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Issue 3/2017: A model for a sustainable cotton supply chain

July 2017

Olam Cotton is today the second largest cotton merchant by market share in the global trade and is a prioritised Cluster 1 platform within our current growth strategy.

Olam Cotton has a well-diversified portfolio sourcing all varieties of cotton from the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia and merchandising this cotton to the world’s textile markets.

Its global cotton business is differentiated by its approach in Africa, where its integrated ginning model extends across three countries and includes activities from contract farming to ginning. These activities directly improve the livelihoods of more than 100,000 farmers as they produce a growing supply of Better Cotton 1.

In this third issue of Olam Insights for 2017, the Olam Cotton team explains Olam’s model and focuses on how an investment in Société d’Exploitation Cotonnière Olam (SECO), originally a small acquisition in Côte d’Ivoire in 2008, is at the core of building a sustainable supply chain for the future with transformational impact on small farmer income through yield improvement and increased volumes.

Securing global, diversified and Better Cotton for the future
Ashok Hegde, Global Head & CEO, Olam Cotton maps the transformation of Olam in the cotton sector, from its first major acquisition nine years ago to becoming a leader in all the cotton producing countries and a pioneer in engaging Africa as it becomes a growth focus for future cotton production. 

Building sustainable cotton supply chains in Africa
Anupam Gupta, Senior Vice President, Olam Cotton profiles how Olam Cotton has gotten down to business in Africa as part of its core objective of delivering traceable and sustainable cotton to the world’s textile mills.

Developing and scaling SECO
Nitin Mittal, Vice President SECO looks at the hard work, engagement, investment and long term commitments required to develop and scale an integrated ginning model for cotton in Côte d’Ivoire – not an easy task, but the results speak for themselves.

Côte d’Ivoire: A nation committed to a vibrant cotton sector
Partheeban Theodore, Country Head, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal, highlights the importance of all stakeholders working in concert to create the right environment for a sector such as cotton to grow and thrive, with benefits accruing not only to the companies involved but also to a nation, its farmers and the community.

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1 Better Cotton under the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) definition refers to sustainable cotton that is produced in a way “that is better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future”.