Cultivating Change: How Satyajit and Ajinkya Hange Transformed Farming at Two Brothers Organic Farm (TBOF)

Satyajit Hange, Ajinkya Hange

Exclusive interview with Mr. Satyajit Hange and Mr. Ajinkya Hange

Welcome to an exclusive interview with the visionary minds behind Two Brothers Organic Farm (TBOF), Mr. Satyajit Hange and Mr. Ajinkya Hange.

As pioneers in sustainable farming practices, these two brothers have carved a unique path in the agricultural world, emphasizing the importance of organic methods and ecological harmony.

Situated amidst the serene countryside, TBOF has become a symbol of hope and inspiration for farmers and nature enthusiasts alike.

In this interview, we delve into the captivating journey of Mr. Satyajit and Mr. Ajinkya Hange, exploring the challenges they faced, the triumphs they achieved, and the profound impact they have made on the farming community through their unwavering dedication to the principles of organic farming.

Two Brothers Organic Farm has gained significant recognition as a leading organic grocery brand. Can you tell us about the journey of TBOF, how it all began, and the driving force behind starting an organic farm? 

We, Satyajit Hange and Ajinkya Hange, are Founders of Two Brothers Organic Farms and this is our story. Two Brothers Organic Farms is a 23-acre Regenerative Organic Farm, ECOCERT Certified, a biodiverse and self-sustaining natural food system in a small village called Bhodani in Maharashtra, India. Our peers warned us against farming being a professional hazard, we 

considered it noble to call ourselves farmers and farm food for our countrymen. Lucrative and modern banking careers awaited us, but we chose the pursuit of healing soil, the element of nature, ancestral, native, and life-giving to us.

Temptations of modern-day, genetically modified, hybrid, and chemical-led food are many, but our understanding of food still revolves around native, nourishing, and natural food.

Fortunately, we spent our childhood in our village with our parents and had fond memories of life on the farm.

Though the corporate race had taken us fast and away from our farms, the pull of the scent of native soil always whispered to us to come back to our soil and village, and we did. We chose to come back home to become Farmers and practice farming as our ancestors did. 

Organic farming has become increasingly popular due to its focus on sustainability and health. What inspired you and your brother to adopt organic farming practices, and how do you ensure the highest standards of organic cultivation at TBOF?

Our first step was to course-correct ourselves from a generational misdirection of chemical farming and find our way back to our traditional ways of Natural and Organic Farming.

Farming is the Regenerative way to heal Soil Life, Soil Nutrition & soil capacity to create food devoid of chemicals & full of nutrition.

We restore soil as a means to sequester carbon from the atmosphere, contributing our share towards reversing Desertification & Climate Change, to create a hopeful tomorrow for your only home, Earth.

A study says, we at TBOF, have sequestered 10,000 tons of carbon yearly, that’s 80,000 tons of carbon over the last 8 years.

Everything you buy from us looks like just good food at first; but is a piece of rebuilt Soil, replenished groundwater & recycled carbon.

Our work is inspired by the simplicity & stillness of village life, guided by the principles of Regenerative Organic farming. Securing rural livelihoods & creating jobs for women in our villages, empowering the community to offer real solutions to Public Health problems. 

Building a successful organic brand requires trust and transparency. How does TBOF maintain transparency with customers regarding its farming practices, sourcing, and production methods? 

Transparency is a core value at TBOF, and the farm maintains open communication with customers regarding its farming practices, sourcing, and production methods.

TBOF provides detailed information about its organic farming techniques, including the use of natural fertilizers, composting, and crop rotation.

The farm also discloses its sourcing process, emphasizing the direct partnerships with its community of small farmers across the country who practice 100% natural farming and grow native variety crops.

Customers are informed about the farm’s commitment to sustainability and ethical practices. TBOF employs various communication

channels, including its website, social media platforms, and direct interactions with customers, to ensure transparency and foster trust. 

Organic agriculture often faces unique challenges compared to conventional farming. Can you share some of the challenges you encountered during the early stages of TBOF and how you overcame them? 

In the early stages, TBOF faced various challenges typical to organic agriculture startups. Regulatory compliance complexities were also navigated, ensuring adherence to organic certification standards.

Scaling up operations and establishing a sustainable business model was crucial to overcoming growth challenges.

Through strategic partnerships, certifications from reputable bodies, and a unique value proposition, TBOF demonstrated its potential, attracted investors, and captured a substantial market share. 

Two Brothers Organic Farm is known for its diverse range of organic products. How do you ensure the quality and authenticity of your products, and what steps are taken to introduce new products to your portfolio? 

To ensure the quality and authenticity of products, TBOF maintains a meticulous organic production process.

We adopted sustainable farming methods, prioritized soil health, and used natural inputs to nurture crops. Recently we launched the Single Origin Range of Premium Spices. 

We are on a mission to curate a Farmer’s Collection of the world’s best spices, the highest quality that we can find, and work directly with local farmers in geographical origins for these spices by eliminating other middlemen.

Our FRM team does all the hard work of conducting a survey on the ground, meeting and connecting with several farmers in the region, narrowing down to a single farmer who shares our values, and ensuring the highest quality spice is sourced for our customers.

These are farmers who have been growing the spice for generations, and who follow only natural farming and sustainable eco-friendly methods.

Our QC team gets the batch after it is tested for quality, chemicals, pesticides, curcumin content, etc. Our NPD and marketing teams ensure we do full justice to the precious produce and treat it with respect, use high-grade material for packaging, and storage, and communicate the journey of the spice right from its origin to your homes clearly to our customers.

The branding and marketing not only help our customers understand the value of what they get to buy from us and bring home high-quality medicinal spices but also help our Farmer brothers and sisters and their communities to benefit from access to new markets globally.

If we are being assisted by a small-scale farmer, we provide support throughout the certification process as well. 

By offering diverse organic products, including value-added items, the farm sets itself apart from competitors and provides customers with a wide array of choices. 

Sustainable and ethical practices are integral to the organic movement. How does TBOF implement sustainable farming methods and contribute to the local community and environment?

TBOF implements sustainable farming methods by promoting organic practices, reducing chemical usage, and prioritizing soil health.

Through collaborations with farmers in diverse regions, the farm demonstrates the effectiveness of organic farming, empowering a wider network of farmers.

This approach contributes to rural development and environmental preservation. By training and empowering over 16,000 farmers, TBOF has positively impacted local communities, elevated their livelihoods, and fostered growth in organic agriculture. 

Organic certification plays a vital role in building trust with consumers. Can you elaborate on TBOF’s organic certification process and the importance of obtaining certifications from recognized bodies? 

Organic certification is essential to building trust with consumers. TBOF follows a rigorous organic certification process from recognized bodies.

These certifications validate the farm’s commitment to organic practices and ensure the quality and integrity of our products.

The certifications demonstrate compliance with strict organic standards, further building confidence among consumers in TBOF’s organic offerings. 

In a competitive market, how does TBOF differentiate itself from other organic grocery brands? What unique aspects of your products and services set you apart from the competition? 

TBOF differentiates itself from other organic grocery brands through its unique value proposition. Offering an extensive range of organic products sourced from diverse Indian villages and exporting to numerous countries showcases scalability and market potential.

The farm’s unwavering dedication to promoting organic farming, empowering farmers, and delivering superior-quality organic produce resonates with consumers who prioritize sustainability and socially responsible ventures.

Additionally, the brands focus on value-added products, such as Arjun Ghee and Turmeric Ghee, which sets it apart from competitors, providing customers with innovative and health-promoting choices.

For instance, Arjun Ghee is meticulously crafted using the bark of the Terminalia Arjuna tree, renowned for its therapeutic properties.

Similarly, Turmeric Ghee harnesses the potent benefits of turmeric, a revered spice known for its numerous health-promoting qualities.

By incorporating these traditional Indian herbs and medicinal plants into our product offerings, we strive to facilitate optimal well-being among our esteemed clientele.

We firmly believe that our commitment to utilizing nature’s bounty in our formulations will empower consumers to achieve and maintain good health holistically and sustainably. 

Organic farming can also have a positive impact on local communities. How does TBOF contribute to the well-being of local farmers and the communities in which you operate? 

TBOF contributes to the well-being of local farmers and communities by providing training and resources for transitioning to organic farming.

Its initiatives empower farmers, enhance their productivity, and improve their livelihoods. Collaborations with farmers in diverse regions further extend the benefits of organic farming practices, promoting rural development and employment

opportunities. We encourage farmers to grow native varieties of wholegrains and millets and also maintain a seed bank to preserve our heirloom indigenous seeds.

By educating consumers about the role of native varieties of crops in ensuring food security and conserving biodiversity, we provide these small farmers access to a global market of consumers who are conscious about their food choices.

By advocating for sustainability and health, TBOF’s impact extends beyond its products, fostering positive change in local communities and the environment.

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