KOCHI: In Kerala, the demand for organic products is on the rise and a lot of companies, including agri startups, are making a beeline to the state with their products to cash in on the demand. Right from vegetables to coconut oil, products under the organic label are hitting the market. The competition has become so intense that the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd (NAFED) is also foraying into the Kerala market with a wide range of organic products.
Already, the state government has given an impetus to promoting organic foods by opening over 100 organic shops in the past three years. “NAFED is rolling out the organic products nationally and Kerala is one of our key markets. All our products will be certified for authenticity and quality,” said NAFED (Kochi) manager Abinesh Bose.
“There are plenty of organic stores coming up in the state. But people her are not ready to spend that extra money for organic products which are priced a little higher than other products,” said Thomas Kalappura, chairman of Fair Trade Alliance Kerala (FTAK).
He said the market is full of products branded as organic without any mandatory certification.“The sector is still dominated by unorganised players. Many outlets who claim to be selling organic products source them from Tamil Nadu or Karnataka. Lack of certification is the major challenge. Input costs for organic farming are high, but people are not ready to pay more for the products. Only people in major urban centres like Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode show interest in buying organic products,” he added.
NAFED (Kochi) manager Abinesh Bose said NAFED will appoint distributors and stockists across the state to ensure their organic products reach customers via retail outlets.