Organic India, which is run by FabIndia, wants its herbs and infusions to include more than just Tulsi (Holy Basil). Its Group Managing Director, Subrata Dutta, says that it plans to release products without it.
‘We’ve started selling ‘Simply Chamomile’ without Tulsi. This is a growing group of people who use chamomile to help them sleep. We buy from farmers and then sell the food,’ Dutta told BusinessLine.
First mover advantage
Organic India is now selling chamomile after doing well with Tulsi. The Holy Basi was used by the company to make a category of herbs and infusions like tea leaves. It was the first to use Tulsi that came from nature. ‘Being the first ones to act gave us an edge. It’s where 90% of the organic Tulsi used in the segment comes from,’ he said.
Chamomile is a plant in the family Asteraceae that looks like a daisy. It is used to make herbal infusions that are used in traditional medicine. It was imported from places like Latin America and was promoted by Organic India, which grew it as an experiment on farms that were controlled for the environment.
Chamomile is grown organically in Rahat, Uttar Pradesh, and the fact that it is grown there has changed the whole way trade works. ‘It has grown well and is a good thing for everyone. Farmers will get fair prices, and consumers will pay less because it won’t be brought in from other places,’ he said.
In November of last year, Dutta said that Organic India had tried growing chamomile on Indian farms as an experiment. The company then went to the farmers and told them that if they grew chamomile, it would buy it and help them make 50% more money. They also got help from Organic India to grow it.
He had then said that farmers who grew chamomile got better returns and yields than those who grew wheat or other food grains.
There’s more coming
Moringa Hibiscus, which can help boost antioxidants, has also been released by Organic India. ‘It’s doing well, and people drink it as an iced drink. Six more of these non-Tulsi products are being made and will be on the market by December,’ Dutta said.
Organic India also has in its lab a mix of herbs that work well together, like guava-chili, which can give you Vitamin C and is the same as lemon. It has also started selling Spirulina tablets, which are its second superfood.
The company was one of the first to sell organic herbs and foods. It has now added quinoa to its list of organic staple foods. Organic India works directly and indirectly with 12,500 farmers. Last year, as part of its strategy to grow, it moved into the staples category, where it is doing well.
‘Our goods are moving along pretty quickly. The group’s managing director said, Right now, we’re putting our attention on how many and what kinds of staple foods we offer.’
Celebrations for the Silver Jubilee
The company sells flax seeds as well as a new line of millets. Dutta said that our organic millets are selling well on the export market, especially in the Middle East. It also sells organic cold-pressed oils like sesame (til/gingelly), coconut, mustard, and groundnut. It now has cold-pressed sunflower oil in its line of products.
The company is now in every part of the country, not just the northern, western, and southern parts where it was before. The company is selling a lot of palm jaggery, which is good for people with diabetes because it has a low glycemic index.
As part of its Silver Jubilee celebrations, Organic India chose the five best organic farmers with the help of an independent jury. This was done to thank them for their hard work. Out of 100 applicants, these five were chosen and given the ‘Dhart Mitr Award’ at the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival in Mumbai in February of this year. The farmers got their awards from Lt Col YK Joshi, who led the 13th battalion and was a hero of the Kargil War.