The Sresta promise of detail, care, authenticity, and traceability.
At Sresta, we keep an extremely close eye on the process of farming to make sure that our products live up to our promise. To ensure that the food on your plate gives you the best possible nutrition we keep many guidelines that the food has to pass, starting from the farm till reaching your fork.
From our end, we are monitoring the organic methods and assuring from seed to kitchen, every detail is given the attention it deserves. Our practices stem from our values and beliefs – adhering to organic integrity, earning your trust and creating a sustainable platform for our farmer friends.
Choosing the right agro-climatic zone
Every crop and food has its soil and climate determined by nature. We ensure quality by choosing the right seed, soil, and climate and produce crops that are native to the particular place to guarantee that it will yield quality produce.
Choosing the right area & farm
Farms ideal for organic farming are seldom available. We pick areas with low contamination level to farm. Our team examines the level of contamination in the soil and water and our micromanagement techniques ensure we even examine the wind drift or flow of water from the neighboring farms to ensure organic purity. Typically, we start with a few farmers and gradually scale up the area over a period of 3 to 4 years to make the soil fit for organic farming.
Choosing the right farmer
An organic farmer generally has a natural predisposition to old-fashioned goodness with a firm belief in Mother Earth. They recognize the need to nurture it. Working with farmers with the right attitude, right values have been the cornerstones of our dedicated relationship with 45,000 farmers across 15 States of India.
Choosing the right seed
We encourage farmers to use their own seeds and include multiple varieties to get the best taste, flavor, and productivity. We also work with seed companies to develop seeds suitable for organic agriculture that have no trace of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). We think and believe that GMOs tinker with nature at a very fundamental level and the consequences on humans, animals, plant & the environment are not known. Hence, all our seeds are GMO-free.
Choosing the right farming and cultivation practices
60 years of green revolution has ensured the soil is denuded of its native riches. Soils have progressively grown nutrient poor. It is a known fact that high yields happen when there are high nutrient levels in the soil. We ensure our farmers adopt crop rotation practices and use the diversity of crops effectively. We discourage monoculture where repeated cycles of the same crop or set of crops only strengthen the pest and disease complex. Pest and disease load goes up in monoculture. Rotation of crops restores soil fertility and the natural balance. Farmers generate their own manure and use in-farm pest control methods based on locally available plants and bioagents (natural enemies of pests & diseases) if necessary.
Choosing the right processing method
Proper storage and processing to preserve nutrition, flavor, aroma, and taste are the key foundations. This has been a learning experience where we discovered contamination could happen anywhere across the production chain. We store our produce in environmentally controlled warehouses with a well-ordered and proven monitoring system. Use of botanical preparations, pheromone traps, and other such ingenious techniques ensure the infestation is controlled. We have developed safe, chemical-free modified atmosphere techniques to prevent pest infestation in storage.
We have set-up a system where a 5 level check is carried out throughout the production chain to ensure that a completely organic and wholesome meal reaches your plate.
The 5 level checks that guarantee it is 24 Mantra
Farmers are bonded into small organic groups. These small groups with a combination of self-adherence, social control and supervision ensure that the conversion of farmer into an organic farmer is complete. Takes up to 4 years to realize this commitment.
Our Field Officers visit every farm 2 – 3 times in a month. They check adherence, provide timely solutions that facilitate the farming methods and sustain the purity of the crop.
Randomly selected teams conduct a well laid out inspection process which in turn ensures objectivity. Contamination from other fields, adherence to processes and the larger picture of maintaining organic integrity is evaluated. We check twice a year. 30,000 inspections in a year.
Certification Agencies do their checks 2 – 3 times a year. They check everything – farmer, soil, water and the product sample.
We do a pesticide residue check before the crop is certified as pure and 24 Mantra Organic. Random samples are taken from the farmers’ produce and tested on the field with need-based lab checks.
We maintain the highest standards in every process, be it farming, processing, storage, transportation, or packaging. The attention to the smallest of details and a zeal to maintain the highest level of integrity has earned us certifications from all over the world, including the US, EU, and India.
The Certification process
- A farmer is required to engage in a number of activities, in addition to normal farming operations, to get the farm certified.
- The farmer has to study the organic standards, which cover in specific details all aspects of farming, including storage, transport, and sale, allowable and disallowed substances.
- Farm facilities and production methods must comply with the standards, which may involve modifying facilities, sourcing and changing suppliers.
- Paperwork detailing previous three years farm history at the minimum and current set-up is very essential.
- Written annual production plan must be submitted, detailing everything from seed to sale.
- Each farm goes through multiple checks.
- Group supervision by other farmers in the group
- Sresta associates regularly visit the fields typically at least once in a fortnight.
- Internal inspections by the Sresta Internal standards compliance team
- Annual on-farm inspections by the external certification agencies
- Random pesticide residue tests of soil, water, and the produce
- A written record of day-to-day farming and marketing records should be available for inspection at any time
- For first-time farm certification, the farm soil must meet basic requirements such as being free from the use of chemicals for a few years, usually 3 to 4 years.
- This period is known as being in transition. Transitional crops are not considered fully organic.
At 24 Mantras farming projects, products and processing facilities have been certified for EC 834 / 2007 standards, US NOP and Indian NPOP organic standards. Most of the projects are certified by Control Union International and Onecert. We are a member of IFOAM and registered with US FDA.