Environmentally friendly rice gets new UN-backed labelling

Environmentally friendly rice gets new UN-backed labelling: Rice that has been sustainably produced has a new label to help consumers to choose to buy to reduce their environmental impact has been launched.

A group of more than 100 public, private, research, financial and civil society organisations led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) called the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) that has produced the eco-label it is hoped, will enable consumers to track the rice back to its country of origin.

Rice farming consumes up to one-third of the world’s developed freshwater resources and generates up to 20% of global methane emissions, a potent greenhouse gas, more than 3.5 billion people rely on rice as a daily staple.

The crop will become the victim of rising global temperatures, with production expected to fall by 15% by 2050 due to climate change, according to the Food Policy Research Institute.

Employing best practices in rice farming is expected to reduce methane emissions from flooded rice fields by up to 50% and water use by around 20%.

UNEP adds, farmers can also boost their net incomes by 10% to 20% by switching to SRP practices.

Retailers can make significant and measurable contributions to sustainability commitments and climate change targets by stocking SRP-verified rice.

According to the SRP Standard, the scheme will be managed by Germany-based GLOBALG.A.P – the worldwide standard for good agriculture practices – which will oversee the approval of qualified verification bodies that will be responsible for the inspection of producers.

SRP Executive Director, Wyn Ellis, said: “SRP was established to address global environmental and social challenges in rice production. The Assurance Scheme offers supply chain actors a robust, cost-effective and transparent path to sustainable procurement. Consumers are increasingly demanding that food is produced sustainably and now they have a reliable way to choose environmentally friendly rice.”

Environmentally friendly rice gets new UN-backed labelling

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