Malawi’s kilombero rice, best known for its long grain and aroma has been rated highly in the United Kingdom (UK), emerging the most ethical rice on the market.
A latest review by Ethical Consumer, which is the UK’s leading alternative consumer organisation, kilombero leads 22 other rice brands and got 16 out of 20 scores, trailed by organico rice grown in Italy, at 15.5.
In the UK, kilombero rice is now found in many fine food retail shops following a partnership established in 2016 between Just Trading Scotland (JTS), a social enterprise working with Malawian smallholder rice farmers and a leading UK fine food distribution company called Cotswold Fayre.
The two firms distribute kilombero rice, acclaimed for its unique flavour, to fine food shop retailers across the UK.
Meanwhile, kilombero rice producers, Kaporo Smallholder Farmers Association (Kasfa), a member of the National Association of Smallholder Farmers in Malawi (Nasfam), have expressed delight at the news.
“It is our cash crop, our rescuer, our hope and our wealth. Much as we thank you who enjoy the product, we sincerely and humbly request you to whisper to your friends to join the team of ‘fair’ people by eating kilombero,” Msukwa is quoted having said in the article, published on JTS website www.jts.co.uk.
In an interview yesterday, Nasfam chief executive officer Betty Chinyamunyamu said this confirms the high quality of kilombero rice.
“The Nasfam brand is already associated with quality on the local and regional markets. So, we are pleased that we are now being recognised at the international level for both quality as well as ethical production.
“This will help us to increase our sales not only in the UK market but also in other export markets too,” she said.
JTS business manager Tracy Mitchell is quoted as describing the news as fantastic as the company celebrates 10 years of providing dignity through trade.
In 2016, when JTS entered into partnership with Cotswold Fayre, Malawi High Commissioner to the UK Ken Mphonda said the availability of Malawi rice in prime London markets was part of Malawi’s long-time efforts to diversify its export base, currently concentrated by few semi-processed commodities.