According to EMR research, the Indian organic food market is competitive and has attained a value of US $ 849.5 million in 2020. Moreover, aided by the government schemes and driven by the increasing health consciousness, the industry is expected to witness further growth from 2021-2026, at a CAGR of 20.5%.
The organic and natural food market is expected to remain competitive as more and more entrants join. Vediko, the brainchild of Naman Bhurani, an all-artisanal maker of organic farm goodness, offers handcrafted pure farm products to its customers. It started in 2016 as a community initiative to provide fair business opportunities to farmers, reduce their dependency on expensive synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and increase the shelf life of fresh produce.
The product portfolio of Vediko includes handcrafted farm products such as organic cold-pressed oils, ghee, raw honey, murabba, and other organic essentials. The products are grown and processed by the company's farmers' group and available at eCommerce stores across India.
Connecting scaffold between farmers
A home delivery model of organic essentials grown out of one farm near Delhi, Vediko is currently helping over 100 farmers and serving 10000 customers across India. Bhurani shares that farmers often have the pressure of delivering high yields, which ultimately force them to compromise on quality and food safety. He adds, "Majority of rural farmers belong to the marginal income group. We are helping them earn more by using organic farming methods and adding value to their agricultural produce. This way, we are trying to solve the majority of their existing problems."
Bhurani underlines that Vediko aims to promote financial independence to its farmers by teaching them good farming practices and making them well-versed with organic farming methods. In addition, it offers necessary technical knowledge and support for pre-and post-harvest management to the farmers on board. He explains, "We help them in acquiring raw materials for their farms, organize a training camp at our model farms to teach them how they can shift from conventional farming to organic farming and increase production and quality levels. Also, we buy their produce at a premium of 10 to 15% from the market price without binding them in predatory exclusive contracts. They can freely sell their produce elsewhere if they want."
Growing demand for natural and organic food
While many businesses closed or had incurred significant losses during the Covid-19 pandemic, Vediko is witnessing exponential growth. He explains, "In these tough times, people have realized the value of food, health, and mindful eating. They know that to deal with this pandemic, they need to remain healthy by consuming organic and natural food. As a result, more and more people turned to us for their food-specific needs." The start-up also organizes farm tours for people living in urban areas to get some hands-on experience in farming.
Amid pandemic also Vediko's model farm and processing facility in Murthal, Haryana, is up and running but with less workforce. He says, "As I mentioned, the demand for our products has skyrocketed, and to keep up with it, it's all hands on deck. My family and I are packaging products and handling the majority of operations."
Vediko has a strong presence at various eCommerce platforms and on retail shelves of Delhi NCR. Now it is eyeing to expand aggressively in modern and general trade across India and overseas. Bhurani says, "We were already starting expansion, but then the pandemic put everything on halt, so hoping to pick up soon where we left and spread the love for food and farming overseas!"