SUBSCRIBE

Breaking News on Food & Beverage Development - EuropeUS edition | APAC edition

News > Market Trends

Read more breaking news

 

 

Mars to source 100% of its rice sustainably

Niamh Michail

By Niamh Michail+

27-Oct-2015
Last updated on 27-Oct-2015 at 15:26 GMT2015-10-27T15:26:21Z

Mars to source 100% of its rice sustainably

Food giant Mars has said it will sustainably source 100% of its rice by 2020.

Owner of the world’s biggest rice brand, Uncle Ben’s, and member of the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP), Mars made the announcement today at an annual SRP plenary meeting held in Manila, Philippines.

The SRP set up in 2011 to establish environmental standards for sustainable rice production. Created by institutional giants, the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it describes itself as an alliance that links research, production, policy making, trade and consumption.

The SRP’s standard contains 46 requirements that include productivity, food safety, worker health, labor rights, and biodiversity, and Mars pledged to  use the standard as a benchmark  to assess its rice supply chains, identifying gaps and developing strategies to improve sustainability. 

President of Mars Food Fiona Dawson said: "Through the global standard, we hope to create benefits for all involved from the farmers to our consumers.  The benefit for us is that is that we are ensuring premium quality rice, whilst also ensuring a higher income for farmers, and a better environment for current and future generations. It is a truly mutual solution."

The food giant said it had already begun to put the standard in practice as part of pilot schemes in Pakistan and India. In partnership with other SRP members – Rice Partners, LTD, IRRI and Bayer CropScience – it said that 400 smallholder farmers now produce Basmati rice using the correct application of chemicals and harvesting their crops in ways that improve food safety and water quality.

Other SRP members include Kellogg, Syngenta and UTZ.

One fifth of the world’s population depends on rice cultivation for their livelihoods, and the food staple makes up 20% of the daily calorie intake for more than 3.5bn people.

Related products

Key Industry Events

 

Access all events listing

Our events, Shows & Conferences...