Olam started its rubber business in 2007, when we invested in Euronext Paris-listed SIFCA, one of the world’s leading private rubber companies with plantations in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria. The investment, made through Nauvu Investments, a joint venture between Olam and Wilmar, has given us access to more than 43,000 hectares of rubber plantations in these regions, as well as a further 71,000 hectares used in specific outgrower programmes.
Identified as one of our key business thrusts in 2009, our corporate strategy for rubber involves:
- Selective entry into upstream rubber assets in Indochina or Equatorial West Africa. Olam has partnered with the Government of the Republic of Gabon in a 60:40 Joint Venture to develop12,000 hectares (ha) of rubber plantations in Bitam which will be planted by 2017.
- Selective participation into core supply chain businesses in Southeast Asia and West Africa.
- Leveraging on our risk management capabilities to build a world-class rubber trading team.
We are committed to sustainably developing our rubber plantations amidst consultations with reputed environmental consultants. Whilst the rubber industry has still to come up with well-accepted industry norms, we adhere to the Olam’s Plantations, Concessions and Farms Code which is based on international best practice, and are supporting the development of an industry standard along with the Sustainable Natural Rubber Initiative.