Kagome Foods India has Improved the Lives of 200 Farmer Partners: Rohit Bhatla, Managing Director, Kagome Foods India
In an exclusive interaction with BW Hotelier, Rohit Bhatla spoke about expansion plans and job creation in India.
KAGOME FOODS India is a Tomato Solutions Company, offering natural and customizable, base solutions to Indian food service. The company has a range of preservative-free tomato solutions that drive convenience, consistency, and customizability, offering an enhanced cooking experience to chefs. In a recent collaboration with ICF, Rohit Bhatla, Managing Director, Kagome Foods India, said, “Tomatoes in India hold tremendous significance in our culinary journey, as they act as a vital catalyst in enhancing the taste of Indian foods. Our preservative-free tomatoes go a step ahead in providing the best quality product at a competitive price which is season agnostic."
The company works closely with farmers, educating them on sustainable farm management, to improve the quality and yield of tomatoes. In an exclusive interaction with BW Hotelier, Rohit Bhatla spoke about expansion plans and job creation in India.
What are the key styles Indians consume tomato?
Tomatoes in India hold tremendous significance in our culinary journey, as they act as a vital catalyst in enhancing the taste and texture of Indian foods. India is the second largest producer and consumer of Tomatoes in the world with a production of 20 million tonnes annually. Tomatoes are the base for Indian Curries, Vegetables, Soups, Chutneys, Pickles etc. The popular belief in India is - ‘No Tomatoes, No Cooking’. Tomatoes are added to food for their texture, taste and rich red color.
What is Kagome's plan of job creation in India?
In a bid to make available high-quality tomato products, at an economical price throughout the year, Kagome Foods India is working actively with farmers to set up an integrated value chain for tomatoes. Kagome Foods India is collaborating with local farmers in Nashik for developing a comprehensive new integrated seed to table value chain for tomato processing by supplying them with specialized, processing specific seeds, and other agricultural inputs; Reducing farmer workload and cultivation costs, through the elimination of stakes and introduction of mulch films and providing them precise cultivation guidance; Buying back the harvested tomatoes at a fixed annual price, ensuring assured returns to farmers
The company’s concerted efforts are resulting in high yield, high quality tomatoes, produced at a low cost. Through their work, Kagome Foods India has improved the lives of 200 farmer partners, with a plan to take this number to 1,000 over the next few years.
What is the USP of your product and how is it different from the available same range of products in the market?
Driven by its motto of offering Global Quality Products at Local Prices, KFI has a range of preservative-free tomato products that drive convenience, consistency, and customizability, offering an enhanced cooking experience to chefs. Kagome Foods India’s launch portfolio comprises of the flagship product Crushed Tomatoes, along with Tomato Puree, Tomato Soup Base, Tomato Makhani Gravy Base, and Italian Pizza Pasta Sauce.
The company’s signature product, Crushed Tomatoes, is prepared from the freshness of tomatoes. Rich red colour, fresh flavour and a chunky texture, along with a consistent taste and price throughout the year make Crushed Tomatoes ideal for extensive use in the food service kitchens. In addition to convenience in terms of reduced cooking time and effort, Crushed Tomatoes can be used in a wide range of tomato-based applications in Indian and Italian cuisines like Makhani and Kadhai based dishes, tomato soup, shorba, pizzas, pastas and more. Kagome Crushed Tomatoes add taste and freshness, just like raw tomatoes. The company has several exciting products targeted at Chefs, in the pipeline.
Kagome Foods India has certain differentiators, which make it stand out vis-à-vis competition:
Preservative free portfolio – Our entire product range is preservative free, with no artificial flavours or colours.
Seed to table value chain – Only company with a presence in the end-to-end value chain, from seed to table. Kagome’s wholly owned subsidiary (seed) company, supplies specialized, tested and approved seeds to farmers in Nashik, who grow them under the expert guidance of our agronomy teams. Our agronomists impart guidance to farmers to grow high yield, high-quality tomatoes at a low cost. These juicy tomatoes are harvested only when they are fully ripened, sorted and crushed in state-of-the-art plants.
Global Quality at Local Prices - Our rigorous quality controls, ensure safety and reassurance, enabling us to offer global quality products at local prices.
Japanese technology – In India, the norm is to process tomato products on the mango line. However, Kagome has made significant investments in factory infrastructure, to customize our processing line for tomato-based products, to make them better suited for use in restaurants
What are your expansion plans?
We are planning to expand our distribution reach from our existing markets of Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bangalore and Pune, to cover the top 10 foodservice markets in India. We will also expand our product range, to focus on a wider range of tomatoes and possibly onion-based products and we are looking forward to further investments in value chain and factory infrastructure.
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