Photo credit: Food Tank
Rice is a key food staple for more than half of the global population and supports more than 140 million smallholder farmers in the developing world. Unfortunately, rice production alone is currently responsible for 5 to 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and 35 to 45 percent of the world’s irrigated water use.
But it’s possible to improve production methods to prevent these environmental impacts while improving food security in the developing world. The U.N Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) recently announced the first-ever worldwide standard for sustainable rice production, as part of a partnership, the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP), at a kickoff workshop in Cambodia.
Mars Food is the first company to commit to the new standard, and will apply it to 100 percent of its rice by 2020, including Uncle Ben’s, which is the world’s largest rice brand. Mars is already piloting the new standard in Pakistan and India with practices that work to improve both food safety and water quality.
The standard implemented by the SRP includes 46 requirements for productivity, food safety, worker health, labor rights, and biodiversity, designed to reduce the environmental footprint of rice cultivation while improving the incomes of small farmers.
Read the full article: Food Tank