Farmers in the Sikkim region, and other hilly/difficult areas in Northeast India, are not obtaining fair market price for their crops due to the inability to easily access main supply chains with their products. On average, over 10 participants may be involved in getting the final product to consumers, each one adding additional cost extraction from the smallholder farmers who only receive a fraction of the final price of their crops. Also, there is no differentiated marketing and branding for the certified organic produce of Sikkim.
Parvata Foods supplies organic produce to retail outlets through a farm-to-store model. Parvata focuses on fruits, vegetables and spices (fresh and processed) sourced from difficult-to-farm areas of Northeast India. The hilly landscapes make farming at large scale in these locations difficult, resulting in fragmented operations that struggle to integrate with larger supply and value chains.
Parvata is building integrated value chains for the organic produce of Sikkim farmers by building marketing linkages along with packaging and branding. It eliminates several non value-adding middlemen, passing on the value to the farmers. It is thus integrating Sikkim farmers into the main value chain and elevating their living standards. Parvata is also creating an identity for the organic produce of Sikkim and communicating its better characteristics to the consumers. Parvata’s primary products are ginger and turmeric and it is currently building a pipeline to expand into large cardamom, buckwheat, chili, pineapple and mandarin. It looks to expand into exporting processed spices to Europe and US.
Parvata creates value for the farmer by increasing incomes and by providing an avenue to sell their organic produce in larger markets under a branded name. It collects produce from farmers directly at the field, where it is weighed and assessed for quality and cash payments are made. Parvata pays farmers 70% of its receipt at farm-gate, which is one of the highest in fruit and vegetable category in India. After primary collection, the product is transported to a central processing plant for processing, packaging and distribution. Processing, packaging and branding the produce, tasks that are not feasible for individual farmers, create substantial value for the farmers. The increased supply helps meet the growing demand for organic produce and spices. Parvata also provides hand-holding to the farmers by educating them about better agricultural and post-harvest practices. This enables Parvata to impact and improve the overall living standards of the farmers.