Organic Kitchen, a Gurugram-based start-up that sources organic products directly from farms and offers them to customers is planning to expand its operations across 15 metro cities by the end of 2025, according to its Executive Director and Co-Founder Krishnank Atrey.
Stating that the start-up is currently operational in Gurugram, Atrey said, “Looking at the response and the queries we get on our social media handles, we plan to expand operations across Delhi-NCR by the end of 2023 and to 15 metro cities by the end of 2025.” It has around 16,000 active users now.
Origins of sourcing
The start-up sources organic products from around 1,900 farmers across the country. Atrey said around 800 organic farmers from Nawalgarh in Rajasthan and surrounding areas are associated with the start-up, sourcing a major chunk of summer vegetables and fruits such as melons, guavas, and papayas.
He said over 500 organic farmers in and around the Solan region in Himachal Pradesh supply fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, and plums to the start-up. A big chunk of vegetables is also sourced from Solan during summer as production falls in Nawalgarh due to scorching heat.
Apart from this, Organic Kitchen sources leafy vegetables and dairy products such as milk and paneer from nearly 400 farmers in Sundana and Delhi NCR. Over 100 farmers from Karnataka supply regional and exotic fruits such as pineapple, avocado and coconut, among others.
Organic Kitchen even has over 100 organic farmers spread across India who supply regional products and varieties specific to that region. Stating that the company’s vision is to enable maximum availability of organic food across Indian households, the sourcing focus in the future will depend on the city where it delivers its products. “Once we expand in southern India, we will focus on sourcing and collaborating with organic farmers in that region,” he said.
To a query on the steps taken by Organic Kitchen to increase returns for farmers, Atrey said though India has the largest number of organic farmers, there is no organised market available for them to sell their organic produce. As a result, they have to sell their organic produce at regular prices.
“We believe that farmers should harvest the benefits of the crops they sow, not agents or middlemen. Farmers have also reduced their input costs by foregoing the costs of synthetic pesticides and fertilisers,” he said. Organic Kitchen offers farm gate purchases, helping farmers to reduce the cost of transporting their produce to the ‘mandi’ or marketplace. All these factors have helped farmers increase their profits substantially.
Asked how the start-up ensures the authentic organic product supply from farmers, he said it does not just rely on certification. “We go the extra mile to ensure everything is authentic. For that, we have got an in-house audit and compliance team that regularly visits these farms and ensures all guidelines are being followed and random batch testing of products is done to identify any discrepancies,” Atrey said.
With the next round of funding, Organic Kitchen is planning to add sensors to detect the presence of chemicals in the farmland, which would boost the level of authenticity.
The start-up supplies over 300 organic products spread across categories such as fruits, vegetables, groceries, bakery, dairy, and poultry. He said fruits have the highest demand while the demand for grocery items is also picking up as consumers are becoming aware of its benefits.
Organic Kitchen will soonexpand into organic processed foods. “To transform your conventional kitchen into an organic one, we will introduce over 1,500 products by the end of 2023,” Atrey added.