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    3 ways agri-businesses can be drivers of equality


    “I don’t think that women will ever be equal in my country” – a depressing prediction or rallying cry?

    The importance of women in global agricultural supply chains is no secret. Estimates indicate that more than half of all the food in the world is grown by women farmers (IFAP), while further studies show that giving women equal access to assets and inputs could raise total agricultural output in developing countries by 2.5-4% (FAO).

    In the run up to International Women’s Day 2016, Briony Mathieson, our Global Head of Corporate & Sustainability Communications, therefore asked colleagues around the world to her help run a straw poll. Her aim was to see how women in Olam’s workforce, from the smallholders of India, processing units of Côte d’Ivoire, to the coffee washing stations of Nicaragua, feel about gender parity in their respective countries.

    While the majority felt there had been overall progress on gender equality in the last 20 years in their country, just over half of those we asked felt that women still do not have the same opportunities as men. Most disheartening of all was that 30% thought that women would never be treated equally to men in their country, rising to 38% among women in Africa.

    So how can we level the field to ensure that women and men have equal opportunities in agriculture? In our newest blog, originally published on Devex, Briony Mathieson explores three was in which large agri-businesses like Olam can be agents of change and drivers of equality for these women.

    A communications professional with 25 years’ experience, Briony has managed to combine both her passion for the environment and communications skills with seven years working for rainforest NGOs including the Prince of Wales’ Rainforests Project. That role led to her current position as Global Head of Corporate & Sustainability Communications at Olam International.

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