Rice production has been a part of America’s history for more than 400 years, rice is mentioned to have been under cultivation as far back as in 1609 beginning in Carolina.
Today rice is an important crop in the USA, providing 125,000 jobs on 2.7 million acres of land and contributing $34 billion to the US economy.
A total of 9 million metric tons of rice are grown by U.S. farmers every year in six U.S. states: Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Missouri.
Rice farming in the USA has become a precise science and technology coupled with the knowledge handed down from generation to generation in rice farming families, which enables the U.S. rice industry to consistently produce a high quality nutritious product enjoyed by customers around the world. All rice commercially grown in the USA is free of GMO (genetically modified organisms), and the USA is unique as an exporter of all rice types including long, medium and short grain rice.
U.S. rice farmers are stewards of sustainability, working hard to produce more rice using fewer resources. Over the past 20 years, U.S. rice farmers have increased yields more than 50% and reduced land use by 35%, water use by 53%, energy use by 38% and rice is a unique crop in providing millions of acres of wetland for wildlife habitat.
The United States is the fifth largest exporter of rice worldwide, accounting for about 8% of all global rice exports (Source: United States Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service). About 50% of the entire U.S. rice crop is exported to over 110 countries around the world, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The UK remains the largest market for USA rice in the EU27.
USA rice imports by value into the UK for 2015 totalled $17.9m, an increase of 46% over 2014, making the USA the 8th largest exporter to the UK by value ahead of Egypt, Cambodia, Guyana, Uruguay and Myanmar. By volume, the USA is the 6th largest exporter of rice to the UK in 2015 with 26,400 MT exported, representing an increase of 64% over 2014 figures, and a market share of 3.7% (Source: United States Department of Agriculture, Global Trade Atlas). The main competitors of USA long grain rice in the UK are Indian Basmati and long grain rice, as well as Spain and Italy, followed by Pakistan and Thailand.
USA long grain rice is available in the UK retail and ethnic wholesale under different well-known local brand names. Chefs and consumers from all types of cuisine praise USA rice for its cooking consistency and flavour. Chinese customers are particularly fond of USA rice as it compliments Chinese cuisine perfectly with its pure white double polished fluffy grains. Strict control methods throughout the processing, storing and shipment of USA rice ensures the high levels of food safety, making USA rice a safe, nutritious and affordable food for people around the world.