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In supermarkets these days you can find quite a few fair trade products available. Most of these are usually teas, coffees, and chocolates but there are others that also deserve a look and a purchase. Fair trade grains and rice are among them and are often far less appreciated.
Rice and grains are staples in many cultures. Rice is in fact the most widely consumed food in the world and over one billion people make their living off of rice production. These small farmers must often sell their rice and grains at prices that are far below their production costs, forcing them to live on meager incomes that fall well below poverty-line.
Fair trade attempts to rectify this problem and other related issues. Fair trade standards for rice and grain ensure that a minimum price is paid to producer co-ops, the use of agrochemicals is restricted, GMO planets are banned from use, pre-harvest lines of credit are offered to co-ops if requested, a fair trade premium is paid on top of the purchase price, and no forced or child labor is used.
To support the fair trade initiative, purchase rice and grains stamped with the fair traded certified logo. Any of the following five varieties are great choices to get you started buying fair trade.
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Lotus Foods works with small family farmers to grow rice sustainably and preserve local biodiversity. Mekong Flower Rice is grown by members of the Damrei Romeal Organic Producers Federation in Takeo Province, Cambodia. This rice is vegan, kosher, gluten-free, and 100% whole grain and also is free from GMOs.