Less poverty thanks to fairly traded organic rice
For many people in the world, rice is their key food. Innovative projects for sustainable rice cultivation are vital to ensure security of supply in the long term. We support such projects in India and Thailand.
All the Asian rice for our own-label brands now comes from fair trade. Together with our subsidiary Reismühle Brunnen, however, we are going one step further: In mid-2011, with Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation we launched an ambitious project involving three rice farmers' groups in India and a rice cooperative in Thailand. With the professional support of Helvetas, the farmers are switching the rice fields to organic production while at the same time seeking to use innovative methods to reduce water consumption. Reducing greenhouse gases through the use of alternative cultivation techniques is a key aspect of the project, as wet rice-growing creates a lot of methane.
Improved living conditions
The overriding aim is to reduce poverty among small-scale farmers, with minimum prices and Fairtrade premiums, as well as greater self-sufficiency, to ensure a secure, long-term income. As well as rice, the farming families grow pulses and vegetables and sell them at the local market.
Transparent value chain
The local rice mills have been converted for sustainable processing. Reismühle Brunnen imports the rice directly from these mills, thus safeguarding a completely transparent value chain. Under Coop Naturaplan, we launched the first Fairtrade perfumed rice from the project in Thailand and, since 2013, organic Fairtrade perfumed rice from Thailand and basmati rice from India have also been available.