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The Rice Challenge is BACK!

The fairandfunky 90kg rice challenge is BACK! It’s been a while since we last took on the challenge so we thought we’d write a little blog about why we take on the challenge from Just Trading Scotland.

A couple of years ago we were lucky enough to meet Webster and Howard, rice farmers from Malawi – The Chair and Vice-Chair of the Kaporo Smallholder Farmers Association (KASFA) respectively, they were touring the UK to share their experiences of life in Malawi, and how partnerships with Just Trading Scotland have made a remarkable difference to their farming communities.

In 2008, Webster and Howard joined farmers across Northern Malawi to discuss how to address their problems of food insecurity; they stood up alongside community leaders with a clear message: “We cannot continue to live in poverty, we need change!” As KASFA they were able to forge a partnership with Just Trading Scotland, to open new markets for their food crops, to increase incomes and to work together to alleviate poverty. Now with over 7000 members KASFA empowers farmers by opening up markets to small holder farmers, enabling them to live with dignity and hope.

Being part of KASFA, gives voice to the small producer. Farmers have been able to access training, high quality seeds, and farming equipment; all of which have increased yields, and thus incomes. With an increased income farmers have been able to afford to send their children to school, have invested in ox-carts, mobile phones and more. All of these may seem small to us, but these are profound changes.

It is paramount that there is a customer base for the rice. Without consumers in the UK buying the rice, farmers would not have an income, or food to eat. It matters to us that people are paid a fair wage in return for the work that they do. We are all connected; and there are people behind every single product we use, wear, eat, every day. Do you always know where your food comes from? It is so humbling to know that the simple action of us buying a bag of rice here in the UK can change the world for farmers in Malawi.

photo credit: Just Trading Scotland

And change we do make. Together with schools, organisations, local businesses and people like you, fairandfunky have actually taken on the 90kg rice challenge 14 times in the last ten years! And this year we embark on our 15th challenge!!

Will YOU be part of it? Howard and Webster told us that the slogan of KASFA is “The future belongs to the organiser.” Let us get organised, let us make noise, and let us all take little steps to change the world.

Take a step right now! Head to our website here: to buy a bag of rice and with our partnership with The Welcome Centre in Huddersfield you can also choose to buy rice and donate directly to them.

Thank you for taking your own little steps to change the world.

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