Social enterprise starting a rice revolution

Web malawian high commissioner kena mphonda just trading scotlands  malcolm shannon ceo cotswold fayre paul hargreaves

Malawian High Commissioner Kena Mphonda, Just Trading Scotland's Malcolm Shannon and chief executive of Cotswold Fayre Paul Hargreaves

Just Trading Scotland has signed a deal to to distribute Malawian rice around the UK

Paul Cardwell's photo

3rd March 2016 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

A Scottish social enterprise has secured a contract to distribute Malawian rice to thousands of fine food retailers across the United Kingdom.

Just Trading Scotland (JTS) has signed a deal with Cotswold Fayre for its Kilombero rice product.

The Paisley based firm, which was supported by a £70,000 loan from Social Investment Scotland (SIS), works with smallholder farmers in Malawi, one of the world’s least developed countries, where around 85% of the population live in rural areas and agriculture accounts for a third of the country’s GDP.

Malawi's high commissioner to the UK, Kena Mphonda, wintnessed the announcement at a London event hosted by Cotswold Fayre.

The occasion was used to introduce Kilombero rice to the company’s customers for the first time, with many new retailers showing their support by placing orders for the premium rice brand. 

Malcolm Shannon, JTS managing director, said: “Bringing Kilombero rice to London was the next step to introduce Malawi’s wonderful Kilombero rice to more customers in the UK.

“The support and investment from SIS has allowed us to develop a world class product, and with Cotswold Fayre we will see Kilombero rice on shelves next to the very best in British fine food."

Alastair Davis, chief executive of SIS, added: “We are delighted that the JTS team have secured this deal with Cotswold Fayre for Kilombero rice.

“JTS is an excellent example of using the social enterprise business model to bring a consumer product to market, with the objective of making a significant and measurable social impact.  

“Fair trade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It helps to improve the financial position of these producers and ultimately provide them with more control over their lives.”