Mumbai-based organic food firm targeting international expansion as domestic consumer awareness increases

By Lester Wan

- Last updated on GMT

Truefarm Foods’ organic products will be sold through global tie-ups with online retailers such as Amazon, and in physical stores through the firm’s distribution channels.  ©Truefarm
Truefarm Foods’ organic products will be sold through global tie-ups with online retailers such as Amazon, and in physical stores through the firm’s distribution channels. ©Truefarm
Rapidly growing Mumbai-based organic food start-up Truefarm Foods is planning to expand into international markets starting from this June.

Founded just in 2016, the company is now targeting overseas markets including the US, UK, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, the Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Truefarm Foods’ organic food products will be sold through global tie-ups with top online retailers such as Amazon, as well as in physical stores through the firm’s distribution channels.

“Initially, we shall start with stores in Hong Kong and with Amazon in Europe and North America, and gradually expand to other channels and geographies,”​ said Rupendra Soni, CMO and co-founder of Truefarm Foods.

The company is also exploring opportunities in Singapore. Other markets in Asia Pacific such as Australia and Japan are planned for the second phase.

In India, they are available “across the country”​ through online ecommerce channels such as Amazon as well as in stores in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Pune, and will be “coming to other cities soon”​ through stores such as Reliance Retail and Godrej Nature’s Basket.

Locally-sourced organic

Truefarm’s organic product portfolio includes superfoods such as red quinoa, chia seeds and teff flour, breakfast cereals such as oats and muesli, multigrain nutrition flours, spices, pulses and rice,

The company said it sources about 50 to 60 organic ingredients to make healthy organic food products. These include grains, millets, seeds and spices, all from the farms of thousands of farmers across India.

The raw ingredients are mainly sourced from farms in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra, while some crops come from Uttarakhand, Andhra and Odisha, and other states.

“At Truefarm, we have our supply chain infrastructure well planned and do not face any hurdles,”​ said Manish Bhandari, COO and co-founder.

“However, at a national level in India, there is a definitely a huge shortage of warehousing in general and cold chain warehouses in particular for cost effective storage of farm produce.”

Truefarm’s factory is located in the heart of Mumbai city in Goregaon East. Its operations include processes such as grinding, milling, blending, roasting, baking, and so on. The facility also has packaging and customised packaging printing capabilities.

India’s organic growth

“(In India now) There is a strong regulatory compliance requirement for organic standards and for food safety, but we see these as essential and don’t see these as challenges,”​ said Ian Marber, nutritionist and co-founder of Truefarm Foods.

“We are happy about the fact that the Indian government has a very strong focus on the organic sector and is bringing new regulation to support farmers and support the growth of organic food business.”

According to the company, awareness about organic products in India has been significantly increasing in the recent three to four years.

“Consumers are also more aware of certification processes, and hence make careful purchase decisions,” ​said Marber.

In terms of the market channels, the co-founders said that there has been an emerging trend of farmers markets and society “activations” focused on organic products. They said the growth and availability of alternate channels as well as increased awareness of organic certifications have helped Truefarm to reach out to more consumers in an effective manner.

Truefarm Foods was founded about two years ago by Ravi Jakhar, Ian Marber, Rupendra Soni and Manish Bhandari. By working in tandem with nutrition experts and farmers they seek to produce truly healthy food that doesn’t compromise on taste. The company's products are certified by the Control Union, India Organic, the European Union, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and USDA organic.

“We aspire to be among the top two (organic) companies in India by the end of 2019 and we aim to be among the leading global players in the years to follow,”​ said Jakhar, entrepreneur and co-founder of Truefarm Foods.

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