One of the industries that is benefiting greatly from the digital boom is the rice industry. A large majority of the world consumes rice daily and usually, local rice production is often unable to meet up to the demand for rice in many countries.
These countries therefore, have to depend on imported rice to satisfy their needs. Many entrepreneurs are tapping into this million dollar market by buying rice in bulk from major rice producing countries and reselling in other countries for a profit.
However, without the right information rice importation can be more expensive than necessary. Many entrepreneurs sink thousands of dollars into rice importation only to incur huge losses. A lot of these losses could have been avoided with the right information. In this article, we’ll be sharing some vital information you should know before buying rice in bulk from anywhere in the world.
Some Facts about Rice You Should Know
The first step to successful purchase of rice in bulk is to understand this common grain. Here are some facts about rice every rice importer should know:
Rice Planting and Harvest
Rice is an annual grain plant which is commonly harvested once a year. Rice cultivation is best suited for countries that have very low labor costs and high rainfall. Rice planting often starts out with small rice seedlings which are hand planted into paddies filled with water. It takes the rice plant about four to five months to reach maturity. Rice plants grow fast and can reach up to three feet in height. An acre yields more than 8,000 pounds of rice on average. Rice is harvested using manual or mechanical methods.
Different Types of Rice
There are more than 40,000 varieties of rice. However, some are more commonly consumed around the world. Rice types are often classified based on aroma, length, texture and color. Understanding the types of rice available would enable you carve a niche for yourself and make your rice importation business more effective.
Here are some common types of rice you can import:
Long Grain Rice
Long grain rice has grains that are about three to four times the length of its width. Its starch composition makes it light, separate and fluffy when cooked.
Medium Grain Rice
The medium grain rice is shorter and wider when compared to the long grain rice. This rice has a higher tendency of sticking together when cooked.
Short Grain Rice
These types of rice grains are less than twice their width. This rice is popularly used for a variety of sushi recipes because it has a sticky texture when cooked.
This is popularly known as sweet rice and is commonly grown in the Southeast and East Asia. It is used in a variety of Asian dishes. Just as its name implies, it is especially sticky when cooked and is suitable for making rice flour.
This rough textured rice is a rice grain that goes through the steam-pressure process before milling causing the starch in the grain to gelatinize. Parboiled rice grains are pre-cooked reducing its cooking time. Like the long grain rice, it is light and fluffy when cooked.
Polished rice is simply rice grains that have had their outer brown layer consisting of bran and germ removed. It is also commonly known as milled rice. Many health conscious people around the world are weary of polished rice because they believe it is low in fiber and other nutrients.
This specie of rice is very popular in the world of weight loss. It is a healthy rice grain that sheds only its outer husk but still has its bran and germ layers. These layers give it its common dark color. Brown rice is rich in vitamins and minerals but takes longer to cook than white rice.
This highly nutritious rice specie is also known as black rice and has a subtle nutty flavor. It is commonly used in Chinese and Thai dishes.
Wild rice grains are rice species harvested from the Zizania grass species. It is high in protein and is popular for its exotic flavor.
Basmati rice is a long-grain rice commonly found in India and Pakistan. It has a slightly nutty taste when cooked. Basmati is popular among rice consumers because it slowly releases its carbohydrate content into the bloodstream.
Jasmine rice also known as the Thai fragrant rice is a long kernel which has a slightly sticky texture when cooked.
Top 10 Rice Producing Countries in the World
According to the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the top 10 rice producing countries in the world are:
7 Important Tips for Buying Rice in Bulk from Rice Suppliers around the World
1. Find out the Rice import Laws in your location
Never invest money in any form of rice importation without first finding out and understanding the rice importation laws in your business location. If you’re planning to buy rice in bulk and import into a country, take your time to find out the laws that revolve around importing rice into that country. Some countries don’t allow the importation of various rice brands or species while some other countries place a quota on rice importation. Whatever the case, be sure that you and your rice suppliers can adhere to the set standards before importation.
2. Determine the Type of Rice to Import
If you’re looking to buy rice in bulk, don’t just delve into the market without determining which species of rice you want to import. Different types of rice serve different markets. For instance, the Basmati rice or brown rice is a favorite among people who either have diabetes or are looking to control their carb intake. Take your time to study your market and determine which type of rice holds the most promise in terms of returns on investment.
3. Find the Best Rice Suppliers
Gone are the days when buying rice in bulk had to be carried out face to face. Nowadays, people just use established and trusted platforms where they can meet up with rice suppliers from around the world and make purchases with as little strain on their resources as possible. If you’re new to buying rice in bulk, take your time to study the suppliers of rice on your platform of choice. However, you should know that you can only find the best suppliers on a platform that protects the interest of buyers through various mechanisms.
Look out for past customer reviews of each supplier you’re considering. You should also watch out for the supplier’s rating on the platform. Go4worldbusiness for instance, rates trusted suppliers using the “gold member” status. This lets you know that the supplier has a great track record of dealing with other customers. Be sure to get in touch with your supplier to discuss their terms and conditions before buying rice in bulk form them. Finally, make sure you verify the claims of your intending rice supplier by running background checks on their company record and business location. You can save lots of time by checking out these top rice supply companies from around the world.
4. Establish a Safe Payment System
This goes without saying if you’re looking to buy rice in bulk safely. Just like doing business offline, you should be very careful when doing business online. You don’t want to spend thousands of dollars buying bags of rice only to find out you’ve been duped. There are several escrow services you can use to ensure that your money is safe while you’re transacting with a supplier.
5. Order for Samples First
One of the common mistakes most people who want to buy rice in bulk make is that they order for rice in bulk without first buying or asking for a sample. Before you buy a large quantity of rice, be sure to buy one or two bags to make sure that the rice adheres to the standards in your business location. You also have to test the rice quality in terms of cooking time, nutritional content and several other factors that are vital to selling it. Rice samples are very vital for verifying the claims of your rice supplier and ensuring that you can sell that rice easily to your target market.
6. Establish a Storage system
Having a warehouse to keep your bulk rice when it arrives isn’t foolproof enough to ensure it doesn’t go bad. There are four vital factors to consider when it comes to storing bulk rice and they are temperature, moisture content, container atmosphere and storage container. The best temperature for store grains like rice effectively is 5°C (40°F) or below; however, rice can be stored for up to 10 years at a constant 21° C (70° F) in dry ice which consists of oxygen replaced with CO2. You should also make sure that your storage area is free of pests like mitts, weevils and mice that can damage rice very easily. A good storage system is pertinent to successful bulk rice buying and business.
7. Have a Ready Market
The best form mechanism for buy rice in bulk successfully and profitably is having a ready market. The faster a rice buyer is able to sell off rice in bulk, the more successful they’ll be at their rice importation business. As earlier mentioned, focusing on a niche in the rice industry will help you identify wholesalers and retailers / buyers who are interested in buying your chosen specie of rice.
Having a ready market will inevitably affect your bottom-line by saving you cost of storage and other logistical costs associated finding a market for your imported rice products. The best way to go about this is by carrying out in-depth market research and using your product samples as a gauge to measure the acceptability of your rice product in the market.
Buying rice in bulk to resell is a highly profitable business with returns as high as 50%. However, the success of this million dollar industry is solely based on how well an intending rice buyer understands the rice import market. With these tips, you can start importing rice with ease.