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How We Do It

In this section we cover:

How Olam Grows Responsibly: commercially, socially and environmentally

Conducting our business in an ethical, socially responsible and environmentally sustainable manner has been part of Olam’s ongoing strategy for many years. However, in 2012 we formalised this approach as our core purpose of ‘Growing Responsibly’.

Crucially, Growing Responsibly isn’t just about taking care of communities and the environment, it has a clear commercial resonance: for example, we must ensure that our business model is sound, that we are competitively differentiated and that we have strong risk management systems in place so that we have a sustainable business for our shareholders, employees, customers and suppliers.

However, following a significant growth period for Olam – from becoming a commodity trader to an agribusiness, undertaking many acquisitions – it became apparent to the senior management in 2015 that all employees would benefit from a simple and succinct description about Olam that gives clarity to who we are – our spirit and culture, what west and for and what we do. And so The World of Olam was launched – a short booklet given to every employee to help them articulate and therefore more easily embody our business, brand and strategy.

Within this booklet, Growing Responsibly sits right next to the company vision “To be the most differentiated and valuable agri-business by 2040”. Now all employees, including the 1,700 new joiners in 2015 (primarily from the acquisitions of ADM Cocoa and McCleskey Mills), see that Growing Responsibly is not just a company ‘catch phrase’.

Of course, a booklet alone cannot ensure that everyone is aligned – it requires a multipronged approach:

  • Governance from the top down (global and local)
  • Ethics and integrity running throughout
  • Codes, Policies and Standards providing clear rules and guidance
  • Continuous learning and training
  • Employee engagement from the bottom up

Next section: Roles and Responsibilities