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The Kottayam-based Manarcadu Social Service Society (MASS)- a farmers' cooperative in the organic and fair trade crops and produce sector, has launched its new organic dry fruits brand 'Only Organic'. Five varieties of organic dry fruits would be available under the new brand.
Targeted at the domestic market, the 'Only Organic' brand will be available in metro and tier-2 cities, including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kochi, among others.
Plantrich, the promoter of MASS, presently clocks an export turnover of around Rs 30 crore. The group, however, expects to cross the Rs 100-crore mark by 2020 with the new brand accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the overall turnover by then, said Bijumon Kurian, President, MASS and Managing Director, Plantrich Agritech Pvt Ltd.
Fruits are collected from more than 5,000 farmers, scattered across the hill tracts of Kerala. The fruits are then processed at Plantrich's Idinjamala and Manarcadu factories in Idukki and Kottayam respectively.
A network of 17 groups, of which a majority of stakeholders are women, was set up with support from Plantrich Agritech. At present, Plantrich supplies specialty coffee from the Western Ghats- a product that has made its presence felt in several international coffee events across the world. Apart from coffee, the partners of MASS currently produce 12 other fair trade certified products like cocoa, cinnamon, black pepper, white pepper, vanilla, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric, coconut and pineapple.
Cultivation under MASS is practised on 3,100 hectares of land the annual production of spice stands at 4,000 million tonnes (mt). The farmers' cooperative also produces 6,500 mt of cocoa and 2,600 mt of coffee every year, besides having an annual production of 1,870 mt for fruits.