Olam began its rubber business in 2007, when we invested in Euronext Paris-listed SIPH, one of the world’s leading private rubber companies with plantations in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria. The investment, made through Naavu 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 out grower 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. We are currently conducting feasibility studies in Bitam and Mitzic in Gabon, and are in the process of creating a land bank of an additional 50,000 hectares.
- Selective participation into core supply chain businesses in Southeast Asia
- Leveraging on our risk management capabilities to build a world-class rubber trading team
We are committed to sustainably developing our rubber plantations and consulting reputable environmental consultants. In the absence of any industry norms, we aim to create our own sustainability standard for our rubber plantation development.