Interview: Exploring The Scope Of Organic Food In India With Truefarm Foods
India is eating healthier and the demand for organic food is growing leaps and bounds. Enter Truefarm Foods with a promise of 100% organic products. The company brings to you a range of organic food like flour, pulses, nuts, spices and even superfoods like muesli. The raw ingredents for the products comes from the farms across various states of India like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and even Uttarakhand, Andhra and Odisha amongst others.
But there are always several questions as consumers that come into mind before picking the right brand so we went ahead and asked these for you to the founder of Truefarm Foods, Ravi Jakhar.
What was the idea behind starting the company Truefarm India? How is the company evolving?
The idea was to build an organic food company that delivers nutrition to consumers. We live in times where water, air and food are all contaminated. We use purifiers for water and air, but there is no way to remove harmful pesticide residues from our food. It is therefore important to consume 100% organic food. Further each individual has unique nutrition requirements and we saw this need for developing food that delivers the right organic nutrition. The company is evolving with consumer feedback and developing new products.
What are products portfolio of your company? What is its USP?
Our product portfolio includes superfoods such as Red Quinoa, Chia seeds and Teff flour, breakfast cereals such as Oats and Muesli, multigrain nutrition flours, spices, pulses, rice and many more 100% organic products. Our USP is our expertise in nutrition science. We deliver exceptional nutrition without using any harmful chemicals. For an example, our protein plus flour made after researching nearly 28 grains, delivers 24.37% protein, with all organic grain sources and cooks better than ordinary wheat flour for both Indian chapatis and pizza bases.
What are the benefits of consumption of organic food to human health?
Research over last four decades has increasingly proven that most diseases are potentially caused by pesticides and fertilisers that we consume through our food grown with them. Consumption of organic food ensures that we do not let these harmful chemicals in our body and stay healthy.
Which all regions and retail outlets the products are made available?
The products are available in India through online marketplaces such as Amazon, as well as physical stores including both large format modern trade chains as well as neighbourhood general trade stores. The company is expanding its presence and in next six months, we shall have a store footprint across all top 40 cities of India and consumers from any part of the country can already order online with free delivery to their doorstep.
What is the difference you have noticed between Organic Food Industry in western countries and India?
Organic food industry is more mature in western countries, while India has only recently seen more awareness. Having said that, India for centuries consumed only products grown organically and we moved to fertilisers under western influence and so in that sense it is both moving forward with scientific research and at the same time going back to our roots. Another difference is that kitchens at homes are more in use in India and hence greater emphasis on raw ingredients as compared to ready to eat food.
What type of processing takes place while manufacturing the product? What are the various organic food norms your company follow while processing?
Truefarm is a 100% organic certified company. Farms where crops are cultivated as well as all our facilities for manufacturing and packaging are all 100% certified by global certifying agencies for Indian, US as well as European organic standards. Processes include roasting, milling, grinding and packaging among others. The key difference in our approach is how food is kept safer and more nutritious. For an example, we use whole grain wheat and then grind it with stone chakkis at low temperature to preserve nutrition. Wheat itself is stored in specialised EVOH bags and flour is also packed in EVOH retail packs.
According to you, what are the prospect of growth of organic food in India? How much is the current organic food market in India, what is the growth rate?
We see immense opportunities for growth in organic food in India. Indian market size is currently estimated in excess of 1000 Crores for certified organic products. We expect that this market can grow at 30-40 percent per year with awareness initiatives from stakeholders and we are committed to playing our part.
What are your investment and expansion plans in India for next 5 years? How much is target?
It is difficult to speculate for a longer period in a rapidly growing business, so we plan for two years. We have a target to reach 100 Crores turnover in next 2 years and shall be making investments to the tune of USD 10 million in next two years.
Is the any new region you going to tap to expand the distribution channel?
We have our plans in place for Europe and North America and will be launching our products there by around end of June 2018.
Do you have any plans of import/export?
As mentioned, we have significant plans for US and Europe. We grow all our crops in India and imports are limited to few products, which are not grown in India at all.