Meet our member: LT Foods Limited
Working alongside our members to feed the world. Sustainably.
SRP, together with our members and partners, is dedicated to transforming the global rice sector throughout the entire value chain for a healthier, more inclusive and sustainable future. In this interview series we ask SRP members and partners why they joined SRP, the main trends and developments they see in the industry, as well as their vision for the sector.
In this interview Vikram Mehla, Head of Agribusiness, Haryana (India) from LT Foods Limited shared with us the company’s vision and mission, how LT Foods Limited focuses on sustainable development and talks about their projects and activities related to SRP.
Company Name: LT Foods Limited
Contact: Vikram Mehla; Head – Agribusiness, Haryana (India)
SRP member since: 2017
Primary Activity: Engaged in specialty rice and rice products business across the globe.
1. Tell us about your company, your mission, and why sustainability is important for you?
LT Foods is a 70-year-old consumer foods company that is a leading player in the specialty rice and rice products business across the globe, delivering the finest quality and taste experience in more than 60 countries. The company has an integrated “Farm to Fork” approach from farmer engagement to well-entrenched distribution network with global supply chain hubs.
We are committed to nurturing goodness for people, community and the planet. We constantly strive to take measures to ensure sustainability in all our processes and systems in line with our ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) goals.
We are also to ensuring adoption of SRP objectives throughout our rice value chain while being specially focused on making a positive impact on the lives of our farming partners and the communities in which we are present. We believe that sustainability should be at the core of all practices and the rice that we process, our brands and other products should reflect this commitment.
2. Tell us about your experience as an SRP member. When and why did you decide to join SRP?
LT Foods has been able to implement SRP standards on farmers’ fields under our specialized farmer outreach program. Switching to SRP practices has resulted in increase in farm incomes and a reduction in water, chemicals and fertilizer usage. These practices also have had positive impact on environment and social aspects.
LT Foods officially joined SRP as member in 2017. We were already working with farmers and guiding them on sustainable agriculture practices with the objective of farmers benefits and natural resource conservation. SRP objectives are also serving to promote our company core values which is the reason we are closely aligned with SRP.
3. What opportunities do you see for your company and your value chain stakeholders by being part of the SRP membership?
Sustainability is important right from the farmer’s field to the end consumer. SRP will help us to verify and reaffirm whether our produce is grown sustainably or not. SRP-Verified production helps in generating trust among consumers of our brands.
4. Tell us about your initiatives/projects related to SRP and your involvement with SRP.
LT Foods runs an SRP program in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh (India) directly with its own trained manpower. It involves a comprehensive farmer engagement, encompassing, physical, digital and mechanical initiatives to promote sustainability at the farm level.
In 2020, LT Foods became the first company in the world to become Level 3 verified under the SRP Assurance Scheme.
Through specialized initiatives undertaken by LT Foods, SRP standards were implemented in selected districts of Haryana India to improve water use and productivity per drop. The role of LT Foods was to effectively introduce the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) standards with a specific focus on water efficiency techniques. The project duration was 2019-2022.
5. Have there been challenges implementing SRP in your company? If so, what challenges have you faced?
LT Foods has already been working with farmers on sustainable agriculture, so that a lot of the practices were already in place – even prior to our adoption of SRP.
With the introduction of SRP, we have become even more focused on water saving techniques like alternate wetting and drying (AWD). We faced challenges in implementation in the initial stages as farmers were used to flood irrigation and it took time for them to understand and adapt to new practices.
6. Tell us about the future. What are your company’s vision and ambition for the sustainable development of the rice sector, and how could SRP help you achieve this ambition?
LT Foods’ vision is to be a leading food company with a global presence in rice and complementary categories. We believe creating sustainable growth, has a positive impact on the society and the environment and generates value for its internal as well as external stakeholders.
With the help of SRP, we can benefit our growers, save natural resources, elevate the socioeconomic conditions of the farming community and can offer sustainably grown verified products to our end consumers.
7. From your point of view, why should more companies and industry actors join SRP? Do you have any advice or recommendations for them?
The aim of SRP is to transform the global rice sector by improving smallholder livelihoods, reducing the social, environmental and climate footprint of rice production and offering the global rice market an assured supply of sustainably produced rice to meet the growing global demand for rice. This is the most laudable objective and will be the driver to attract future membership.
Companies and industry actors should join SRP as it has been able to create a positive impact on farmer income, environment and facilitate social change. Consumers are naturally benefitted as well.
8. What is your vision for 2025?
We would like to see in next few years more and more rice products being verifiably sustainably grown.
Find out more about LT Foods Limited:
If you are an SRP member and would like to be part of our “Meet our Members” series, please contact Roong Tepkaew at email@example.com. We share these interviews on our website, in our newsletter and on our social media channels.