The organic food market in India is said to grow at a rate over 25 per cent in the next five years, driven by growing health consciousness and improved standards of living. In this AAHAR 2018 Special, FHW evaluates a few leading organic food companies in the country
The family owned Chamong group established its first Chamong Garden back in 1916 in Assam. Six generations old, the group has 17 estates in Darjeeling and around four estates in Assam. Some of the Darjeeling estates are heritage gardens which are over 100 years old and the group has a credit of being the largest producer of organic Assam and Darjeeling teas to its name. Focused on innovation and quality, their state-of-the-art machinery helps them to deliver the desired results. Recently in Kolkata, an automatic blending and packaging unit was commissioned in keeping with the HACCP standards and EU regulations. The unit is used for hygenically blending and packing the teas which is then exported to Europe as well as Middle East, Japan, UK and USA. Employing over 10000 personnel, the total tea production is about 3000 mt annually.
The three main varieties of teas are the black, oolong and green tea. The difference between each of them is the way they are processed. When it comes to black tea, the tea undergoes a fermentation process. This helps oxidise the leaves and make them turn black. This process is very crucial as it deactivates many antioxidants like polyphenols creating a bitter taste. On the other hand, oolong tea is not oxidised as much, rather it is semi-fermented. After that, it is steamed to stop the oxidisation process. And lastly, there is no fermentation required when it comes to green tea. It is steamed before the oxidisation process can start thus preserving the polyphenols. This results in green tea having more than 60 per cent more polyphenol than black tea, along with having a less bitter taste. Polyphenols is considered good for the body as it helps fight against free radicals which are molecules that appear in the environment as well as naturally produced by the body. These radicals can cause chronic damage like heart disease or cancer. Chamong green tea thus provides many benefits to those who drink it.
Promoting tea tourism, the tea gardens are open to visit by people from all over the world. The group’s first tea estate called Chamong lays high on the hills and out of the 332 hectares, only some of it is dedicated to the organic tea plantation well as the rest of the land is like a virgin forest away from human inteference. The next in line is Pussimbing, a 120 year old heritage tea estate which uses hydroelectric power and the organic practices of cultivation have made it a safe place for its Nepali residents to reside.
There are only 87 tea gardens in the world that have the right to produce tea using the Darjeeling name. But these tea gardens are found in small areas, roughly around 19000 hectares spread over seven valleys in a district in West Bengal. The region lies in the hilly areas of north eastern Himalayas and is 4000-6000 feet above sea level. The fertile soil and pleasant climatic conditions add to the flavours of the Darjeeling tea that is prepared. All Darjeeling gardens are Naturland and Rainforest Alliance certified.
Today when there is so much hue and cry over the adverse impact of pesticides and fertilisers over food products and the adverse effects on human body, 24 Mantra Organic from Sresta Natural Bioproducts has been a key player in the organic food industry. The company has a diverse range of organic food products, that have an indigenous as well as international demand and reputation. The company aims at eliminating food items laden with harmful pesticides and fertilisers and offers organic food to its potential target consumers. Since its launch, 24 Mantra brand offers 120 plus range of organic products including cereals, flours, spices, oils, ready-to-eat, bakery products and well being organic food products.
24 Mantra organic food brand is available across India and abroad in 1500 plus outlets and its own stores. Under the company’s sustainable farming initiative, there are 45,000 farmers working in 30 plus projects over an area of 2,25,000 acres in 15 Indian states. For every 100 farmers there is a Sresta associate, partnering in the farmers’ progress and knowledge enhancement. A minimal processing and right kind of farming approach is integrated so as to allow the food to retain its organic content naturally. Farm to fork approach is adopted to maintain organic integrity. There is a focused engagement with farmers who are bonded into small organic groups. These small groups with a combination of self-adherence, social control and supervision ensure that the conversion of farmer into an organic farmer is complete, taking upto four years to realise this commitment. The field officers also visit every farm regularly every month. They check adherence, provide timely solutions that facilitate the farming methods and sustain the purity of the crop. While randomly selected teams conduct a well laid out inspection process, certification agencies do their checks few times a year. The checks include everything – farmer, soil, water and the produce sample. A pesticide residue check is also done before the crop is certified as pure and 24 Mantra Organic.
The company offers the best quality organic food products to its target consumers based on its experiences in organic farming. Great care is taken in processing raw food products so that it does not lose its organic content. Before offering an organic food product to the market shelf, the company makes sure that there is no deviation from the standard taste and texture as different food items taste different if they originate from different places. For example, before Tur dal, which is grown in different regions bears a distinct taste. So different samples of Tur dal is collected from different regions and after cooking it is decided which one to offer to the consumers.
At 24 Mantra, farming projects, products and processing facilities have been certified for EC 834/ 2007 standards, US NOP and Indian NPOP organic standards. Most of the projects are certified by Control Union International, and Onecert. The company is a member of IFOAM and registered with US FDA.
The company Sattvic lays its foundation on the principles of Ayurveda and yoga. According to these both, foods that are high in the Sattva element help in increasing clarity and alertness of the mind as well as makes the body strong and resistant to diseases. The company believes in sharing the agricultural resources of India with the world.
From the strict selection process to consulting several experts when it comes to quality, Sattvic focusses on the flavour and authenticity of the product. The company tests its products for gluten content, shelf life and nutritional information. After constant research in fitness, health, nutrition, Ayurveda and yoga, the company has developed its organic Sattvic products.
The specialities include vegan, gluten-free, paleo and raw foods among several others. The company avoids using fumigation which is the process of spraying foods with chemicals to avoid infestation. It uses much costlier but effective and safe technologies like dehydration, dehumidification and ozonation.
Dehydration is the process where all dry food items are dehydrated using dehydration machines. This is the first thing done once the food items arrive at the facilities. Dehydrated for around four hours at a temperature of 400C, this keeps the nutrition of the products intact as well as keeps the weevils away and increases the shelf life of the products.
When kept in a moist storage space, products start to spoil faster and to avoid this, the process of dehumidification comes into place. This space is free of moisture as well as air dry keeping the shelf life of the products intact. 100 times more effective than chlorination, the process of ozonation keeps the storage rooms free and pure of bacteria and viruses.
Ozone is used to get rid of harmful bacteria and germs which helps to keep the product more natural as well as more safe. The company uses ozonators in storage rooms as it is the second most powerful oxidant which help preserves, stores and disinfect grains without the involvement of poisonous fumes.
Aamrai means a mango orchard and it has been established back in 2011. Ameya Vartak, the founder of Aamrai started this company around the time when his family owned land along the Konkan coastline of Maharashtra. This coastline leads up to Ratnagiri and Devgad and the land had a rich fertile soil as well as high mineral content. The ideal temperature conditions made it perfect to start mango farming and thus Aamrai was born.
Aamrai has over 1500 trees for organic and another 2000 trees for premium quality. The company has four categories based on the weight of the mangoes. The one between 120 g to 160 g is called the Baby grade mango, then there is the B, A and LE grade, the limited edition one which is more than 280 g.
Apart from the premium mangoes, there are two other products called organic payree and organic kesar. The organic payree looks different from the premium collection. It is a plump alphonso that has a pointed edge and the mangoes develop black spots when it ripens. The sweet tangy flavour and juicy texture makes it a favourite for the preparation of aamras among all homes in India. The organic kesar alphonso is a bright saffron colour with a long slender shape. The sweet flavour makes it popular among households for the preparation of deserts and milkshakes.
Aamrai organic mangoes are certified since 2005 by NOP (USDA), NPOP (EU) and JAS (Japan) and focuses on quality control and solid packaging. Untouched by middlemen or chemicals, there is a three stage rigorous sorting which includes the shape, size and visual defects. This helps in excluding any fruits with damages, spots and skin flaws.
Two techniques are used to differentiate between the premium quality mangoes and the bad ones. The first one is the touch and feel technique. The experts at the company are strict when it comes to assessing the fruits. After looking for blemishes on the mangoes, the approved batch gets checked through ultra-sonic scanners. Usually the common problems detected with mangoes are the spongy tissues which are difficult to pick out when done manually. The mangoes that have this particular defect stay white from inside. This is due to the formation of starch rather than sugar inside the mangoes. Only the scanners can detect these tissues and after this quality check, the most crucial one happens much later when the mangoes are semi-ripened.
The top best fruits are then packaged in customised export quality six ply top bottom boxes. This is done to prevent any kind of bruising or damage during transporting the mangoes as well as to provide proper ventilation in primary and secondary packaging. The alphonso mangoes are picked at the right time to ensure that the right amount of sugar has formed and that it has matured well. The people who handpick the mangoes are well-experienced and the mangoes are naturally ripened in layers of rice hay or penda.
Down To Earth
Looming large over the international and national organic food markets is a name that offers quality organic food products to a huge consumer group. Down to Earth organic foods from the house of Morarka Organic offers food products falling into different categories of consumption. Its products have earned national as well as global acclaim. The company offers routine organic food products as an alternative to one’s daily food consumption needs. The company has been moving ahead with a vision to improve the quality of food and promote sustainable living. Earlier, the company’s operations were limited to obtaining produce from farms and supplying it to key organic traders. But owing to the gradual rise in the demand of organic products, the company has setup best in class in-house and contracted organic food processing facilities to match every organic quality benchmark in the industry and it has also been able to set up its own retail and distribution network in India. Although the company had a meager beginning with just a few organic products, the number slowly rose to over 170 different types of products including cereals, pulses, oilseeds, spices, grains, health foods, juices and other products that are dominant in the organic food market.
Headquartered in Jaipur, Rajasthan, the company has devised unique food cultivation methods that do not require the use of pesticides or fertilisers and can be executed in any agro-climatic region. The company is involved in developing and providing tools and equipment to the farmers to enhance the quality of organic produce. Down to Earth organic foods carry out the field operations from Nawalgarh in Shekhawati, a village close to Jaipur.
With around 50,000 local residents and a surrounding catchment area of 100 villages, the company offers world-class training-cum-learning techniques to organic farming aspirants providing them with 10,000 practicing farms made for the purpose. One on one interaction and doubt clearing sessions are also conducted by the company to clear any doubt from the farmer. The company has also setup another training facility at Grewal Farm in Alwar district to promote organic horticulture in India in order to have more focus on the cultivation of organic horticulture crops.
Apart from producing quality organic consumables, the company has also devised different preservation techniques like CO2 fumigation technology and best in-house storage facilities for storage of their produce.
Morarka Organic holds world-class certifications and strict quality standards by Lacon Quality Certification as per NOP (USDA) and NPOP (Government of India) in organic production. The company also follows and complies with Food Safety Management System also known as ISO 2200:2005 (covering ISO 9000 & HACCP). The company also holds global certifications like JAS by CERES of Germany, BIO-SUISSE (Standards for organic food in Switzerland) and has also acquired VALID IT certification by BODYCOTE in the UK to facilitate trade and organic product marketing in the UK.
Green Sense is an organic food brand from the house of Agronic Food. The certified organic food company was established to meet the demand for organically grown fruit and crop. The company believes that organic farming is a better alternative for small and marginal farmers as well as an apt measure to protect the environment.
Headquartered in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, the company has a 10,000 sq ft warehouse located in Pali, Rajasthan. It has a strong supply chain and distribution network in USA and Europe. This network is supported by commercial agents and company warehouse in the UK along with a sales office in Austraila.
Working with hundreds of farmers who cultivate thousands of acres of land, Agronic Food brings fresh quality products that matches international standards. The raw materials are sourced from certified bio villages across different states of India through their own set of identified organic farming group. When it comes to food safety, the company uses advanced technology to preserve, process and maintain the highest global standards. Its state-of-the-art facility is cost effective and flexible, meeting client standards.
Some of the products include sesame oil, pulses, fruits,cherry coffee, flex and mustard seeds, amal and aloevera juice, etc. Sesame oil contains moderate amounts of saturated fats and very high amounts of unsaturated fats. It is used as an intravenous drip solution in pharmaceutical industries as well as a solvent in injected drugs. It is popular for reducing cholestrol and is an effective treatment of piles. Cherry coffee is made by two different techniques. First the coffee cherries are processed by extracting the coffee seeds from their coverings. For mild Arabica coffees, a wet process is involved and dry coffee plants have white star shaped flowers. The seeds can be easily dried and later roasted at home. Grain legumes, famously known as pulses includes navy beans, kidney beans, dry peas, etc. The cholestrol content is extremely low or zero and very little fat or sodium. They also help in lowering blood pressure and has several minerals and vitamins.
The process involves certain stages to ensure that the best quality organic products reach the consumers. First the raw farm grade produce is kept in cold storage. Then it is sent for cleaning through the vibrator screener. After the careful sorting and grading through a sortex machine, the products are given a CO2 treatment steam sterilisation. The bulk packages are accordingly customised and private labelling is given to all of them. The products are inspected for a final time and quality control is also taken into account. Lastly, it is dispatched from their warehouse to the port. The company’s products are certified on NOP, NPOP & EU standards and also certified organic from OneCert Asia.
Organic India is a leading name in the Indian organic food market. The company is headquartered in Lucknow and specialises in the production of organic herbal and Ayurvedic health products. It’s line of organically grown Tulsi tea has already shot to popularity in the India, US, Canada and UK markets. It is also an exporter of organically grown flowers to Germany.
The company is making headway with its commitment towards delivering genuine organic foods and products to its consumers. It is committed to promoting natural, sustainable, organic, agriculture practices that serve and protect ‘Mother Nature’. From the business perspective, the company seeks to introduce a unique and successful business model that is committed to service and integrity and benefits all.
Organic India also has a retail store in Maharashtra to facilitate easy distribution of products, which are also available online. Ranging from wellness products like organic health supplements and organic Tulsi tea to food products that include commodities and spices, the company caters to different requirements of the Indian market.
The company works with marginal farmers in tribal villages and provides them with seeds, fertilisers and organic certification. Organic India aims to nurture sustainable organic farmlands by providing best in-house and on-field training to its farmers, tribal wildcrafters and educates them in organic and biodynamic agricultural practices. It also bears all the expenses required to fetch necessary organic certifications for these trained farmers. After the production, the company purchases the crops and herbs at a quality market price. To allow the land to retain its fertility, the company encourages the farmers to practise crop rotation. Regenerative farming culture is adopted barring the use of synthetic chemicals and incorporating different organic and biodynamic standards treating every farm as a unique organism. This practice also includes the use of sustainable agricultural techniques like soil fertility management, seed collection, composting, water management and crop protection that help in the revival of the local ecosystem through carbon sequestration.
In order to keep the organic goodness intact, Organic India takes great care in handling crops and herbs from organic farm field to a cup or capsule through advanced methods of processing and dehydration to ensure that they retain their maximum level of potency. After the produce is processed and dehydrated, it is coarsely grounded at low temperatures in order to preserve the matrix of bioactive molecules. All these measures ensure the availability of best organic products to the consumers.
Organic India complies with the best of quality standards as set by international quality certification bodies to receive HACCP, GMP, ISO 9001-2008 and Kosher Certifications. The company also has organic certifications from Control Union and SGS as per USDA, EU, and NPOP Organic Standards.
The Bengaluru-based company has been in the organic market for over 15 years out of which in the last five years, there has been a strong focus on promoting its products. Equipped with a small but experienced team of FMCG sales professionals, the company has a highly qualified advisory panel.
Pro Nature has a wide range of products including turmeric powder, besan (gram flour) and poha (flattened rice). The turmeric powder has a natural aroma, smells like the turmeric used 20 years ago and is a pure yellow colour.
The poha looks and feels the same as the non-organic poha, but the flavours come out in this one. On the other hand, there is a huge difference in the organic besan when compared to the non-organic one. The texture is smooth like the chakki ka atta.
The company also has a section named Collections where ingredients for different food preparations are available. The food preparations include flax seeds chutney powder, jeera rice, rajma chawal, sambhar rice, upma and rava uttapam. Also known as ‘alasi’ in Hindi, flax or linseed is a tiny brownish seed filled with vitamins, antioxidants, micronutrients and minerals. These contents help to fight several ailments like cancer, hot flashes, diabetes, etc.
The lentil-based sambhar is filled with various proteins and nutrients. Along with containing fibre, sambhar’s glycemic index is quite low.
The company also sells organic cold pressed oils like groundnut oil, mustard oil, sesame oil, etc. Pro Nature products are 100 per cent certified organic by an internationally recognised Switzerland based certification body, IMO Control. These products are aimed not just at health-conscious consumers but also the environment-conscious ones.
The management believes in having a strong distribution network so as to reduce the carbon footprint and make sure that the farmers receive a fair premium for the produce they offer. Along with this, the company also supports micro-enterprises, especially the ones started by women entrepreneurs.
Established in 1990, Conscious Food has emerged as a name of credibility and quality in the organic food market. Based in Mumbai, initially the company started serving the organic community based out of Mumbai, but today it is well known for its wide range of organic products from a curated range of cereals, flours, grains, pulses, natural sugars, powder packed snacks, seeds, nuts along with herbal products, organic beverages and wellness products. These products add to the cause of promoting health and general wellness to fostering sustainable lifestyles.
Conscious Food follows the strict value chain of adhering to the use of organic products because of the following reasons:
- Organic products have higher nutritional content compared to routine eatables. *These products are free of chemical additives.
- Incorporates the use of natural fertilisers that help the soil to retain its organic content and also involves sustainable practices of agriculture like crop rotation and intercropping which improves soil culture.
- Eliminates any possibility of water pollution or other environmental resources.
The business model followed by the company is ‘buying and marketing’ agricultural products from farmers who practise organic farming. To make sure all the mandates are met, different certifying and auditing agencies are incorporated at every level starting from cultivation, harvesting, processing, and storage. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) is one among them. To achieve maximum efficiency in organic farming, products are brought only from those organic farmers who carry NPOP/EU/NOP certification. Organic produce is also acquired from PGS (Decentralised Organic Farming Certification System) certified farmers supported by the National Centre for Organic Farming (NCOF) and Organic by Trust farmers, especially those tribal farmers who practise healthy organic farming practices but are too poor to avail quality certifications. After the organic produce is obtained, the same is taken to Conscious Food warehouses to make sure that the product does not lose its organic content. Optimum storage temperatures are ensured and individual techniques are incorporated for handling various products, for example, whole spices are iron pounded to ensure low heat grinding so that the natural flavours remain intact. Organic oils are stored in a stainless steel container and then packed in glass bottles turning down the possibility of oil coming in contact with any kind of plastic. Last minute quality checks and inspections are carried out by the company before packing their products and sending them out to the customers, to eliminate any chances of imperfections. Products from Conscious Food are available across different parts of India and also over its online website for ease of shopping to the organic community. Adhering to strict quality measures, Conscious Food is certified by ECOCERT and operates a HAACP certified workshop.
Pride of Cows
Pride of Cows, a brand of Parag Milk Foods, is a first-of-its-kind, superior farm-to-home milk, from India’s most modern dairy farm, Bhagyalakshmi Dairy Farm, with a production capacity of 25,000 litres a day. Located in the lush greenery of Manchar, close to Pune,an area known for the high quality of green produce, the Pride of Cows dairy farm is spread over 26 acres, perched between the Bheema River and the Bheemeshwari hills. The farm is the most advanced in India, equipped with the finest international technology for feeding, milking and processing, conforming to international dairy practices. The Pride of Cows brand is a reflection of the company’s passion for milk.
Parag Milk Foods is an ISO 9000 and AGMARK certified company, committed to international standards of product quality. Its product portfolio includes milk, skimmed milk powder, whole milk powder, ghee, processed cheese, butter, dahi, proprietary foods like dairy whitener and Gulab Jamun mix powder under the brand names of Go and Gowardhan, all made from 100 percent fresh cow’s milk.
The Swiss Holstein and Friesian cows are pedigreed, perfect and pampered. Each of the cows have their own bed and kept in perfect condition. They are also given shady green areas to ruminate and rest along with being kept cool with fans and water sprays. The cows get a planned and wholesome meal every day that includes specially grown high quality alfalfa, pennisetum, greens, soya and bran recommended by nutritionists. They also ensure that the right balance of vitamins and minerals are given. There are even customised menus which are continuously updated at regular intervals to include fresh seasonal crops. The ‘total Meal Ration’ strategy is designed to keep cows at the pinnacle of health with only one purpose in mind that the more content cows will be, the better the quality of the milk.
The company’s 50-point mechanised Rotary Parlour and strict processes ensure that the milk is both hygienically and humanely procured. In fact, every cow goes through an electronic health check every time it is milked, to ensure that it is at peak health for milking. The fresh milk that is dispatched from the dairy is absolutely antibiotic free.
Today when the food manufacturing companies have started to compromise with the quality of the food items it produces, it has become a mandate to stick to an organic diet to avoid future ailments. Vision Fresh is one such organic food brand in the market that is committed to not compromising with the quality of its organic food range irrespective of the quantity offered. Vision Fresh offers an assorted range of organic products to cater to specific demand-centric products. The company’s food products can be broadly classified into routine consumption, general wellness products, and supplements categories.
Some of the popular products from Vision Fresh include organic cereals such as flours, cereal grains, organic rice, organic porridge, etc. The company also offers organic pulses and beans, organic vinegar, edible oils, spices, beverages, snack foods and much more to aid one’s overall lifestyle. The company has its stores in Jaipur and the products are also available on the website of Vision Fresh.
In a bid to ensure the availability of pure organic products to the consumers, organic farmers at Vision Fresh use such methods that keep on replenishing the nutritional and organic content of the soil naturally without the use of hazardous pesticides and fertilisers. The company shuns the use of any kind of synthetic agri-chemical and completely adheres to all the basic principles of organic farming. It is moving ahead towards achieving its vision of making Jaipur, organic food manufacturing capital of India and to acknowledge the ever-growing need organic food products, not just in India but overseas too. Also, the company is planning to increase its operations all over the Indian trade market.
The organic products at Vision Fresh undergo serious monitoring and quality checks under a specialised team of agricultural engineers and nutritionists.
Soil and environment-friendly agriculture practices like rotation, composting and mulching are also incorporated to achieve the best quality organic end product. Fulfilling all the necessary product quality benchmarks, Vision Fresh has numerous certifications from national and international organic certification agencies like USDA – United States Organic Certification for marketing the products in USA, OneCert- Organic Certified for detailed analysis of organic food production in a company and NPOP India Organic Certification that controls farm inputs and pre and post-harvest methods involved organic farming.
Giving a tough competition to its competitors, the company launches time to time offers on its websites to promote and popularise its wide product range and also create a segmentation in the existing market for its new products. There is also a provision of free delivery for organic food community.
Aum Agri Freeze Foods was established in the year 1960 and is amongst the prominent processors and exporters of an extensive range of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flower products. It began as a division of Mechelec Group of Companies which is a reputed manufacturer of cold rooms, walk-in-coolers/freezers, fruit ripening chambers as well as pre-coolers and blast freezers.
Under the guidance of Sandip K Shah, Aum Fresh brand under ‘Aum Agri Freeze Foods’ has clientele across the world. His experience and in-depth knowledge has made the brand widely successful. The parent company, Mechelec Steel Products, is a distinguished name in the field of office furniture, steel furniture and water coolers and has clients of the highest repute from government, semi government, as well as public and private sector companies. It also has expertise in the field of air conditioning and refrigeration machinery and is located in the western part of Vadodara City which is only seven kms away from the airport. It is spread across a sprawling area of 30,000 sq ft and intially the parent concern started as a cooling coil, condenser and evaporator manufacturer but later on it also entered into the post harvest technology sector.
Today the company is also an expert in manufacturing low humidity seed storage chambers. The products are 100 per cent natural, pure, fresh and organic and is processed in a holistic way without using any additives. All the company’s products are prepared using a unique low temperature cold drying method and are available in packs of one kg, five kg & 10 kg. The range of products are used extensively in hotels, restaurants and caterers, pharmaceutical, ayurvedic as well as cosmetic industries. Its commitment to provide clients with a quality range of products has helped gain various quality certifications such as ISO 22000:2005 by Intertek and Organic certificate by NPOP. The range of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flower products is in compliance with the standards of APEDA, Spice Board, FPO, SSI, NSIC and GS1 India for Barcode.
Having gained first-hand experience in pre and post harvest technology, the parent company then diversified into the food processing sector because of which Aum Agri Freeze Foods came into existence. Aum Fresh aims to serve humanity with herbal, natural and organic products, without adding the essence of artificialness and to develop processed fruits, vegetables, herbals and floral products with higher nutritive and medicinal values. The organisation is already engaged in processing, supplying and exporting a comprehensive range of fruit, vegetable, herbal and flower products. The range of products include bitter gourd (karela), bottle gourd, green chilli, spinach, strawberry, fenugreek (methi), chikoo, sitafal powder, pineapple, amla, mint and many more products as per the product list. All these are processed in hygienic conditions and are tested on various parameters by well qualified quality controllers.
The promoters of the company are well qualified engineers in their concerned domain, having experience of 25 years and they are also members of ASHRAE-USA, ISHS–BELGIUM and IIR-FRANCE.
Wingreens Farms is an ethical and innovative farm to retail food and beverage company that pioneered the fresh dip category in India. Established in the year 2011 at Gurgaon (Haryana), Wingreens Farms manufactures premium quality range of signature dips, peanut butters, spreads and dressings and green tea. Wingreens Farms is reworking the business model in the agriculture sector. With a central kitchen in Gurugram the company has only women workers and has developed backward integration with farmers across North India.
Anju Srivastava is a former advertising professional and a first-time entrepreneur. As founder of Wingreens Farms, she has positioned herself as an ethical intermediary between farmers and retailers, straddling the rural-urban divide with empathy and compassion. Srivastava spent many years learning about scientific farming. She focused on experimenting with many varieties of international herbs, flowers and exotic vegatables. Working with local farmers near Gurugram since 2008, she rented land from them and provided them employment. Initially selling potted herbs to supermarkets, she introduced fresh basil pesto in 2011. The range soon included hummus, salsa fresh dips and tzatziki. Through demonstration along with education, the company has succeeded in moving farmers away from traditional, water hungry crops to far more lucrative and water efficient crops. In collaboration with industry leaders Jain Irrigation, Wingreens Farms helps farmers adopt sustainable practices such as the use of microbial cultures, drip irrigation, inter-cropping and compost fertilisation – leading to saving as much as 2,50,000 liters of water per acre per annum, and increasing the farmer’s income by 1000 per cent and more (from Rs 20,000 per annum to over Rs 3,00,000 per annum). Furthermore, Wingreens Farms provides farmers with additional avenues of income by employing him and members of his family by shifting the first level of processing (like peeling of garlic for example) to the farms. In doing so, Wingreens Farms has managed to take away the risk element of farming from the farmers. The farmers are effectively no longer at the mercy of middlemen in the agriculture sector. Wingreens Farms has developed packages of practice for over 100 crops including herbs, vegetables and flowers that are environmentally friendly, restore the ecological balance of the soil and naturally negate the use of pesticides and chemicals, while hugely increasing productivity.
With a turnover of Rs 30 crore, the company has been investing in building its distribution network through its warehouses and cold chain in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. It currently reaches out to 600 stores and is also tapping into general trade outlets. It makes fresh dips with flavours such as garlic, peri peri, chipotle and rosemary hummus, and expects to move into new categories such as baked chips, salsa and pasta sauces. Wingreens Farms Green Teas are hand-blended with farm-grown real flowers and herbs, making a delightful and aromatic combination. The company grows microgreens of almost any herb or vegetable in season, of which wheatgrass is the most popular. Microgreens are young seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs harvested less than 14 days after germination.
The company also grows produce using a mix of microbial cultures and other methods that restore the ecological balance of the soil, naturally negating the use of pesticides and chemicals, and increasing productivity. Wingreens has received organic certification for its wheatgrass, sprouts and microgreens.