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Saintfarm Agro LLP, an end-to-end e-commerce enterprise focused on organic and sustainable food has been launched by entrepreneur Sajan Raj Kurup. Organic farming, processing, agri-tech, R&D, exports, and online retailing are all part of the company's operations.
Through its online platform, Saintfarm has been selling fresh organic food such as fruits, vegetables, pulses, honey, and cow ghee in India's major metros. There are 258 different organic product categories at the moment.
After Kurup bought decade-old Ahmedabad-based Arpit Organic, founded by Nehal Shah, in 2019, Saintfarm was founded with an initial investment of $2-$3 million. Shah is the chief operating officer (COO) of Saintfarm, where he still has a minority ownership in Arpit Organic.
Kurup, who created the advertising agency Creative Land Asia and the alternative investment fund Ventureland Asia, has spent the previous few years focused on merging Saintfarm's functions.
Kurup purchased organic farmland, trained organic farm producers, established organic food processing and packaging units, built apiaries, developed a supply chain, and released an app on both Android and iOS platforms to give access to consumers across the country to launch Saintfarm's operations.
Focus on organic farming and produce
The major goal of Saintfarm is to grow and sell organic products. In Nashik, Ahmedabad, Anand, Boriyavi, Nadiyad, Reengus, and Khatu, the company has set up farming facilities on agricultural land.
“At the moment, our supply chain spans Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, and the Northeast, with more than 650 farmers growing organic ingredients ranging from cereals, pulses, oilseeds, spices, fruits, vegetables, and herbs across Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, and the Northeast.
The farms, products, and facilities are EU, USDA NOP, and Indian NPOP certified, according to the company. In the next two years, Saintfarm hopes to bring together 15,000 farmers from across the country.
In addition, the company has opened its first organic processing facility in Ahmedabad, which complies with USDA, European, and Indian organic standards. The company's operation can process up to 240 metric tons of flour, dals, and pulses every year.
“Saintfarm plans to open comparable processing operations in Mumbai, Jaipur, Bengaluru, and Delhi NCR in the next two years to accommodate the growing demand. The company's processing unit capacity will expand to at least 1000MT per year by the end of 2023, according to the company.
Saintfarm has also established its own apiaries for the production of pure honey. There are currently three apiaries in North India, with more apiaries to be created in the next spring.
Innovation and R&D
The company's main focus is on research and development. Its methodology entails collaborating with farmers, mobilizing them, and training them in organic farming. “Saintfarm's team of agronomists and field personnel work directly with the farmers, assuring total control over the seed, soil, farming, and harvesting, as well as adopting global best practices in organic food production,” according to the company.
It has put a lot of effort into creating a digital ecosystem and an end-to-end channel to get its farm produce to the end consumer as quickly as possible. “Being linked to the earth and putting together an ecosystem of food that is really needed today has been a lot of hard work for two years,” Kurup said.
“The founding architecture of Saintfarm is built on three tenets. We must show respect for the land we work. Farmers who work the land should be respected. Also, we must show appreciation for the food we grow. Organic and sustainable living, in my opinion, is not only an option, but a right that everyone should exercise.”
“I have been in the organic sector for over 12 years, and I was seeking for a like-minded person who is also very passionate about organic farming and environmental consciousness,” said Kurup's business partner, Nehal Shah.
“I met Kurup and shared my thoughts on organic farming and food with him. At the conclusion of our conversation, I knew I had met someone who shared my vision and could help me scale it up. He continued, "We resolved to pursue our idea together and make it a reality."
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