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Growing Responsibly

Creating rural prosperity through the Olam Livelihood Charter

The Olam Livelihood Charter (OLC) is our flagship programme for smallholder farmers, in pursuit of our sustainability goals. Through the 8 OLC principles, we aim to unlock mutual value for Olam by bringing prosperity to our farming communities and build long-term relationships based on fairness and trust, transferring skills and knowledge through partnerships. For Olam, this helps us to secure and increase volumes of quality product for our customers. Our OLC principles are: access to finance, improved yields, labour practices, market access, quality, traceability, social investment, and environmental impact.

In Côte d’Ivoire, we support over 120,000 farm families from 1350 farmer associations through the OLC principles, improving their livelihoods and community well-being and safeguarding natural resources. In 2016, these partner farmers produced more than 300,000 tonnes of cocoa, cashew, coffee and cotton.

Providing fully-traceable, high quality products for our customers

With our sustainable sourcing models and processing units certified BRC, Organic, Kosher, and Fair Trade, our customers can rest assured they are receiving responsibly produced products. Our Olam Livelihood Charter approach is complemented by third-party certifications, including Cotton Made in Africa (CMiA), Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, Organic, UTZ Certified, and 4C.

The Olam Farmer Information System (OFIS) is our innovative, proprietary data solution for farm-level data collection, analysis, and use. OFIS provides customers with full traceability and an unparalleled understanding of who supplies their raw materials. The Analysis Graphing Tool maps farms, social infrastructure, and more, allowing Olam and sustainability partners to identify risk ‘hotspots’ and target their resources.  The Farm Management Plan module can provide personalised long-term plans for our partner farmers. In Côte d’Ivoire,over 65,000 cocoa, cotton and rubber farmers are registered. OFIS is expanding across countries and products and aims to reach 500,000 Olam farmers globally 2017.

2016 OLC Highlights – Côte d’Ivoire

Being a sustainable business is a modus operandi that takes into account people, planet and profits (the Triple Bottle Line approach). We drive this approach to sustainability by focusing on 7 material areas: livelihood, land, water, climate change, labour, food security, and food safety. Our sustainability strategy and goals, aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), guide our actions to help create a better world.

We help farmers improve their productivity and economic security

  • In 2010, we launched the Olam Livelihood Charter, a set of 8 principles that guide our support to smallholders and rural farming communities
  • Around $100 million financed to farmers each year to help farmers access agri-inputs and markets and invest in farm assets
  • Over 11,000 cocoa and cotton farmers completed the 5-day Farmer Business School Programme since 2012
  • 75,805 farmers trained on Good Agricultural Practices in 2016 alone
  • 5.8 million high-yielding cocoa seedlings and over 1.5 million improved coffee seedlings distributed to date to improve quality
  • Farmers are regularly educated on food crop production, intercropping and nutrition in order to enhance food security
  • Olam continues to encourage women farmers in our supply chain, now reaching nearly 8,600 farmers through the OLC (cocoa, cashew, coffee and cotton)
  • Over 2,000 women supported for alternative income-generating activities such as growing vitamin-A fortified cassava
  • Post-harvest capabilities improved through warehouses, drying floors, and weigh scales
  • Ensure sustainable and traceable quality products through our in-house digital platforms. Over 65,000 cocoa, cotton and rubber farmers are registered.

We promote good health and well-being at work and in communities  

As part of our Olam Healthy Living programme, we provide health education and screening for thousands of people at our worksites and in remote villages. In 2016, we reached 50,000 people with HIV education and free medical check-ups in rural areas. Olam renovated a community medical clinic and provided equipment, benefiting 7,000 people; and repaired over 300 km of rural road, improving cotton transport and access to markets.

In 2017, we organised our first ‘Take Your Kids to Work Day,’ attended by 284 children in 5 sites.

We understand and mitigate our environmental footprint   

We are increasing our use of renewable energy through biomass boilers in cashew and cocoa factories and solar energy in offices. We improve the urban environment through town cleaning and greening initiatives. We promote climate-smart agricultural practices among our farmers.  In 2016, we trained covering 156,000 hectares on sustainable water management, over 8,000 farmers, managing 4,900 ha on sustainable soil management, and over 22,000 farmers on forest protection and climate awareness. Topics include integrated soil fertility management, integrated pest management, agroforestry, forest conservation, avoiding bush fires and maintaining a buffer zone near waterways and protected areas. Good practices are facilitated through Farmer Field Schools, shade tree nurseries, and composting demonstrations.