In an attempt to protect the purity of its precious water source, Aqua Danone, Indonesia's largest mineral water producer, launched a business initiative to produce organic Orisa rice; pesticide-free rice grown by local rice farmers with the support of agricultural NGOs and distributed through the company's existing Aqua Home Service (AHS) stalls.
Iman Mulyaman Ginanjar
IPMI International Business School
Amelia Naim Indrajaya
Starting 2011 Aqua has been promoting non pesticides paddy plantation around Cianjur – West Java, Wonosobo & Klaten – Central Java and Bali by reconnecting them again with the local wisdom of their ancestor for ecofriendly agriculture. The local reputable NGOs is being involved to influence and convert local farmers group gradually.
One of the farmers group, the HIPOCI – Himpunan Petani Organik Cianjur, the group came from Gekbrong village Cianjur, currently after years of accompaniment finally able to produce 10 tons non pesticide rice per month. It is amazing on how this group is step by step being enabled to produce that amount of production. It has built its internal control system that covers the land preparation, paddy nursery, natural composing, production intensification & paddy harvesting. Negeri Ternak Indonesia is the NGO that support HIPOCI farmers.
Farmers are being reconnected again to their ancestors’ ecofriendly cultivation practices which among others consist of water efficient usage, organic pesticides production, provision of high quality seeds, pests handling & cropping patterns such as jajar legowo, and many more.
The farmers group is also aided by rice mills from Aqua Danone as well as capital to buy the unhulled rice from its members with the significant price that higher than only selling pesticide rice. They are being aided to be independent and self sufficient in running the non pesticide rice business.
Orisa rice, the brand name, is taken from the rice paddy’s latin name "Oriza Sativa". It is available in 5 kg packaging at a price between IDR 95,000 to IDR 100,000. AHS has received "halal" certificates from MUI - Majelis Ulama Indonesia, an Indonesian Muslem Clerk, as well as a "free from pesticides" certificate for its Orisa rice.
The rice is sold in Jakarta, Bogor, Depok, Bekasi and Tangerang areas and in West Java as well, distributed through 800 of the 2300 AHS stalls spread across the regions. They are actively promoting a healthy consumption through good water and organic rice as agents for positive change.
Aqua Danone is not pushing the the farmers to produce rice out of their capacity. As mentioned by Dian," The aim is to sustain and grow profitable rice business for the farmers and at the same time securing the purity of its water sources." Aqua Danone is utilizing its distribution channels coordinated by AHS that originally comes from small stalls closed to residential area that provide and deliver Aqua gallons to its home consumers. Rice packaging and price selling is controlled by AHS to ensure affordable consumer price that can cover all costs with good selling margin.
The inspiration behind Aqua Danone's production of Orisa rice matches directly with several of the seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
#6 Clean Water and Sanitation
#8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
#12 Responsible Consumption and Production
#15 Life on Land
In simple words, everyone flourishes! Aqua Danone gets the pure water source it relies upon while strengthening its community ties. Rice farmers are making a good income from their harvest, creating sustainable production while preserving their local eco-friendly agriculture heritage. The NGO is achieving its goal in developing self-reliant farmers. The AHS stalls enjoy the economic benefit of being the only distributor of Orisa rice whose demand excedes the supply. And last but not least, the consumers are enjoying healthy, affordable, non-pesticide rice that is being delivered almost to their door step through the AHS stalls.
Orisa rice is a strategic CSR for Aqua Danone. This activity is securing Aqua Danone's water source for years to come while bringing the customer closer to the company now. It amplifies and is consistent with Aqua Danone’s healthy life campaign for good water drinking which has attracted positive public attention. AHS stalls ,which sell the water, are getting additional income now from selling the rice. In addition, AHS stalls owners are invited to participate at the paddy planting ceremony and the grand harvest, creating a strong bond between the stall owners and the farmers. By experiencing the rice production process, AHS stalls are trustful of the product and are becoming effective agents to promote the rice among their customers.
Orisa rice is providing big societal benefits. It eliminates poverty by creating profitable business for rice farmers. It also strengthens the self reliance of local farmers by providing them with good management skills to run their business. It also promotes a healthy lifestyle by encouraging movement away from the harmful consumption of rice with pesticides.
Environmentally, the Orisa rice farmer is helping preserve the pureness of source water required by Aqua Danone as well as protecting the water for the local community. It also is reducing the risk of soil quality degradation in water recharge areas. Orisa rice is produced with an agriculture system that puts high consideration on the earth’s ecological balance.
Rice production from other areas, such as Wonosobo, is expected soon. The rice still will be branded as "Orisa" rice but the origin of the rice and the farmers group will be acknowledged on the packaging as a tribute to the farmers.
Dian Putri, Orisa Rice Project Manager
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Business Website: http://www.aqua.com
Year Founded: 1973
Number of Employees: 10000+