Organic is back in India
The organic food tsunami came about a decade ago, washing over our lives completely. From the humble cucumber to the exotic avocado, from pulses to salad leaves to spices to rice, every single food item we used to buy from the grocers suddenly had an organic cousin sitting next to it on the shelves – with the only obvious difference being a higher price tag. Soon, companies specializing in organic food deliveries came up, claiming to bring produce directly from an organic farm to your table. Now, many restaurants promise the same. This trend has surpassed all food trends and one can even get organic Diwali sweets now.
Indian farming reveals an untapped potential reviewing the list of 172 countries practicing organic agriculture worldwide since only 0.4% of total agricultural land is under organic cultivation. In 2015, the export and domestic market of the Indian organic industry grew by 30% and 40% respectively. Organic farming has seen a drastic overall development in almost every crop type due to an increase in awareness of food security and environmental safety. Health-conscious consumers today will support the growth of the organic agricultural sector in many ways.
According to WHO, the total global organic food market presently is around $37 billion. This $14 billion market is for herbal plants and medicines, which is expected to reach $5 trillion by the year 2050. According to International Fund for Agriculture and Development (IFAD), India has more than 15,000 certified organic farms.
We’re in the year 2022, the last 2 years gave us a million reasons to think about our health, what we eat, how clean our surroundings are, how strong our bodies are, and what helps us improve our immunity. The organic food industry has seen a tremendous shift in consumption and was amongst the few industries that survived the lockdowns. The shift from packaged foods to organic products was quite evident and has a promising future. we all are aware that organic food is produced naturally and is free from harmful chemicals/pesticides, therefore it doesn’t affect human health in harmful ways. Organic products are produced using techniques such as green manure to fertilize the land and crop rotation to enhance soil health; therefore, the yields are safer and healthier. Consequently. consuming organic products leads to a better-nourished body with improved health and enhanced quality of life.
Apart from traditional brick-and-mortar outlets, the availability of organic food items on leading e-commerce websites and online grocery stores has also added to the demand. An Amazon spokesperson says that overall, their organic food sales have grown four times year-on-year, with some popular items being whole wheat atta, dals, and organic rice. “Organic food items are one of the most searched products under our grocery and gourmet category,” the spokesperson adds.
The organic food market in the country may be small as of now, but it is evolving and growing steadily, says Mohit Khattar, managing director, Godrej Nature’s Basket, a premium gourmet food store chain. “Sales at Nature’s Basket in this segment have nearly doubled over the past three-four years. We have seen consumers become more conscious of their choices,” he says.