What is FarmerUncle?
FarmerUncle is an Online Farmer’s Market that allows you to pre-order fresh produce from farmers across the country and have it delivered to your doorstep in the shortest possible time from tree to door. We allow you to be a part of the farmer’s special, concentrated, and loyal customer base for their all-natural produce. This allows you to know the exact source of your food, when it was harvested, and also have the option of asking the farmer any question you may have regarding that produce. Through our last-mile-delivery channel, we ensure that the produce reaches you fresh and ready to eat, a maximum 4-5 days from the day of harvest. In short, we’re the only platform in India with a “Farmer to You” model.
How is FarmerUncle different from other platforms?
How we’re different is that we aren’t traders who are buying from the farmers, stocking it up, and selling it to you. Instead, we represent the farmer in the city and help the customers reach them directly. In other models, farmers get only 10-25% of what the customer pays which then forces them to use chemicals to increase their produce. But since they get 3-4 times on FarmerUncle than the market prices, they ensure that the produce made available is fresh and unadulteraded. We also make sure that the produce reaches you in minimum time from the harvest date, keeping it as healthy as possible. Since you’re communicating with the farmer directly, it gives you the opportunity to know who is growing the produce and how.
What kind of farmers are there on FarmerUncle, & what’s the difference between an organic farmer and a chemical residue-free farmer?
We have organic farmers and chemical-residue free farmers. Our farmers are progressive and responsible. They seek to practice farming with a more holistic knowledge of farming and its tehcniques, in order to be more responsible towards the customers and the environment.
Organic Farmers ensure that the entire process is purely organic in nature, and their farms are usually certified by a government agency. Instead of chemical insecticides, they use organic sprays which are a mixture of cow dung, neem oil, lassi, cow urine and tobacco.
Chemical Residue-free Farmers use recommended doses of chemicals during the initial stages of cultivation. But as sunlight breaks down the compounds, practically no traces of chemicals are retained in the actual fruit.
Does my buying from the farmer directly benefit me?
FarmerUncle connects you and the farmer directly, and in the process essentially removing the market middle-men who usually indulge in adulteration practices such as artificial ripening and colouring, as well as use of carcinogenic chemicals. So you’re getting produce that is as pure as it can get. Since you also have direct contact with the farmer, it makes him accountable to you, ensuring that he only sends the absolute best and fresh produce.
Does my buying from the farmer benefit him?
Since the farmer is the one setting the retail price and getting about 70% of it, they decide what their hard work is worth. It goes beyond money though, as they finally get recognition for their efforts at an ethical and sustainable form of cultivation. They are able to get feedback from the customers, and as they know who is consuming their hard-grown produce, it gives them a sense of pride and fulfilment, encouraging them to further improve their practices.
If I’m buying directly from the farmer, why isn’t it cheaper?
That is a genuine concern. But as much as we would like to make the products cheaper, we’re still a small platform with a limited consumer base to offer our farmers.
1. The cost of logistics is very high at the farmer’s end. For example – It would cost the mango farmer the same amount of money to transport 2,000 boxes of mango as it would for 200 boxes of mango, because the cost of hiring a utility truck is the same.
2. You’re getting produce that is fresher than anything you would get in the market and has high quality inputs. Expecting the farmer to offer “A-grade” produce at lower than “B” or “C” grade would be asking for too much.
3. The prices we’re offering you are still significantly lower than other organic stores online or in the market and you get a 100% assurance of quality with us.
What is stopping the Indian farmers from selling directly to me?
Up until now, the farmer has never been able to reach directly to you. One of their biggest hindrances is that they don’t have a market, or while they are harvesting, don’t have the time to reach a market. The cost of logistics is so high and the process so demanding, that it is practically impossible for him to ensure that the produce reaches the customer’s door. This is where we step in. We connect the farmer with customers in the city and also provide a way for their produce to reach the customers, along with knowledge about MOQ and packaging.