Kiwi organic rice company No.1 in South America
Organic Latin America, an organic rice processing and distribution company in South America owned by Kiwi company Ceres Organics and international partners, has risen to be the largest organic rice exporter out of South America in just five years.
Organic Latin America was founded five years ago by Ceres Organics and Thai, Danish, and Argentinian companies in order to provide South American organic rice growers with access to international markets.
Organic Latin America worked with growers in the Northern parts of Argentina and in Southern Brazil to help them improve processing systems and supply markets all over the world.
Managing Director of Ceres Organics Noel Josephson said the need to provide better market access to rice in other regions became apparent when there was a shortage of rice in China and India due to poor harvests.
“Poor harvests in Asia and the unpredictability of crops caused by climate change prompted us to look for a surplus of rice elsewhere in the world, and we found that parts of South America had a surplus and little international trade opportunities,” Mr Josephson said. “The work we have done with farmers in Brazil and Argentina around processing and access to markets – especially to markets in North America and Europe – has been so successful we have grown to be the largest organic rice exporter out of South America in a very short time,” he said. “We have also been working with an agricultural university in Argentina to improve organic farming methods.
“Organic agriculture is not only healthier for people but it’s also much better for the Earth than industrial agriculture as you don’t have chemical fertilisers, pesticides, and herbicides poisoning the land, and the earth’s resources such as soil, air and water quality are not degraded and depleted.”
Organics also helped revive small communities, creating jobs and income for farmers.
“For example with Organic Latin America we came across a rice miller whose business was struggling, so we assisted him to get organic certification so he could get his business going again by milling our rice. He now has a business for his family and is creating jobs and injecting money back into the local community.”
New Zealand-owned Ceres Organics is now the largest distributor of organic food in Australasia with over 360 certified organic products in the range. Originally started 30 years ago as an organic vege co-op working out of a garage, Ceres Organics currently employs 150 people with distribution across major supermarkets, health food and organics stores and works with suppliers and distributors globally.