One out of every 5 samples of food items tested by public food safety labs in the country has been found “adulterated and misbranded”, according to the testing report of public laboratories released by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). And thanks to social media platforms like Facebook and Whatsapp, we get to see videos showing how synthetic cabbage is made, how food colouring is done to make tomatoes look more red and ripe and much more. Considering the increasing need to find safe and nutritious food, Aditi Ghokle and Aman Singal started an online platform, All Things Organic, which focuses only on organic and natural products.
Launched in September 2015, the website allthingsorganic.com features organic fruits, vegetables, groceries, processed items made from organic ingredients, and also cosmetics and homecare necessities.
“We started with a very personal need of trying to find safe nutritious food for our families. We spoke to some friends and found out that we are not alone in this struggle. With the mission to provide chemical-free lifestyle to all, we started with this portal,” Singal tells Metrolife.
According to a research conducted by Ghokle and Singal, 70 per cent of high quality organically grown food in India is exported due to lucrative pricing, because of which, only traders benefit, not the farmers.
So in order to provide direct sourcing from farmers, they have introduced a ‘Farm Traceability Program’ for their certified fresh produce, under which fruits and vegetables under their label Organic Origins can be traced back to their respective farms using a Quick Response (QR) code.
“By scanning the code, the consumer gets access to complete details of the farm along with pictures. Through this, we try to ensure transparency by directly connecting consumers to farmers. This allows elimination of middlemen. This way, the organic produce becomes more affordable,” says Singal.
Apart from providing homemade dishes like organic kaanji, aam panna and garlic pickle, the portal provides a range of organic beauty products like bath salts, body scrubs, hair oils, hair conditioners and more, which are not easily available in the market.
“In India, the cosmetics market is dominated by bigger brands. So we got together many small ventures who were working in organic beauty products to provide them with a platform to sell their products,” adds Singal.
However, while organic products are available only in supermarkets or shopping malls and not in the next grocery store in one’s locality, how do they manage their inventory? “We work with multiple suppliers for this. While we do maintain some inventory, we also work in a Just-in-Time (JIT) format to source the freshest available products for our customers. Also, through our subscription program, we are able to manage the supply challenges,” says Singal adding that they are now looking forward to launch a range of freshly processed organic products which are children’s favourites along with homemade recipes and healthy snacks.