Retailing organic products is not a daunting task and it just takes passion for natural produce, proves Satya Kodali who owns Srishti Naturals, a multi-brand organic products outlet in Jal Vayu Vihar, Kukatpally.
A staunch follower of Subhash Palekar, whose based Zero Budget Natural Farming has helped over 40 lakh farmers, this IT professional quit his job to take up organic retailing.
“We started with vegetables such as leafy vegetables, peas, cucumber and tomatoes sourced from organic farmers and NGOs cultivating them in Bhongir and Jangam which we sold in Hydernagar and Jal Vayu Vihar at our weekly organic bazaars. Gradually we added cereals, staples, jaggery, spices and ghee. Soon I plan to procure milk from dairy farms that follow zero chemical pesticides and fertilizer practices,” he says.
A visit to his make-shift store, a new outlet is on the cards, makes one baffled with the variety of products one finds here, all organic.
A fitness freak's paradise, this store boasts of pearl millet, flax seeds, organic basmati and brown rice, organic wheat and wheat flour, organic muesli, green gram, fenugreek seeds, basil tea, broken wheat, sunflower oil, groundnut oil, peanuts and powdered jaggery from brands in the business such as Timbuktu from Anantapur, Greenlands (Vijayawada), and from NGOs such as Dhyanahita (Shabad) and DDS (Pastapur), that has vendors dropping by to shop.
“The rush is maddening when we stock vegetables. There is no supply during summer. We retail leafy vegetables, okra, brinjal, tomatoes grown organically. There is a great demand for the products. One needs to identify and source the vendors. I travel a lot to get in touch with suppliers,” he says. His supplies come from farmers certified by organisations such as Vedic Organic.
“It normally takes three years for the land that was hitherto cultivated using chemicals to be classified organic. You need to monitor the soil regularly. Vermicompost and neem are used in organic farming. For a long time I have been reading up and attending programmes on organic farming as I believe in it. Hippocrates said 'Food Thy Medicine,' and it holds true when we see the levels of chemicals that are seen in the food chain. In countries like UK, baby food is made from organic material and so are the meals served in schools there. We need to protect our next generation,” says Kodali.
Come evenings and he waits for his delivery of organic products, ranging from onions to rice, coming from many of the neighbouring organic farms.
“I intend to convert more farmers to natural or organic farming by conducting workshops. A per cent of the sales goes to the farmers and this way they get benefited in turn,” he says.
With the price difference negligible compared to the health benefits and delectable taste these products offer, organic seems the way to go.
A fitness freak's paradise, Srishti Naturals store retails pearl millet, flax seeds, organic basmati rice, muesli and more