MUMBAI, 16 June 2021: Saintfarm Agro LLP India’s first-ever affordable 100 percent organic food company which is engaged in farming, processing, R&D, exports, E-commerce, and domestic retailing.
After acquiring 10-year-old Ahmedabad-based boutique organic retail company Arpit Organic in 2019, Sajan Raj Kurup has spent the last two years scaling up, forward, and backward integrating to create the Saintfarm operations. From acquiring Organic farmland, aggregating organic farmers producers, setting up organic food processing and packing unit, building apiaries, and recruiting the right supply chain partners to custom building an innovative Saintfarm app across IOS and Android to make it accessible to the whole country.
Saintfarm has 258 different organic products across categories including Fruits, Vegetables, Pulses, Grains, Cow Ghee, Honey among others. It has end-to-end e-commerce operations across all metro towns in India.
Saintfarm has set up farming facilities across agricultural land in Nasik – Maharashtra, Ahmedabad – Gujarat, Anand- Gujarat, Boriyavi – Gujarat, Nadiyad – Gujarat, and Reengus, Khatu – Rajasthan.
At present, the supply chain covers more than 650 farmers in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, and the Northeast growing organic ingredients like cereals, pulses, oilseeds, spices to fruits, vegetables, and herbs across. The farms, products, and facilities are certified for EU, USDA NOP, and Indian NPOP standards.
Saintfarm aims to bring together around 15,000 farmers from across the nation in the next two years.
Saintfarm has set up its first processing unit at Ahmedabad, which meets with USDA, European, and Indian organic standards. The unit holds the capacity of processing up to 240 MT per year of flours, dals, and pulses.
The company aims to set up similar processing units at Mumbai, Jaipur, Bengaluru, and Delhi NCR in near future to meet the increasing demand in the next two years. By the end of the year 2023, the company’s processing unit capacity will increase to at least 1000MT per annum.
Saintfarm has also set up its own apiaries and produces pure, unadulterated honey. Currently, there are three apiaries located around North India, with more apiaries to be established in the coming spring.
Saintfarm has a working army of 2.5 crore honeybees.
R&D and farmer training
Saintfarm’s inclusive model involves partnering with and mobilizing farmers and training them in organic agriculture. The company's team of agronomists and field staff work closely with the farmers, ensuring total control on the seed, soil, farming, and harvesting, and implementing global best practices in organic food production.
Technology and Retail
Saintfarm has invested extensively in building a digital ecosystem to take the organic produce from the farm to the processing centers and then to the consumer seamlessly. While the front-end of the app makes the organic choice as easy as swiping right; the back-end tech ensures integration with the farmer to ensure harvest happens only as per order thereby minimising wastage, processing centers, and the delivery partners.
Founder of Saintfarm, Creativeland Asia & Ventureland Asia Sajan Raj Kurup said “Saintfarm has been a lot of hard work for two years of being connected to the soil and putting together an ecosystem of food that is really needed today. The Pandemic only strengthened my resolve to get more invested in the food business. With Saintfarm, I really want to make organic more affordable and mainstream across the length and breadth of this vast country and be a significant contributor to the organic movement globally. We made a strategic business decision to invest and our own create Agri-tech infrastructure. Saintfarm’s founding architecture is based on three tenets. Respect for the land we till. Respect for the farmers who till the land. And Respect for the products that we grow. I sincerely believe that organic and sustainable living isn’t just a choice but a right everyone must exercise.”
Chief Operations Officer Nehal Shah of Saintfarm who retains a minority stake post the acquisition of Arpit Organic said, “I have been in the organic sector for over 12 years, and I was looking for a like-minded person who is also very passionate about organic farming and environment consciousness. I met Raj Kurup and I shared my vision towards organic farming and food. At the end of our meeting, I knew that I have met a person who has the same vision and who can scale this up. We decided to chase our dream together and make it come true.”
The global organic food market is expected to grow from USD 201.77 billion in 2020 to USD 221.37 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.7%.
The growth is mainly due to the companies resuming their operations and adapting to the new normal while recovering from the COVID-19 impact and the closure of commercial activities that resulted in operational challenges.
The organic food market is expected to reach USD 380.84 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 14.5%.
The Indian organic food market reached a value of USD 815 Million in 2020. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to grow at a CAGR of around 24% during 2021-2026.
The market for organic food is currently on a strong growth trajectory in India. A major factor driving the demand of the Indian organic food market is the rising levels of health awareness in the country.
Globally and in India Increasing health concerns due to the growing number of chemical poisoning cases globally are acting as a driver in the organic food market.
Consumers are becoming more health-conscious owing to the harmful effects caused by the presence of chemical pesticides in food products.
The toxicity of chemical pesticides in food products can cause cancer, hormone disruption, and birth defects. According to a UN report, around 200,000 people die every year due to the toxic effects of pesticides in food products. This is causing consumers to shift their focus towards organic food products.