Tilda is committed to safeguarding the long-term sustainability of Basmati rice farming. Basmati rice is a slow-growing crop with comparatively low yields. It is typically produced on small-scale family farms and is vulnerable to climate which is why it can only be grown in specific regions of India and Pakistan.
We know every agricultural practice has some impact on the environment and Tilda has a long standing commitment to reducing the environmental impact of Basmati rice farming. In order to address the challenges associated with Basmati rice cultivation in 1983 Tilda established the Farmer’s Advisory Cell (FACE) an agricultural extension service providing advice to farmers throughout the growing season and access to certified Pure Basmati seed on a not-for-profit basis. FACE is entirely funded by Tilda and yet farmers are not obliged to sell their rice to Tilda in return for accessing this service.
Tilda also established the Foster Farm to identify optimal growing techniques to reduce the application of inputs such as water and fertiliser. The benefits of this practical knowledge was shared with farmers via the Tilda outreach programme: FACE. Farmers can trust the knowledge gained on the farm because only techniques that had been proven over three seasons were passed on, so farmers were less exposed to risk.
Basmati rice cultivation has enjoyed tremendous success over the last 20 years as the popularity of this rice continues to grow. In Haryana State, where much of Tilda’s Basmati rice is sourced, basmati generates the best return for farmers. This is because there is high demand for Basmati rice on the international market.
Today farmers are faced with new challenges. To this end, Tilda is funding a direct-seeding project on 50 farms covering over 100 hectares which will reduce water consumption by up to 30% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Rice cultivation and rice milling produces many useful by products:
- Hay from the field feeds the cattle;
- Woody husks from the paddy rice are used as bedding under grass in children’s playgrounds or as biofuel for electricity and the ash is then used for bricks to build houses;
- Bran layers that are removed during milling to produced white rice contain high levels of vitamin B and other minerals, this ‘rice bran’ is used as a nutritious ingredient in animal feed for thoroughbred horses
- Any Basmati grains that are broken during the rice milling process are removed during the milling process
Tilda is part of the Sustainable Rice Platform which is a multi-stakeholder platform co-convened by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the International Rice Research Institute to promote resource efficiency and sustainability in trade flows, production and consumption operations, and supply chains in the global rice sector.
To find out more about the Sustainable Rice Platform please visit: www.sustainablerice.org
Everyone at Tilda is committed to constant improvement and achieving a sustainable supply chain.
Ethical Auditing of Suppliers
Tilda is a member of Sedex Global – an independent not for profit body which audits the ethical performance and transparency of our supply chain and covers:
- Labour Standards
- Health and Safety
- The Environment
- Business Ethics
In the latest reporting year Tilda achieved a score of 100%.
Tilda & United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Partnership
Since 2012 Tilda has partnered with the World Food Programme to help combat low birth weight and give kids the best start in life. Through the ‘Mums Helping Mums’ campaign, Tilda has so far donated over 4 million nourishing meals to the World Food Programme, helping thousands of mothers to give their unborn and young children the best start in life. For every specially-marked pack of Tilda Pure Basmati Dry and pouch of Tilda Steamed Basmati sold, Tilda has donated at least one nutrition-boosting meal to new and expectant mums in Bangladesh. Click here for last year’s campaign.
For more information about the World Food Programme visit: www.wfp.org
The packaging we use at Tilda is chosen to ensure the best quality products for our customers. We are using a barrier film to not only provide a longer shelf life for our products, but also to significantly reduce food wastage. Unfortunately, this means that not all of our packaging is currently recyclable. Tilda is working to find a long term sustainable solution to all our packaging. To this end, we recently launched a new range of dry rice blends in handy 375g sized cartons that are 100% recyclable.
With regards to the pouches specifically, they are made up of several different layers of material and are not currently commercially recyclable in the UK. The laminate part of pouch which is in contact with food cannot be made of recycled content but we are looking into whether the other layers can be.
We subscribe to the Green Dot scheme which encourages manufacturers to reduce packaging. It signifies that for each piece of packaging, a financial contribution is paid to a packaging recovery organisation.
The Felix Project – United Kingdom
Tilda supports The Felix Project which collects surplus food from suppliers, and delivers it to charities helping the homeless as well as helping other disadvantaged adults and children get access to high quality food.
The Felix Project provides food for over 1 million meals a year, and is growing rapidly. From a standing start in 2016, The Felix Project currently works with over 120 charities and 90 suppliers. You can find out more from: thefelixproject.org