Food Giants Commit to Testing World’s First Sustainable Rice Standard

Food Giants Commit to Testing World’s First Sustainable Rice Standard

by Vikas Vij

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 8:00am



Rice is a food staple to more than half of the world’s seven billion people. A large part of rice consumption occurs in Asia, where it is a staple for a majority of the population, including the region’s 560 million hungry people. At the current global population growth rate, the world will have to grow 50 percent more rice by 2050.

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) recently convened a group of companies, scientists and government agencies to launch the world’s first global standard for sustainable rice. Called the Sustainable Rice Platform Standard, it is created to ensure rice is produced in ways that are good for the environment, profitable to farmers, and healthy for consumers.

Leading food and agricultural companies that have committed to testing the standard include Kellogg’s, Mars Foods, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Ahold B.V., and Syngenta. Mars Foods, maker of popular rice brand Uncle Ben’s, aims to achieve 100 percent sustainable sourcing of its rice by 2020. Kristin Hughes, global corporate affairs director of Mars Foods, said that with the new global standard, the company can achieve its goal.

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Image Credit: Flickr via siebe

Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of "The Power of Money" (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer for an international social project for developing nations "Decisions for Life" run in collaboration between the ILO, the University of Amsterdam and the Indian Institute of Management.