WHY A VERIFICATION ON RICE SPECIFICALLY?
An important crop commodity feeding the world: rice is the staple food for more than 3.5 billion people in the world and more than 144 million farmers cultivate rice in the world, representing 25% of farmers globally. The question of productivity becomes essential as global rice consumption is expected to increase by 13% between 2018 and 2027, requiring 500 million tons of milled rice per year.
High poverty levels in rice production: 1 in 4 farmers in the world is a smallholder rice farmer, earning an average of $2 to $7 per day from rice
A big environmental footprint: rice is the largest generator of GHG among all crops, just behind livestock due to swamp-like conditions caused by flood irrigation. It uses 30% of the world’s fresh water and is one of the main causes of habitat loss, both in wetlands and in forests.
Many climate change risks on the production: rice farmers are very vulnerable to the impacts of climate change (water level, salinity, temperature rise, drought, flooding)
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF SRP VERIFICATION?
Considering the challenges of the rice production, the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) promotes resource efficiency and climate change resilience in rice systems. SRP is the world’s first voluntary sustainability standard for rice assessing farms and entire value chains.
The SRP standard is the result of a global multi-stakeholder alliance launched in 2011 and led by UNEP (United Nations Environment Program), IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) and GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit). With more than 100 members (governmental agencies, universities, supply chain actors) SRP is driving more sustainable practices within the rice sector.
SRP is now an independent member association, working together with its partners to transform the global rice sector by improving smallholder livelihoods, reducing the social, environmental and climate footprint of rice production, and by offering the global rice market an assured supply of sustainably produced rice.
The SRP standard includes verification of three main areas:
THE 3 KEY SRP GUARANTEES
Minimize the environmental impacts of rice production and consumption
Improving smallholder incomes: By adopting practices in the SRP Standard, smallholder farmers can produce at lower cost, increase net incomes, protect their health, and reduce the environmental footprint of rice cultivation
Contribute to food security
THE NEW SUSTAINABLE RICE LABEL IS VERIFIED BY ECOCERT
Since April 2021, Ecocert, a specialist in the verification of sustainable practices, has decided to support rice stakeholders with SRP verification. Ecocert is pleased to verify a label on sustainable rice farming.
HOW WILL ECOCERT CARRY OUT THE SRP VERIFICATION?
To be assessed according to SRP, the auditor from Ecocert will audit the rice crop after harvest and then the chain of custody. It will ensure the traceability of the rice throughout the value chain and evaluate compliance against SRP. It is an audit that focuses on the continuous improvement of rice systems.
SRP SUCCESSES IN IMPLEMENTING SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES FOR RICE FARMING
Farm profitability with increased income (+10%*)
Reduction of water consumption through better water management (-20%*)
Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (-50%*)
*Estimated after the pilot phase (stage allowing to test the applicability of the standard in the field and to measure the impacts)
SRP GOALS FOR 2023
By 2023, SRP aims to reach 1 million rice farmers who are the first line of defense against global food insecurity and further environmental, economic and social degradation. GIZ is contributing significantly to reaching this target through the on-the-ground programs we are implementing in Asia and Africa with rice smallholders.