ensuring complete transparency in the value chain. We launched the first fair trade perfume rice from the Thailand project under Naturaplan, and organic fair trade perfume rice from Thailand and basmati rice from India have also been available since 2013.