04 Jan Adoption of safe-to-consume fresh produce witnesses sharp spike during 2020
Increased awareness on hygiene and the need to have safe-to-consume fresh produce has led to a sharp increase across multitude of citizens in India. Lawrencedale Agro Processing which brings India’s premier safe-to-consume fresh produce brand (LEAF) saw its adoption increase sharply during 2020 with more than 5 million families adopting its wide range of products.
The company specialises on livelihood improvements of marginalised farmers and empowers them to grow safe-to-consume fresh produce, which is highly beneficial to the consuming population, was able to strengthen and consolidate its leading market position in the same category during 2020.
Palat Vijayaraghavan, founder and CEO, Lawrencedale Agro Processing, said, “It is a delight that more and more families across the spectrum are adopting Safe-To-Consume fresh produce as a must to have in these days. Even before the onset of Covid-19, millions of families were used to our range of products and during the past 8 months the adoption has spiked.”
The company through its ISO-22000 integrated supply chain adopts a wide range of comprehensive steps to ensure the best and safest fresh produce reaches the consumers.
“We start with the soil. If it has been degenerated with excess use of harmful chemicals, we nurture it back to its regenerative nature. Our team of expert agronomists walk with the farmers in the total life-cycle of the harvest through scientific farming techniques– right from appropriate seed selection to choosing crop nutrition products, everything is taken care. The crops are then closely monitored through the growing process and the harvest is done methodically,” explained Vijayaraghavan.
The adoption of scientific farming techniques has brought about significant livelihood improvements to the millions of farmers which the company works with. The cost of cultivation is reduced by more than 40 per cent through controlled dispensing of farming inputs as a result of which the quality is much better fetching better returns for the farmers.
“There are many bio-alternate crop nutrition products which nurtures the harvest and which is absolutely safe for consumers. Traditionally the fresh produce harvest is abused with excessive use of harmful chemicals as many farmers are not aware of the quantity which they have to use. Everything has been on a haphazard manner, which we are systematically changing. The change of habits towards new techniques from the farmers is slow but steady,” added Vijayaraghavan.
Once the harvest is done, the company’s ISO-22000 export-certified post-harvest management process takes over, which also ensures that the wastage is minimised. The entire harvest is put through a hygienic process which ensures that external residues is cleaned.
“The bane of Indian agriculture has been the high wastage. We need state-of-the-art post harvest management systems across many locations, like the one LEAF has implemented. With better crop management, the proportion of top-quality grade increases in the harvest and the least quality grade is reduced drastically. LEAF’s post-harvest management system further ensures that the supply chain losses are cut down significantly and the Safe-To-Consume LEAF brand of fresh produce reaches the consumers within the shortest possible time,” concluded Vijayaraghavan.