The rice range produced by Italian company Cascina Oschiena has been certified by Friend of the Earth, an international certification scheme for sustainable agriculture and breeding.

Rice is grown in a biodiversity protected environment in Crova, located in the province of Vercelli, Italy. The farming area is a part of the ecological network Vercelli Rice Fields special protection area.

Cascina Oschiena aims for sustainable agriculture by following the farming and environmental guidelines of the Region of Piedmont and by taking part in the European Project called Natura 2000-Life “Eco-Rice”.

“What we mostly appreciate in Cascina Oschiena is its conception of environmental protection, sustainability and respect for biodiversity.”

The paddy field used for cultivation is composed of 115ha natural oasis. Rice is grown on 85% of the field, whereas the remaining is transformed into permanent wetlands.

The different assortment of the company’s certified rice products are Carnaroli, Arborio, spicy rice Apollo, “round” rice Selenio, as well as the red and black varieties Ermes Brown and Venere Brown.

Friend of the Earth founder and director Paolo Bray said: “What we mostly appreciate in Cascina Oschiena is its conception of environmental protection, sustainability and respect for biodiversity, basically the driving force of our work.

“And what attracted our attention was not only the farmhouse bold decision to use integrated pest management practices, but also the launching of a large number of collateral initiatives, which are closely linked to the core business”.

Cascina Oschiena owner Alice Cerutti follows the process of drying rice during the daytime to reduce emissions.

Water requirement is met by planting trees around the field, conserving the 10km biological corridor and rehabilitating the two karst springs.

Certification for the company is valid until 16 January 2022.