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Harwich-based Surya Foods backs BAME campaign by NHS Blood and Transplant

PUBLISHED: 10:35 28 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:37 28 December 2017

Harry Dulai, managing director of Surya Foods, Harwich. 
Picture: COLIN JOLIFFE

Harry Dulai, managing director of Surya Foods, Harwich. Picture: COLIN JOLIFFE

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Surya Foods, which owns Laila, the UK’s fastest-growing brand of Basmati rice, has been working with the NHS Blood and Transplant service to highlight the shortage of blood donors from black, Asian, minority ethnic (BAME) and mixed race communities.

World food celebrity chefs Cyrus Todiwala and Ching He Huang visiting a blood donation centre in support of the Laila World food celebrity chefs Cyrus Todiwala and Ching He Huang visiting a blood donation centre in support of the Laila "Rice for Life" campaign.

The fourth Laila “Rice for Life” campaign has been running since the start of December in the form of special promotional packaging which has been rolled out across major UK supermarkets and independents.

The campaign, which is being supported by leading world food chefs Cyrus Todiwala and Ching He Huang, has also included visits by promotional teams to selected Morrisons stores in and around London, Birmingham and Bradford.

The NHS particularly needs black and Asian blood donors to ensure the best match for patients with certain conditions but donation levels usually fall during the winter.

Theo Clarke, national BAME marketing manager for NHS Blood and Transplant, said: “We urgently need 40,000 new black donors to stop the pain experienced by black patients with sickle cell disease.

“We also need more donors from the Asian community to help people from these communities who are more likely to have conditions like Thalassaemia, which require regular blood transfusions.”

Harry Dulai, managing director of Surya Foods, which is based in Harwich, said: “We are delighted to be supporting NHS Blood and Transplant to help raise awareness of this important issue through our popular Laila rice brand.”

Previous Laila “Rice for Life” campaigns have included raising money for British Red Cross flood relief efforts in Pakistan and the donation of 1m servings of rice to the poor and hungry via UK food banks and non-government organisations in India.

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