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Cocoa Initiatives

Olam Livelihood Charter (OLC)

Flagship cocoa sustainability projects and initiatives gain Olam Livelihood Charter (OLC) status when they address all 8 principles of interest-free finance, improved yield, labour practices, market access, quality, traceability, social investment and environmental impact. It results in better productivity and returns for farmers and greater sustainability assurances for our customers and partners.

Our Cocoa OLC activities around the world are focused in the following key areas: 

  • Finance and farmer incomes – Providing interest free pre-financing, short-term financing, paying certification premiums above and beyond non-certified pricing and distributing quality based premiums
    • 2016:   
      • US$110 million in short-term financing
      • US$1.2 million in medium and long-term financing
  • Cocoa farmer training – OLC farmer registration and farmer training in Good Agricultural Practices, Good Labour Practices, Integrated Pest Management and Business Capacity training through farmer field schools and demonstration plots for practical, hands-on learning opportunities
    • 2016:   
      • 111,800 farmers trained in Good Agricultural Practices
      • 2,223 farmer field schools and 498 demonstration plots
      • 251,857 litres of insecticide distributed
  • Farm support, improving yields and quality – Providing access to and distribution of the best varieties of cocoa seeds and seedlings, construction of solar dryers to support quality standards post-harvest
    • 2016:
      • US$29.2 million paid to farmers in certification and quality premiums
      • 3.96 million seedlings distributed
  • Land management and environmental impact mitigation – Surveying cocoa farmers and their farms, GPS mapping through the Olam Farmer Information System (OFIS), and distributing shade trees to increase ground cover and support forest conservation through our Climate-Smart Cocoa programmes with Rainforest Alliance
    • 2016:
      • 83,234 farmers trained in water conservation
      • 99,972 farmers managing 218,079 hectares trained in biodiversity
      • 179,991 hectares GPS mapped
      • 69,253 farmers trained specifically in ‘no burning’ of forests (covering almost 103,000 hectares)
  • Market access and traceability – Increasing market access opportunities for farmers and farmer groups and ensuring traceability through year-round farmgate presence
    • 2016:  
      • 168,956 tonnes procured from 331,052 hectares
      • 100% tonnage is traceable
      • 88% is certified
      • 85,000 certified farmers in Côte d’Ivoire
      • 30,000 certified farmers in Ghana
  • Social and infrastructure investment – Establishing resource centres for farmer training and for storing materials for cocoa cooperatives and nurseries, as well as constructing schools, health centres, maternity units, medical laboratories, water pumps and cooperative stores
    • 2016:  
      • US$311,022 invested in infrastructure support, including trucks, motorbikes and farming assets such as solar dryers, nurseries, pruners and ladders.
      • Over 600 cocoa farmers and secondary school students in Nigeria   benefited from diabetes, sanitation, malaria, HIV/AIDS and nutrition health booths.
      • 8,000 people in Indonesia benefited from literacy or vocational courses
  • Labour – Working to increase farmer incomes and provide training specifically on tackling child labour so cocoa farms are able to employ labourers rather than rely on their own families, including children, to work on the farm
    • 2016:
      • 98,851 farmers trained in good labour practices
      • 92,554 farmers sensitised on the importance of school and education
      • 14,303 farmers received Personal Protective Equipment
      • 248 women farmer group leaders (out of 2,904 overall)


Read about how Olam is tackling child labour here