Uncle Ben’s Basmati Rice now 100% sustainable rice standard sourced
The rice industry first is part of parent company Mars Food’s commitment to source all of its rice varieties from SRP standard farmers by 2020.
Matt Cutts, product director at Mars Food Europe, said: “With more and more consumers, when eating out, wanting to know where their food comes from and that the dishes they buy are produced sustainably, the ability for outlets to highlight the sustainability credentials of their food has never been greater.
“Operators using Uncle Ben’s rice have always trusted the high-quality of the rice and now they can be proud that their favorite rice brand is on a journey to be sustainable.”
The rice is sourced from India and Pakistan, where a 2016 pilot project to test SRP technologies found that new growing techniques delivered an 8% increase in yield, 30% reduction in water, and 32% increase in net income among farmers, according to Mars Food's global sustainable sourcing director Luc Beerens.
Previous rice production practices used approximately 40% of the world’s irrigation water, and was responsible for up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The Sustainable Rice Platform is a multi-stakeholder initiative co-convened by UN Environment and the International Rice Research Institute, and a standard which Mars Foods has worked through since 2013.
James Lomax of UN Environment said: “We have greatly appreciated Mars Food’s leadership as a first-mover and front-runner within the SRP and are pleased to see that Mars Food is building upon the standard in its own supply chain through implementation of additional impact programs.”