A local fruit and vegetable retailer in Dubai, Naturebeatz, is offering next-day delivery for freshly harvested produce from across South Asia, beating out many large FMCG retailers in the UAE.
The initiative was started by Brijesh Krishnan, a farming enthusiast based in Thrissur and his associated Praveen Kottavathil along with seven to eight organic farming enthusiasts in India and the UAE.
For AED60 the buyer receives a ‘kit’ or hamper of 5.5-6 kgs of vegetables and fruits weekly. The initiative is currently supply around 600 families across the country with South Asian fruits and vegetables fresher than that found in most supermarkets.
“Vegetables harvested in Kerala are delivered to homes in the UAE the very next day, completely removing the need for storage, fancy packaging or retailing facilities,” Kottavathil told Khaleej Times.
The AED60 price is fixed and won’t be affected by prices for the same goods on the open market, and includes the cost of transporting the produce by air cargo from Kerala.
Naturebeatz grows the fruits and veggies on a five-acre farm at Mala, Thrissur, Kerala, and also procures items from 1,500 other farmers in Kerala.
“We’ve fixed a price for each commodity. For example, the price for a kilo of tomatoes is 20 Indian rupees [at the time of writing]. Even if the market rate falls to 3 Indian rupees, we still pay the farmer 20 rupees,” said Kottavathil.
The farmers don’t use any kind of harmful pesticides and the land is made fertile using only natural fertilisers such as cow dung.
“We have two consignments coming in from Kerala every few days,” said Kottavathil.
“Our aim is not to sell and make a profit; even in the future, we don’t intend to ever retail these vegetables. It is to introduce more people to a natural, healthy, organic lifestyle,” he added.
Except for onion and garlic, the group supplies an entire myriad of fruits and veggies. The list includes purple yam, long yard beans, cucumber, aubergine, pumpkin, papaya, bitter gourd, snake gourd, tomatoes, pineapples, green chillies, jackfruit, bananas, potatoes, beetroots, ginger, and much more.
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