Things we learned this year: 10 years back and 10 years forward - hopes and fears for agri-supply chains
“If you ask me about the state of our world today, I have mixed emotions”, muses Sunny Verghese, Co-founder & Group CEO of Olam, an agri-business that supplies many household brands with crops and ingredients like cocoa, coffee, cashew, almonds, dairy and spices.
“On the one hand, our collective awareness of social and environmental issues has significantly improved, but on the other, we have made little progress on addressing these major challenges. This dramatically enhances the risks of disruptive, even cataclysmic, climate change impacts. No longer are we talking about our children and grandchildren seeing the impacts of climate change. It’s happening in our lifetime, right now.”
Things we learned this year: How coffee can protect people
When I went on a trip in June hosted by our customer Nespresso to Indonesia, I knew I would learn a great deal about coffee and the lives of the farmers. What I didn’t appreciate was the very close connection in this region between coffee, forest and the safety of the community. Following the tragedy of the Tsunami in Palu in October, where again I learned of Olam Indonesian colleagues going out in search parties, this blog resonates more strongly still, particularly in terms of the resilience of the Indonesian people.
An unexpected guardian – how coffee is protecting people by protecting the forest in Indonesia
As you walk under the rustling canopy with sunlight dancing through leaves, you can sense, even if you can’t always hear, how the forest teems with life. As thousands of bronchiole-like branches reach for the sky you can understand why forests are called the ‘lungs of the earth’, breathing out so we can breathe in.
But forests do even more to keep us alive; their roots can
From the farm to the boardroom- new blog series reveals lessons learned in agri-business
Today, Olam International has launched ‘Things we learned this year’; an end-of-year blog series that captures personal perspectives, challenges and learnings from the business over the past year.
Illustrated with photos and videos, the series explores a range of themes from the complex socio-economic realities of rural farming communities, to the art of public- private collaboration for tackling global issues.
Several accounts reveal unique insights into the lives, pressures and views of the smallholder farmers that Olam works with, such as the emotional barrier holding cocoa farmers back from correct pruning practices; the close connection between Indonesian coffee farmers, the forest and the safety of their communities; or the challenge of navigating gender norms in Ivorian cotton farming.
The final blog in the series meanwhile, takes a more holistic look at the agri- supply chain, with Olam CEO Sunny Verghese reflecting on the issues that have faced the sector over the last
Olam Ghana, a leading supply chain manager of agri-products and one of Ghana’s biggest cocoa buying agencies, was named as the Best Company Employer in Ghana at the seventh Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Industry and Quality Awards held in Accra at the weekend.
The Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) is a voluntary business association with over 1,200 members, comprising small, medium and large scale manufacturing and services industries in agro-processing (food and beverages), agri-business, pharmaceuticals, electronics and electrical, telecommunications, information technology, utilities, service industries, transport, construction, textiles, garments and leather, banking and advertising.
Established in 1958, the Association annually rewards and honours companies which achieve outstanding successes in various areas of industry and innovation in the year under review. The AGI’s purpose is to motivate its members to strive for excellence by demonstrating t