Press Release

    First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire opens school complex funded by Olam and Blommer in San Pedro

    Press release

    San Pedro, March 6, 2015 – Olam International (Olam), a leading agri-business operating across the value chain in 65 countries, and The Blommer Chocolate Company (Blommer), North America’s largest cocoa processor, today welcomed the First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire, Madame Dominique Ouattara, to officially open a primary school complex close to Olam Cocoa Processing in San Pedro.

    Jointly financed by Olam and customer partner Blommer, the Dominique Ouattara School Complex provides the community with a much-needed education facility. It has the potential to teach 300 children and has a canteen, nurses’ station and library.

    Gerard Manley, Managing Director & Global Head Cocoa at Olam, said: “The success of our business and the future of Côte d’Ivoire is based on thriving rural communities. At Olam we are committed to strengthening communities by not only improving employment and livelihoods, but also by working together to enhance education, health and equality. The Dominique Ouattara School Complex is one example of this, and we look forward to continuing to work with the local community and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire for many years to come.”

    Kip Walk, Corporate Director of Cocoa and Sustainability at Blommer, said: “Since the Company’s founding 75 years ago, Blommer has held the belief that we have a purpose over and above our core business to work with communities around the world with the overall aim of building sustainable paths out of poverty. Education is essential to this, as is the provision of quality healthcare and nutritious food. The Dominique Ouattara School will address these factors and is a demonstration of our continued commitment to the people of Côte d’Ivoire.”

    Olam is also pleased to announce a partnership with the Water and Forestry Ministry to reforest five hectares in recognition of the school.

    Tomorrow, His Excellency President Alassane Ouattara will be in San Pedro to inaugurate the Olam Cocoa Processing facility – one of the most advanced of its kind in Africa.


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      First Lady of Cote d'Ivoire opens school complex funded by Olam and Blommer in San Pedro
    About Olam Côte d’Ivoire

    Olam began operating in Côte d’Ivoire in 1994, and is one of the leading exporters of cocoa, coffee, cashew and cotton. We directly employ almost 1,000 people and, in addition, offer seasonal and contract employment to a further 6,000 people, 80% of whom are women.

    Our geographical presence is spread across the whole of Côte d’Ivoire’s agricultural landscape, including major operating centres such as San Pedro, Daloa, Dimbokro, Bouaké, Korhogo, Katiola, Boundokou and Ouangolodogou, with our headquarters situated in Abidjan. Olam is also a Joint Venture partner in the SIFCA Group, the largest private sector company in the Agro Industrial Segment with a leading position in palm, rubber and sugar.

    About Olam Cocoa in Côte d’Ivoire

    Olam is one of the world’s leading cocoa integrated supply chain companies and is conscious of the major role of cocoa in the economic development of Côte d’Ivoire. We obtained our export licence in Côte d’Ivoire for Cocoa & Coffee in 1998 and since 2005 we have launched several initiatives in partnership with chocolate manufacturers to improve farmers’ well-being.

    About Olam International

    Olam International is a leading agri-business operating across the value chain in 65 countries, supplying various products across 16 platforms to over 13,800 customers worldwide. From a direct sourcing and processing presence in most major producing countries, Olam has built a global leadership position in many of its businesses. Headquartered in Singapore and listed on the SGX-ST on February 11, 2005, Olam ranks among the top 50 largest listed companies in Singapore in terms of market capitalisation and is a component stock in the Straits Times Index (STI).

    More information on Olam can be found at Olam is located at 9 Temasek Boulevard #11-02 Suntec Tower Two Singapore 038989, Telephone: +65 63394100, Facsimile: +65 63399755. In Côte d’Ivoire Olam is located at Immeuble – Outspan Ivoire, Boulevard de Vridi, Zone Portuaire 15 BP 200 Abidjan 15, Côte d’Ivoire.

    About The Blommer Chocolate Company

    Blommer Chocolate Company is the largest cocoa processor and ingredient chocolate supplier in North America. With over 800 employees and four strategically located manufacturing facilities in North America, the company provides comprehensive business solutions for domestic and international customers of all sizes in the confectionery, baking and dairy industries. Among Blommer’s core competencies are cocoa bean processing, chocolate manufacturing, commodity risk management, and product and process R&D.

    The company is a leader in advancing sustainable cocoa farming, playing an active role in the World Cocoa Foundation and promoting sustainable farming practices through its privately managed programs in Cote d’Ivoire, Indonesia and Ecuador. Founded in 1939, the family-owned and operated company maintains an outstanding reputation for customer service and quality. For more information about Blommer Chocolate Company, please visit

    Vision for sustainability:

    Blommer’s Sustainable Origins™ program is focused on cocoa growing communities with the aim to enhance overall living conditions. As active stewards, we engage farmers and provide tools and training using the proven Farmer Field School model. Through improved farm productivity and cocoa bean quality, farmers are enabled to generate increased income which supports the creation of thriving cocoa communities that also adhere to International Labor Standards.

    Throughout all of our sustainability work, safeguarding the environment and preserving the planet for future generations is imperative. This is a global commitment that customers and producers entrust us to uphold. To this end, Blommer implements responsible, sound environmental stewardship for producers by providing training on agricultural practices which conserve soil, water and protect fragile tropical ecosystems.

    Improving overall living conditions for farmers which allow cocoa growing communities to flourish while guaranteeing future cocoa supply. Sustainable Origins™ builds upon expanding farming skills to empower farmers; improve market transparency and strengthen farmer associations to ensure fully traceable, high quality products to meet our customers’ expectations. As an industry leader, we believe sustainability efforts in cocoa communities provides value at every touch point in the supply chain through improved and more consistent quality and a sustainable future for cocoa farming families.

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