Just Trading Scotland, a Paisley-based fair trade organization, on Thursday launched rebranded Malawi Kilombero in Scotland during an event graced by Scottish Minister for Europe and International Development Humza Yousaf.
The rice, which is grown in Malawi, is now to be available in smaller, more convenient 500g and 1kg bags which can stand up on a shelf and are more suitable for high street shops.
Just Trading Scotland Chairman John Riches said Kilombero offers consumers a whole new way of buying and eating rice and they are delighted to bring the product to Edinburgh grocery store, Margiottas.
“We know that Scots want more opportunities to buy ethically sourced, fairly traded premium products. By purchasing Kilombero, we can all make a huge difference by helping to unlock the potential of people and communities and tackle inequality in Malawi and elsewhere.
“Many retailers, both large and small, have already expressed interest and we’re confident that we can convert that interest into sales. Hopefully, together, we can all start a rice revolution right here in Scotland,” said Riches.
Just Trading Scotland 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.
In his remarks, Margiottas Ltd Managing Director Franco Margiotta said they are delighted with the arrangement.
“We are delighted to support Just Trading Scotland and the Scotland-Malawi Partnership in this worthy cause. We hope to provide a convenient outlet for supporters to buy the Kilombero Rice in Scotland’s capital,” said Margiotta.
Speaking at the launch, Yousaf said the Scottish Government is proud to support Fair Trade and this launch by Just Trading Scotland of their ‘rice revolution’.
Yousaf said 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.
“I am delighted JTS through this launch are giving the people of Scotland further opportunity to make fair trade purchasing choices and therefore play a role in tackling inequality globally.
“I am also pleased that Margiottas has signalled its intention to sell Kilombero Rice and I hope that many other retailers will do the same – I’ve cooked with the rice myself, and it’s delicious,” said Yousaf.
Keith Bohannon, from the Scotland Malawi Partnership said his organisation is delighted to support the work of Just Trading Scotland in bringing this fairly traded Malawian rice to Scotland.
“Not only does it taste great but it also provides much needed opportunities for sustainable livelihoods for thousands of small holder formers in Malawi,” said Bohannon.