Sustainable rice is critical to meet the needs of a growing global population. Rice is the daily staple for more than 3.5 billion people and provides livelihoods for 19% of the world’s population. Yet rice farming has environmental impacts. Traditional rice production practices use approximately 40% of the world’s irrigation water, and are responsible for up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions – and demand for rice will only increase.
At Uncle Ben’s we’re committed to sourcing our rice in a way that creates shared benefits for our farmers, the environment, and the industry. Working through public/private partnerships and on the ground with our farmers, we can ensure a high-quality rice crop for the billions around the world who depend on it for their nutrition and livelihood.
We’ve worked with the UN Environment and the International Rice Research Institute to create the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP), an initiative that is driving the industry towards sustainability and we’ve committed to sourcing 100% of our rice from farmers working towards the SRP standard by 2020 – a first in the industry.
Uncle Ben’s Basmati Rice
• Uncle Ben’s sources its basmati rice from India and Pakistan, through farmer partnerships which enable us to trace our rice from field to fork.
• We work with suppliers and partners, such as the International Rice Research Institute, World Wildlife Fund and Helvetas, to share innovative farming methods with farmers.
• A 2016 pilot project to test SRP technologies in Pakistan demonstrated that new growing techniques delivered an 8% increase in yield, 30% reduction in water, and 32% increase in net income.
We’ve shown that sustainable rice can sustain a farmer’s livelihood. These innovations, if adopted throughout the industry, could fundamentally shift how rice is grown today, helping to protect the environment, lift farmers out of poverty, and meet future demand worldwide.
With our farmers working towards the Sustainable Rice Platform standard and adopting new farming techniques, Uncle Ben’s has been able to save enough water for 2 cups of water for every person on the planet!