Press Release

    Olam’s cotton business in Côte d’Ivoire named a finalist in Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Awards 2016

    Press release

    Olam International Limited (“Olam”), a leading agri-business has been named a finalist in the 2016 Responsible Business Awards, the UK’s longest running and most prestigious awards programme championing responsible business locally and globally.

    Olam has been recognised for its inclusive cotton business model in Côte d’Ivoire, Société d’Exploitation Cotonnière Olam (SECO), as a finalist in the Unilever Global Development Award category, supported by Business Fights Poverty. SECO tackles low productivity and social vulnerability among cotton farmers and their communities by offering training, healthcare and access to finance. Read SECO’s full case study on the BITC website to learn more.

    Commenting, Olam’s Global Head of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, Chris Brett said: “SECO proves that inclusive business models really can be a win-win for communities and corporates. By working holistically with farmers to improve yields, environmental impacts, nutrition and food security, SECO is a great example of how we can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. SECO’s programme has been instrumental in piloting and developing the Olam Livelihood Charter (OLC) which guides our work with smallholder farmers across the globe.

    He added, “Collaboration is vital and a special thank you goes to our partners, Compaci, CmiA and GIZ. Each brings something different to the table and with these partners, we can continue to scale SECO to transform the lives of cotton farming communities in Côte d’Ivoire.”

    Stephen Howard, Chief Executive, Business in the Community said: “We know that every day businesses contribute towards more resilient communities, stimulate local economies, help to create skilled and healthy workforces and tackle environmental challenges. These awards give much needed visibility to the responsible business movement by showcasing the practical ways business is creating change. I congratulate all the finalists for playing their part in building a fairer society and more sustainable future for us all.”

    Now in its 19th year, the 2016 Responsible Business Awards are run by the charity Business in the Community (BITC) to celebrate inspiring examples of businesses that are making a significant difference by taking practical action to improve their local communities, create more inclusive businesses and tackle environmental challenges. The rigorous awards scheme saw 297 companies enter in 2016, 103 shortlisted and just 52 firms named finalists.

    All winners will be announced on 11th July 2016 at the Responsible Business Annual Awards Gala in London. For more information on the Awards including the full list of finalists and their case studies, visit and follow @BITC on Twitter #BITCawards.


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      Olam’s cotton business in Côte d’Ivoire named a finalist in Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Awards 2016

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