The announcement marks a milestone for Paisley based firm JTS, with its first entry into the English fine food market. The new partnership will see the social enterprise, which works with Malawi’s smallholder farmers, distribute to new customers via Reading based Cotswold Fayre, bringing Kilombero rice to thousands of fine food shop retailers across the United Kingdom.
The announcement was witnessed by the Malawi High Commissioner to the UK, Mr Kena Mphonda, at a London event hosted by Cotswold Fayre.
JTS’ growth and the popularity of its Kilombero rice has been made possible thanks to Social Investment Scotland (SIS). The leading lender to the third sector provided a £70k loan to the social enterprise to allow it to meet growing consumer demand for fairly trade ethical foods.
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."
Paul Hargreaves, CEO of Cotswold Fayre added: “We are pleased to include Malawi’s Kilombero rice as one of our new products for our 2016 range. Cotswold Fayre not only believes in quality products but as a B Corporation prioritises products that make a difference to those who produce them. Kilombero rice ticks both boxes!”
Kilombero rice is grown and harvested by 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.