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Coffee plantation in Laos


We are one of the leading green coffee origin exporters in the world. This puts us in a good position to leverage our ground strengths to enhance the livelihood of farmers and their families through well-founded sustainability initiatives.

Among our smallholder sourcing networks in origins such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Côte d’Ivoire, we have already formed many farmer groups across several coffee-growing areas, which provide organisational structures that allow small-scale growers to pool resources for better prices, and facilitate delivery of training, establishment of credit systems and distribution of seedlings and agricultural inputs such as fertiliser by Olam and our partners. Flagship sustainability 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. In 2014, 6 OLC initiatives reached over 14,000 coffee farmers cultivating 33,650 hectares between them. These initiatives are geared to help smallholders increase farm productivity and profitability, while enabling us to offer sustainable, traceable and certified coffees from various origins.

All plantations undergo an immediate environmental survey and social mapping of the estates surrounding areas and a full ESIA by an independent consultant, which are then incorporated into hydrological and cultivation models to minimise impact on river ecosystems, conserve biodiversity and rebuild soil health as well as identify opportunities to support surrounding communities. In Zambia’s Northern Coffee Corporation Ltd. (NCCL) plantation, 1,400 hectares of conservation areas protected and we are working with international NGO SNV to develop a local school and support surrounding communities, including through health and sanitation projects.

Ultimately, we believe that the most meaningful and impactful social development projects are those that foster a sense of ownership from the communities.  In our coffee plantations we have set up a communication platform in each community headed by the Village Development Committee where priorities of development are debated among villagers who decide their own social development agenda.

Read the case study on how Aviv Tanzania Ltd has developed an Integrated Water Resources Management Plan and how they are supporting smallholder coffee and rice farmers in the region.

Separately, see how Olam’s subsidiary business, NCCL, is championing workplace diversity in Africa with a new programme which trains women tractors drivers.

For more information about sustainability across all of our products, click here