“Make sure you finish every grain of rice on your plate” - for many households, these are familiar words uttered, and one that is closest to discussing responsible food consumption and production.
For half the planet, rice is a daily fixture - a bowl on the table that has become ingrained in the day to day life. In the rice industry, however, culture, environment, market and many other external factors are intertwined, forming a complex web of sustainability issues behind this seemingly simple staple. Central to this topic are smallholder farmers who are especially vulnerable due to the rising effects of climate change. Perhaps just as dangerous as this reality is the lack of awareness among mass consumers towards the precariousness of our rice bowls.
Over the past decade, global attention towards the adverse environmental impact of meat production has led to massive shifts towards plant-based diets. Beef production, in particular, appears to have attained layman-level understanding of being highly damaging in regards to contribution towards greenhouse gas emissions. Yet it is probable that a significant number of us would be surprised, even horrified, to know that in the agricultural space, rice farming potentially produces greenhouse gas emissions on par with estimated 600 coal plants, according to a study released by the Environmental Defense Fund.
As a member of the Sustainable Rice Platform, Golden Sunland is dedicated in guiding farmer partners on sustainable farming methods. In tandem with this commitment is educating consumers on the value and need for sustainable rice production in the first place, and how consumers can actually contribute to this systemic transformation.