EDINBURGH (Kondwani Munthali)- Demand for Malawi’s Kilombero rice is growing and Just Trading Scotland (JTS) has invested about K50 million to re-brand and market the rice, starting with Scotland.
One of the major retailers in Scotland, Morgittas, is now stocking the new look Malawi rice.
The Scotland-Malawi Partnership (SMP) supported the project of JTS in bringing fair trade Malawian rice to Scotland.
Scottish Minister for Europe and International Development Humza Yousaf hopes to create a ‘rice revolution’ in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh by persuading consumers to buy this ethically sourced rice and, in turn, help to benefit the lives of smallholders in Malawi.
Yousaf recently met with Paisley-based JTS as Edinburgh grocery store, Margiottas, took stock of the organisation’s new premium Kilombero rice product.
The product has since been launched following an investment of 70 000 British pounds from Social Investment Scotland (SIS) and aims to meet growing consumer demand for ethical foods.
Speaking at the launch, Yousaf said: “The Scottish government is proud to support fair trade and this launch by JTS of their ‘rice revolution’. This is a further demonstration of Scotland’s commitment as a fair trade nation to making a real difference to the lives of farmers and their families in the developing world by paying them a fair price for their goods.”
In Scotland, Kilombero rice was previously being sold in one kilogramme (kg) and three kg catering style bags, but the rebranded product will be sold in smaller, more convenient 500 grammes and one kg bags, which can stand up on a shelf and are more suitable for high street shops.
On his part, John Riches, chairperson at JTS, said: “Kilombero offers consumers a whole new way of buying and eating rice and we are delighted to bring our product to Margiottas.”
JTS has already built up a successful order book by challenging fair trade shops, charities, churches, schools and other groups to sell 90kg of Kilombero rice—enough to enable a Malawian farmer to pay for one year of basic secondary education for one child.