Innoterra, an Indo-Swiss food and technology platform, has partnered with the farmers collectives in Konkan to deliver the premium GI tagged alphonso mangoes to consumers both in domestic and overseas markets in the upcoming season.
Innoterra signed separate MoUs with Devgad Taluka Amba Utpadak Sahakari Sanstha Ltd and Pawas Parisar Amba Utpadak Sangh to create a farmer-owned company.
Through this collaboration, Innoterra plans to bring around 3,000 tonnes of fully traceable premium quality Alphonso mangoes to consumers in domestic and international markets. The farmer cooperatives and the company plan to co-invest $ 1 million at the initial phase of this collaboration, Innoterra said in a statement.
This first-of-its-kind initiative is aimed at delivering maximum value of the GI-tagged fruit to the farmers, while also raising consumer awareness about authentic Konkan Alphonso mango. The farmers will also get access to Innoterra’s 360-degree services platform that enables high density plantations, farming protocols, re-plantations of orchards, input provision, financial inclusion, and farmer training. The initiative will utilize the pack houses and other infrastructure of Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) and secure technical support from D. Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli.
Innoterra has already successfully pioneered traceability in the alphonso mango through its collaboration with Konkan Alphonso Mango Producers and Sellers Cooperative Association, spearheaded by Vivek Bhide, a prominent farmer champion of the GI initiative for Alphonso.
“This collaboration signals our intent to establish a single farmer-owned company with a worldwide-recognized brand for Alphonso from the Konkan region as a super fruit in premium markets. Farming services and post-harvest interventions will address significant concerns in this sector, such as Alphonso’s quality and marketability,” said Mukesh Khandelwal, Chief Innovation Officer at Innoterra.
Sunil Pawar, MD of MSAMB said “While Konkan Alphonso has the GI tag, other similar-looking mangoes sourced from other regions may be sold as Alphonso. This not only dilutes Alphonso’s brand name but also eats into the margins of Konkan farmers. A farmer-owned marketing company will have the ability to strengthen the global brand of Alphonso and shift farmers from being price takers towards becoming price setters.”
Ajit Gogate, Chairperson, Devgad Cooperativesaid, “Small farmers do not receive adequate value for their Alphonso crop – they depend on commission agents to sell the product, and do not have enough resources for proper branding and marketing. Devgad Cooperative has joined hands Alphonso farmers in other parts of Konkan and Innoterra to set up this farmer-owned marketing and distribution company. This company will strengthen the bargaining power of farmers in the Konkan region, provide them access to traceability, marketing, and branding services, and enforce the Konkan farmer’s GI protected right to exclusive use of the word ‘Alphonso’.”
Pradeep Sawant, Chairperson, Pawas cooperative said, “The Pawas Cooperative fully supports this initiative to set up a farmer-owned company. Through this initiative, farmers will be able to better develop premium domestic and export markets for the fruit, consumers around the world will be able to experience the true flavour and quality of genuine Alphonso, and the country will realise the massive potential of the world’s most delicious fruit. “