20 Jan Lawrencedale Agroprocessing India inks cobranding partnership with Star Bazaar
BENGALURU: Lawrencedale Agroprocessing India, a supplier of fresh fruits and vegetables, is expanding the scope of its partnership with Star, a Tata-Tesco enterprise, to sell cobranded produce at its retail stores.
Star is a multi-format hypermarket chain with 21 stores across five cities in Karnataka and Maharashtra. Ooty-based Lawrencedale, through its contaminant-free, safe-to-consume fresh produce brand LEAF, will first launch in Star Extra in Bengaluru this week and will cover all Star’s stores in the city in a month before starting in Maharashtra. The packaging will carry both Lead and Star logos.
“Our current model with organised retailers is purely a supplier-buyer relationship. With our partnership with Star, we will pack and present produce especially for their requirements, in terms of weight and size, to meet their demand and style,” said Palat Vijayaraghavan, cofounder of Lawrencedale. The company will hold in-store promotions for consumers on LEAF as a brand and the benefits of its processing technology.
Most of its fresh stem vegetables are put through an ozone wash while root vegetables undergo another parallel cleaning process to remove harmful external contaminants, a technology developed by Lawrencedale, said Vijayaraghavan. The company’s model is designed on end-to-end specialisation from farmer engagement, post-harvest management, cold-chain storage and last-mile delivery.
“The idea behind collaborating with Lawrencedale Agroprocessing was to bring our customers ozone-washed and packaged vegetables, which ensure freshness and hygiene. These contaminant-free vegetables are packed, adding to customer convenience,” said Deepak Sahoo, director, fresh operations at Star.
Alongside, the company will launch an organic brand – Lawrencedale Organic – in 15-20 specialised stores in Bengaluru this month.
The company currently sells its produce across 17 organised retail chains, over 150 small retailers and about five hotels and restaurants in the southern and western markets. It works with more than 3,000 farmers to procure fresh produce on the day’s market rates.
Lawrencedale also sells on BigBasket, Grofers and LocalBanya. The company is backed by Aspada Investment, an impact fund, which put in $2 million in April 2013 for a 40% stake. It is in advanced talks with investors to raise about $10 million.