ZooFresh Foods is disrupting the fish & meat industry in eastern India by creating an integrated aggregation and distribution model, with farms, farmer networks, logistics, storage points, rural hubs, and state-of-the-art FSSAI certified urban retail outlets.
Incubated Since 2018 Headquarters Bhawanipatna, Odisha Sector Agribusiness Sub-sector Poultry Space
Portfolio Manager Anika Pandey
“Connecting small-scale local farmers to underserved markets using supply chain technologies & retailing platforms”
- Ambika Satapathy
Sadananda spent over eight years at the DGQA, Ministry of Defence. He was responsible for inspecting defence suppliers across 8 North Indian states and international purchases. Since his childhood days, he was motivated to uplift the tribals in his area and the idea of ZooFresh Foods was born. Ambika is an Economics graduate from Miranda House, Delhi University, and a Young India Fellow. She is a food consultant and previously worked with Zomato. She is passionate about bringing innovation in the food value chain.
ZooFresh Foods operates in Western Odisha, one of the poorest parts of India, where many human development indices are lower than Sub-Saharan Africa. This area is dominated by tribal communities, and is infamous for malnutrition, unemployment and distress migration, due to lack of local livelihoods. These communities are dependent on activities like backyard poultry, goat rearing and fish farming in community ponds for incomes and nutrition. Chronic poverty and social alienation is pushing tribal youth into a cycle of violence, with the Naxalite conflict affecting eight Central and Eastern Indian states of India. Supply of essential products is often disrupted in these conflict-prone areas, especially in remote rural and tribal communities. At the retail end, 97% of the meat in India is sold via unorganized, unhygienic markets, where butchers sit on roadsides and sell diseased produce with no hygiene standards. In fish markets, iced fish is sold without any proper cold storage, and the stock must be liquidated within a few hours due to rapid deterioration. In the supply chain, live birds are transported over thousands of kilometers and pumped with antibiotics to help them survive. Often, the fish is sprayed with formaldehyde, a dangerous preservative unfit for human consumption. Local farmers produce healthier, safer products through less intensive production practices, which make them uncompetitive in an undifferentiated wholesale market. Thus, the entire supply chain, from farm-gate to consumption is broken, unorganized, prone to wastages, and disadvantageous for both local producers and consumers.
ZooFresh Foods is launching an integrated meat aggregation and distribution model with model farms, network farmers, logistics, storage, rural distribution hubs and urban retailing facilities for fresh chicken, live fish, eggs, seafood and other popular meat products. The goal is to create one-stop meat shops, keeping consumer preference for fresh meat in mind, in small towns and rural areas. The business model has the following components:
Sourcing: Leased farms and small-scale local farmers to directly source high quality, healthy, local live chicken (broiler and country), live fish, seafood, eggs, allied products
Logistics: Own logistics for transportation of live produce. Major innovation - India's first IoT-enabled live fish logistics system to source, transport, and distribute live fish
Distribution: Rural Hubs (B2B) operated by local micro-entrepreneurs to undertake last mile delivery of products to remote communities. Retail outlets (B2C & HORECA) in district headquarters to cater to urban consumers. Outlets to be FSSAI-certified, state-of-the-art 2000 sq. ft facilities with automated slaughtering machines, live fish tanks, and display freezers for seafood, eggs etc.
ZooFresh Foods works with local producers, micro-entrepreneurs, tribal youth and women. Most producers are small-scale farmers, often tribal, with average production capacity less than 5% of the large producers in neighboring states. The farmers live in hamlets away from major consumption centres, and their produce is unable to reach these markets directly due to small volumes & lack of transport & cold storage facilities. Due to erratic market connect, post-harvest wastages are high, often amounting to over 40%, and farmers have little incentive to increase productivity.