A LOVE STORY

MISSION & VISION

MISSION

LEAD THE WAY IN RICE FARMING PRACTICES that simultaneously
mitigate climate change, promote farmers’ resilience, and empower women.

VISION

To Change How Rice Is Grown Around the World.

WHY WE ARE COMMITTED

RICE IS LIFE

Natural Resources

Climate Impact

Labor Intensive

Livelihoods

How we make it happen

Sourcing

We source rice from smallholder farmers, giving them access to international markets.

Premium Pricing

We pay organic and Fair Trade premiums to increase incomes and attract the next generation.

Community Development

We help fund local improvement projects and job growth with Fair Trade social premiums.

Regenerative

We promote organic and regenerative More Crop Per Drop® to restore natural resources, slow climate change.

Innovative Products

We strive to make healthy rice-based products more accessible and enable more farmers to benefit.

Advocacy

We advocate for a more just, equitable food system together with like-minded brands and partners.

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More Crop Per Drop®

That’s how we refer to the agroecological rice-growing method System of Rice Intensification (SRI). Farmers do not need special seeds or agrochemicals. They boost yields by changing how they grow rice to optimize the plants’ development. They transplant younger single seedlings at wide spacing in rows, not random clumps of older seedlings. This reduces transplant shock and competition among plants, and enables mechanical weeding. Soils are kept moist, not flooded, promoting soil health and root growth.

Conventional vs. More Crop Per Drop®

Conventional
vs.
More Crop Per Drop®

Conventional

Any seed variety;
27-45 lbs needed per acre

More Crop Per Drop®

Heirloom & local varieties;
2-5 lbs needed per acre





BENEFIT:

Up to 90% fewer seeds needed; cost savings; smaller nurseries to manage

Conventional

21-60 days old seedlings planted randomly in clumps of up to 5 seedlings

More Crop Per Drop®

8-15 days old seedlings planted in rows at wide spacing; 1 plant per hole




BENEFIT:
Less transplant shock and competition among plants promotes growth.

Conventional

Continuously flooded fields; 360-600 gallons per 1lb rice

More Crop Per Drop®

Moist fields or alternate drying & flooding; ±180 gallons per 1lb rice




BENEFIT:
25-50% less water used; 40% less methane emissions when fields are not continuously flooded.

Conventional

Manual removal or herbicides

More Crop Per Drop®

Rotary weeder removes weeds and aerates the soil




BENEFIT:
Faster weeding. Farmers can weed in an upright posture.

Conventional

Inorganic fertilizer and chemical pesticides

More Crop Per Drop®

Organic fertilizer; promotes root growth & soil health




BENEFIT:
Improves soil health for better plant health.

Conventional

Backbreaking repetitive tasks, mostly by women done in standing water

More Crop Per Drop®

Fewer lighter seedlings to plant, faster weeding, and no standing water




BENEFIT:
Less work, less time working bent over, less exposure to health hazards.

Conventional

Fewer tillers, smaller roots from flooding. Plants fall over easily in storms.

MCPD

Improved soil health promotes deeper, larger roots and anchors plants.




BENEFIT:
Up to 2-3X more rice harvested; increased income. Less pressure on natural habitats to raise yields.

25 years and growing

  • 1995

    • First sale of Bhutanese Red Rice.
    • First sale and trademark of Forbidden Rice®, pioneers in pigmented rice.
  • 1996

    • Introduce the first certified organic jasmine rice sold in US.
  • 1997

    • First in-store demos.
  • 1998

    • Forbidden Rice® wins a Specialty Foods sofi™ Award (the first of 16 sofi™ awards).
  • 1999

    • Supply chain trip through Bhutan, Thailand, Laos and China.
  • 2000

    • Launch of Kaipen (freshwater green algae) and Rice Flour (red, black and white rice blended with Kaipen).
    • Introduce Kalijira Rice, a “baby basmati” from Bangladesh.
  • 2001

    • First trade show, Natural Products Expo East.
  • 2002

    • First strategic plan.
  • 2003

    • Union Bank and Costco provide credit to fuel growth.
  • 2004

    • Launch products at Whole Foods Market.
    • Hire first salesperson.
    • Win 6 sofi™ awards.
  • 2005

    • Introduced to System of Rice Intensification (SRI) by Cornell University.
  • 2006

    • Visit Madagascar to meet SRI farmers and do field audits.
  • 2007

    • Visit SRI farmers in Cambodia.
    • First investor pitch.
  • 2008

    • Commit at Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting to creating 3 SRI supply chains.
    • Global recession hits, rice export bans implemented and we lose access to Kalijira Rice.
  • 2009

    • Import 1 container each of SRI-grown rice from Cambodia, Indonesia and Madagascar.
  • 2010

    • Brand refresh – brand SRI as More Crop Per Drop®.
    • Introduce retail bags of Madagascar Pink Rice, Mekong Flower Jasmine Rice and Volcano Rice (first rice ever to be certified Fair for Life).
    • Hire first full-time sales manager.
    • Move from home office to Richmond warehouse office.
    • Develop relationships with New Resource Bank, RootCapital and Grassroots Business Fund.
    • First Angel Investors.
  • 2011

    • Good Morning America touts health benefits of black rice, showing Lotus Foods Forbidden Rice® bag.
  • 2012

    • Receive More Crop Per Drop® (MCPD) registered trademark rights.
    • Become a B Corp.
  • 2013

    • Begin innovating value-added rice-based products, starting with Organic Heat & Eat Rice Bowls.
  • 2014

    • Introduce Rice Ramen Noodle Soup singles and Organic Rice Ramen 4 packs.
  • 2015

    • Introduce Arare Rice Crackers.
    • Team continues to grow.
  • 2016

    • Reincorporate as a Certified Benefit Corporation.
    • Organic Millet & Brown Rice Ramen go national in Costco.
    • Introduce Organic Dehraduni Basmati, the “Mother of all Basmati.”
    • Launch 10 new products to Whole Foods Market including Rice Delights.
  • 2017

    • Launch Do The Rice Thing Campaign.
    • Introduce Organic Pad Thai Rice Noodles.
  • 2018

    • Introduce Rice Ramen Instant Noodle Soup Cups.
    • Expand into new office space.
  • 2019

    • Win both gold for Dehraduni Basmati Rice and silver for Forbidden Rice® Pad Thai in the sofi™ Pasta, Rice, Grain Category.
    • Formalize board with addition of Neil Blomquist.
    • Hire first C-level position, President/COO.
  • 2020

    • Basmati Rice is the first Regenerative Organic Certified™ (Silver) rice.
    • Celebrate 25 years of Doing the Rice Thing!
  • 2021

    • Chronicle Books agrees to publish Lotus Foods' first cookbook - RICE IS LIFE launching September 2022.
    • WFM accepts our new Quick Cook Rice for a Spring 2022 national launch.
  • Meet Our Farming Community

    PraTithi Organic Foods Pvt. Ltd.

    Lotus Foods Partner Since 2019

    location

    Uttar Pradesh, India

    Product

    White & Brown Basmati Rice

    about

    PraTithi Organic Foods, a pioneer and leading champion of organic farming in India, partners with small and marginal farmers, preserving traditional knowledge and local crop varieties with eco-friendly techniques, like the System of Rice Intensification (More Crop Per Drop®) to produce the best yields and quality. Farmers producing heirloom Basmati rice for Lotus Foods qualified for Regenerative Organic Certified®/Silver.

    Dalian HongRen Whole Grain Foodstuffs Co., Ltd.

    Lotus Foods Partner Since 1995

    location

    Heilongjian province, China

    Product

    Organic Forbidden® Rice, Heirloom Forbidden® Rice, Organic Jade Pearl Rice™

    about

    One our first and longest suppliers, Dalian Hongren in China has been a partner with us for over twenty years. Both our black Heirloom Forbidden Rice® and black Organic Forbidden Rice® are grown on small family farms in the Heilongjiang region of China's far Northeast provinces – an area that has some of the most fertile and unpolluted soils in China and has become the ‘organic’ food basket for the country. They also supply us with our Organic Jade Pearl Rice™, a consumer favorite, due to its fresh green color and taste.

    Foodtech Solutions (FTS) / Amnatcharoen Organic Agricultural Community Enterprise Network

    Lotus Foods Partner Since 2017

    location

    Amantcharoen Province, Thailand

    Product

    Organic White & Brown Jasmine Rice

    about

    Together, FoodTech Solutions and Amnatcharoen Organic Agricultural Community Enterprise Network are addressing the power imbalance between large millers and small producers. They apply ecological principles to revive on-farm soil fertility and produce certified organic rice to boost net farm income and community resilience. Network members meet for two hours of training each month and to exchange best practices.The Homali Rice they produce is some of the best aromatic rice grown in Thailand.

    Oasis / Surin Family Farms

    Lotus Foods Partner Since 2019

    location

    Surin, Thailand

    Product

    Organic Red Rice

    about

    OASIS (Organic Agriculture Social Enterprise Innovators of Surin) is a FLO-certified Small Producer Organization with about 650 small-scale farmer-members in Surin, Thailand. Many use More Crop Per Drop® methods. Founded in 2018, OASIS enables small-scale farmers to access premium markets. It has grown over the past few years to market red and white jasmine rice in addition to diversification with herbs and vegetables. OASIS exports its rice through its sister company, Surin Family Farms.

    Cambodian Organic Farm Enterprise (COFE) Co., Ltd.,

    Lotus Foods Partner Since 2008

    location

    Takeo, Cambodia

    Product

    Organic White & Brown Jasmine Rice

    about

    COFE grew out of pioneering work by the Cambodian NGO CEDAC to improve farmers’ food security and health by showing farmers how to grow more rice without toxic agrochemicals using System of Rice Intensification (More Crop Per Drop®). When formerly food-deficit farmers began producing surplus rice CEDAC organized them into organic cooperatives to sell their traditional jasmine. Lotus Foods was COFE’s first international buyer and sources organic and fair trade jasmine rice from them to this day. Fair trade premiums have been invested by communities to dig wells and ponds, buy milling equipment and even build a community store and meeting center.

    Bloom Agro

    Lotus Foods Partner Since 2009

    location

    Central Java, Indonesia

    Product

    Organic Tricolor Blend Rice

    about

    Bloom Agro supplies a blend of traditional Indonesian whole grain red and brown rices that make our Tricolor Blend Rice. This rice is certified organic and was the first rice ever to qualify for Fair for Life, the most demanding fair trade certification that exists. Besides fair pricing, it encompasses many other social and environmental concerns, including water use and gender equity. Bloom Agro partners with a group of youthful, entrepreneurial famers in Central Java.