Olam began its South American operations in 2002 with our cashew nuts business in Brazil. Since then, we have built leadership positions in Brazil for coffee and cotton, and engaged in sugar, rice and wheat trading as well as the import and distribution of spices. We have established our Risk Management Services business, serving leading companies, cooperatives and producers of sugar, coffee, cotton, soya and corn.
In 2005 we began our peanut operation in Argentina and have since emerged as one of the country’s strongest integrated players in large-scale peanut farming, shelling, and blanching. We also engage in Alubia beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) origination and processing and have become a top-three exporter.
In the Andean countries, we began our coffee operations in Peru in 2006, the following year we extended operations into Colombia. Today we are among the largest coffee exporters in these countries. We are also the largest paprika exporter through our spices business from Peru.
In 2010 we took an equity stake in New Zealand Farming Systems and in November 2012 we acquired the whole business. In Uruguay we have 85,500 animals making us the largest dairy farming company in the country.
In Ecuador where we buy and export teak, we have set up our first regional cocoa operation.
Today, we have a significant upstream presence across South America for peanuts, dairy, corn, beans and teak. We also maintain a significant midstream presence on the continent for coffee and peanuts. We plan to explore other value chain adjacencies for new products that will add to our South American scope and presence.