Marketing and Promotion

Eighth Wonder’s Promotion of Heirloom Rice

From 2005-2018 Eighth Wonder promoted a line of heirloom rice from the Philippines. Our project identified seven varieties of rice which were perfect for discerning home cooks and professional chefs who wanted food that’s good, and food that does good.

The Heirloom Rice of the Cordillera is gourmet quality and takes only 30 minutes to cook. The seven varieties each have their own distinctive flavor, texture and aroma, and are ideal for a range of dishes from risotto and paella, to pairings with traditional curries, to dessert puddings.

The very best heirloom grains can be sourced from the famed high-altitude rice terraces of the Cordillera, Philippines. The rice is still sustainably grown. The sale of rice supports indigenous cultures, the preservation of a globally significant agricultural landscape and the “in situ” conservation of heirloom seeds.

Michael Holleman, corporate chef at InHarvest, a leading supplier of rice, exotic grains, and legumes to top restaurants in the U.S., described the rice of the Cordillera as easily the most flavorful, aromatic, and unique varieties of rice he has had the pleasure of cooking.

The Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity has listed six varieties in Ark of Taste. When Eighth Wonder was promoting the rice in North America, it was carried in multiple natural food and co-op stores including Whole Foods Market and Dean & DeLuca, with regional distribution in the Pacific Northwest, New England and the New York metropolitan area.

Seven different varieties – four staple varieties and three sticky/dessert types – were sold through our promotion. We want people to eat good food, and we hope that the rice will one day be available in the commercial market.

The Vision of Eighth Wonder

Was to bring the heirloom rice of the historic terraces of the Cordillera to discerning home and professional chefs in North America.

Our project promoted

Gourmet Quality

Seven varieties, each with its own distinctive flavor and aroma, created an outstanding culinary experience. This heirloom rice has extraordinary taste and texture. It is highly aromatic, distinctively delicious, visually beautiful and cooks in under 30 minutes.

Agricultural Diversity

Grown in an area of rich biodiversity, these grains are a reflection of the unique soil, topography and climate – the “terroir” – of the remote terraced region of the Cordillera, Philippines. The commercial sale of heirloom grains supports “in situ” conservation, seed diversity and local food security.

Economic Security

Eighth Wonder and its Cordillera Heirloom Rice project supported sustainable and culturally sensitive development. We helped facilitate the transition from mortar-and-pestle processing to appropriate technology machines, and helped built the skill base of the farmers to meet the quality control standards needed to produce a high-value gourmet food product.

Eighth Wonder was committed to furthering the model of fair trade and attempted to include the farmers as full economic partners in an international business.

Cultural Integrity

Designated a UNESCO “living cultural landscape” and World Heritage Site, the terraces of the Cordillera are the physical representation of the countless generations of farmers who have planted, cultivated, harvested and been nourished by this rice. Eighth Wonder supported the indigenous farmers’ ability to provide for their families, retain their cultural traditions, and sustain their relationship with the mountains and rainforests that have been their home for millennia.