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Material Areas

Olam has identified 7 priority areas (see below) that impact our business either directly, or indirectly in our supply chain.  Our goals are therefore focused on minimising negative impacts whilst opening up and maximising positive opportunities. We report on our progress in our CR&S reports, and we also listen to the opinions of our stakeholders who include customers, communities, NGOs, Development Finance Institutions and banks, foundations, shareholders and employees.

It is important to remember, however, that material areas cannot be tackled in siloes.  In a smallholder landscape, climate change may impact on water availability and farmer livelihoods.  In a processing facility, labour can impact on food safety.  This is why Olam takes ‘a landscape’ approach, always seeking to understand the potential risks and opportunities that an action in one area can have in several others.

Livelihoods – supporting thriving communities
Gender and equality; access to markets; improving incomes through better yields; systematic measurement of the impact of initiatives; diversification of incomes

Land – selection and managing land responsibly
Land tenure; women’s rights; biodiversity; soil fertility; land development versus ecosystem preservation; deforestation and link to carbon

Climate Change – adapting to climate risks and opportunities for Olam and communities
Carbon footprinting, life cycle analysis and future scenario planning to set mitigation and adaptation priorities

Water – responsible use of water for our own needs without impacting the needs of others
Water stewardship best practices, including water mapping in agri and processing; potable water availability for workers and communities

Labour – providing a safe workplace where everyone’s rights are respected
Robust demonstration of compliance with International Labour Organization standards; fair wages; fair standards; working environment; education; child and forced labour

Food Security – improving access to affordable food
Yield increase and measurement; supporting food crop production; waste reduction and infrastructure development

Food Safety – improving food safety and quality across our business
Demonstration of chemical reduction in agriculture; GMO policy; traceability; farmer level focus on hazardous materials; microbiological control