Project Fair & Good
Ensuring the future with responsible action
In 1997, we added the first organic rice to our range. 5 years later, we began to procure fairtrade rice, first from Thailand, a year later from India. We are convinced that sustainable rice is the best choice for both producers and consumers. And because we believe that the combination of organic and fairtrade is ideal, we launched a unique project in 2011: the 'fair & good' sustainability project in India and Thailand. This project is also supported by Coop, Helvetas and other partners.
We work with Thai farmers who live in the dry north-east of Thailand, and Indian farmers who live in the north of India, in the so-called Foothills of the Himalayas, and grow high-quality organic rice. The traditional rice varieties - jasmine and basmati rice - are produced according to strict organic guidelines as well as our own sustainable guidelines.
Continuous training and support for farmers' own competencies are important foundations for the success of the project, which now includes over 4,000 small farmers. They farm their land, small areas of an average of 1 hectare, manually or by means of equipment they share with other farmers from the cooperative. The farmers can market their products under the Fairtrade label of Fairtrade International (FLOCERT). The Fairtrade-minimum price enables financial stability and serves as a safety net in case of fluctuations in prices. The Fairtrade premiums can be used to finance investments in the infrastructure of the cooperative or in general projects in the individual villages.
On-site project support and regular motivation visits are important pillars of the project. In this way, we ensure that the well-being of the individual farmers and of the community can be maintained. The "fair & good" rice project thus positively affects the people and the environment and secures their future. With the purchase of these delicious rice varieties more and more conscious consumers are improving the living conditions of the rice farmers.
21.06.2019 - Project India NBF
The rainy season in India was delayed this year. The rice in India was therefore planted later than usual. At the moment, we are hoping for an ideal rainy season for the rice. Continually, the water infrastructure is being expanded and ponds and solar pumps are set up. For example, a water tank was recently delivered to Patkot. Thus, the local cooperative is provided by a clean water supply because the drinking water is properly conveyed. 3900 biogas plants have already been built but 489 of them require maintenance. Furthermore, training in sustainable composting is needed. The compost can later be used as slurry for the fields.
21.06.2019 - Project Thailand OASIS
The rice in our project in Thailand has been planted in May. The weather and temperature was beneficial for the rice so far. Currently, we are waiting for a yield forecast from OASIS. Recently, the method 'laser land leveling' was conducted on one farm as a demonstration. Thereby, the variance in elevation could be reduced from 50cm to 4cm, which has a huge advantageous impact on water conservation. Other innovative projects related to yield enhancement, water management, weed management and biogas plants are being continuously introduced and tested at selected farms. Furthermore, we have launched another project to support and finance further training and projects to improve sustainable farming in close collaboration with the Coop Sustainability Fund.
01.09.2018 - OASIS
The thai NGO Rice Fund Surin was established 25 years ago. Lately, it had trouble achieving financial stability and there was disagreement in how to best overcome this. Finally, they decided to set up the social enterprise OASIS (Organic Agriculture Social Enterprise Innovators of Surin) to which the majority of the members of RFS migrated to. Meanwhile, OASIS counts 506 members. In the new organization the members interests and the different groups are better and equally represented. Before, the Fairtrade-Premiums were used thematically but now every group is guaranteed a part of the Fairtrade Premiums what makes it fairer.
Results of the project:
- More biodiversity
- Increase harvest yield
- Secure and up to 30% higher total income of farmers
- Additional income by marketing of vegetables and other crop rotation products
- Water consumption reduced by 30%
- Reduction of greenhouse gases by 20-30%
- More cooperation among farmers
- Realization of Community projects and improvement of the infrastructure through fairtrade premium
Impressions from Thailand
Impressions from India
- The story behind Coop organic and fairtrade Basmati rice
- Actions, not words: Where is this rice from?
- Sustainable production of organic and fairtrade rice
- Sustainable production of organic and fairtrade rice in Uttar Pradesh, India
- The private sector as a driver for sustainable rural development
- "We give farmers planning certainty"
- Studie: Does organic farming provide a viable alternative for smallholder rice farmers in India