Sajan Raj Kurup, Founder of Creativeland Asia and Ventureland Asia, has announced the launch of Saintfarm.
Saintfarm Agro LLP (also संत फार्म) (Saintfarmagro.com) claims to be India’s first-ever affordable 100% 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, Kurup has spent the last two years scaling up the Saintfarm operations. From acquiring Organic farmland, aggregating organic farmers producers, setting up organic food processing & 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.
Organic Farming – 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, Saintfarm’s supply chain covers more than 650 farmers 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 & Indian NPOP standards.
Saintfarm aims to bring together around 15,000 farmers from across the nation in next 2 years.
Organic Processing – Saintfarm has set up its 1st processing unit at Ahmedabad, that meets with USDA, European and Indian organic standards. The unit holds the capacity of processing up to 240 MT per year of flours, dals & pulses.
Saintfarm aims to set up similar processing units at Mumbai, Jaipur, Bengaluru and Delhi NCR in near future to meet the increasing demand in next 2 years. By the end of the year 2023 the company’s processing unit capacity will increase to at least 1000MT per annum.
Organic Apiaries – Saintfarm has also set up own apiaries and produce 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 cr honeybees.
R&D and farmer training - Saintfarm’s inclusive model involves partnering with and mobilizing farmers and training them in organic agriculture. Saintfarm’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 od 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 centres and the delivery partners.
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 produce that we grow. I sincerely believe that organic and sustainable living isn’t just a choice but a right everyone must exercise.”
Partnering Kurup in the venture is Nehal Shah who retains a minority stake post the acquisition of Arpit Organic. And, Shah comes with 12 years of experience in the organic sector and has been given the operational reins as the Chief Operations Officer for the venture.
Shah 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.”
Kurup added, “Today food safety is on everyone’s minds. We want to know where our food comes from. We want to know how it is processed and handled. We want to be sure that the animals from which our food is made are raised in clean, safe living conditions. And we want to know that there is a system in place to make sure that the people and companies involved in food production are following the rules. Saintfarm ensures checks and balances at three levels before aggregating, endorsing and promoting organic produce.”
The global organic food market is expected to grow from $201.77 billion in 2020 to $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 $380.84 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 14.5%.
The Indian organic food market reached a value of US$ 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 India organic food market is the rising levels of health awareness in the country.
Globally and in India Increasing health concerns due to growing number of chemical poisoning cases globally is 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 an UN report, around 200,000 people die every year due to toxic effects of pesticides in food products. This is causing consumers to shift their focus towards organic food products.