How This Startup In Bengaluru Creates The Model For A Sustainable Dairy Industry?
Founded by an architect in 2020, Farm Aura is a Bangalore-based boutique dairy company that uses cruelty-free dairy production techniques to sell dairy. The self-financed company hopes to one day open its farms for settlers.
During her volunteer work at the Charlie Animal Rescue Center (CARE) in Bengaluru, architect Radhika Nichani encountered a horrific situation in which animals are kept on the streets of India every day. One horrific case of animal cruelty after the debauchery led him to investigate cases of animal cruelty, and during one such dive, he stumbled upon literature on the many ways in which an industrial company exploited animals for trade and human products to try.
She discovered that one of those industries was milk.
Some call it the world's most abusive trade where animals are not considered living beings - just cash machines.
However, India has had very different approaches to sustainable dairy farming, at least in the past.
"If you look at the history of the European Revolution, you know there were only Desi cows in India. These cows produced the best milk, but they did not produce more than six or seven liters at a time," Radhika told YourStory.
But when the British arrived, they brought much demand for dairy products such as butter and cheese. However, cattle raised in India could not meet the growing demand, jokes Radhika. So they changed the nature of the cow - by changing just one gene - which doubled the milk level to 20 liters per milking cycle.
This has led to the spread, degradation, and exploitation of non-native livestock in India which today has not only led to the abuse of dairy animals but also changed the quality of milk produced by cattle.
Research studies conducted by independent organizations as well as international organizations such as PeTA, enhanced by external visits, have uncovered horrific forms of dairy abuse, such as demolition by means of seed propagation using dirty and unclean materials. Immediately after the mother's birth, the animals are weaned when their milk supply is reduced to one liter, etc.
Realizing that one of India's largest corporations - which had previously been tasked with reviving the country's economy - was now used to exploit animals, Radhika disliked and decided to do something about it.
Ethical practices of milk
In 2020 Radhika, along with her father Tarun Nichani and mother Shivani Nichani, founded Farm Aura, a sustainable A2 dairy initiative that rescues abandoned Desi cattle left by Jersey / GM cattle.
The USP of Farm Aura is that it does not meet the requirements and offers only what its animals produce.
When there are new suckling cows in the herd, they are only milked when the calf is full for the day - the remaining milk is targeted at Aura farm customers.
"We are a farm with values, honesty, and nature - we make sure our calves are well cared for, whether male or female," says Radhika, adding that animals are also a priority for the company as customers and sales, if not more.
Farm Aura is based in Bangalore and produces produce all over India, but at present its many new products such as milk, cheese, cottage cheese n.k. are sold to customers in Bangalore.
An example of sustainable dairy farming
Radhika says her main goal is to create a model for sustainable dairy farming for other traders and to set an example in showing that it is possible to make a profit, making money while being human.