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    Financial Times: Mitsubishi seeks Olam’s sustainable approach


    Talking to Mitsubishi Corporation, the Financial Times’ Online Commodities Editor, Emiko Terazono, was surprised to learn of the rationale behind the company’s $1.1billion investment in which they acquired a fifth of Olam’s shares in August 2015.

    In an article entitled ‘Mitsubishi seeks Olam’s sustainable approach’, Mitsubishi’s Hiroaki Nakayama described the strategic partnership between Olam and Mitsubishi as not simply a way for them to tap into growing demand for food, but rather driven by their demand for ‘food grown sustainably’. One of the key things that attracted Mitsubishi to the deal was Olam’s expertise in sustainable and traceable sourcing of agricultural products, and a belief that demand for environmentally and socially responsible products will gather momentum in emerging markets.

    Jean-Francois Lambert, HSBC’s global head of commodity and structured trade finance, Friedel Hütz-Adams – Südwind, German supply chain research firm and Ted van der Put – IDH programme director all concurred that the real financial value of agri-sustainable practices is becoming ever clearer. Leading food groups need to find partners who source sustainably, not only to help them fulfil the public pledges they are making on sustainability, but also ‘to ensure their supplies of affordable and sustainable raw materials.’

    “Sustainability absolutely brings competitive advantage,” agrees Sunny Verghese, Co-Founder, Group Managing Director and CEO of Olam, “The real ‘ah-ha’ moment for securing buy-in for sustainability is when you can demonstrate the real financial value of initiatives either through added revenues or cost-savings.”

    Read more about Olam’s commitment to end-to-end sustainable supply chains by 2020 here.

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