Press Release

    Olam wins two sustainable business awards in two nights

    Press release

    Olam has been recognised by both Guardian Sustainable Business and the Rainforest Alliance for its work with small-scale farmers

    Olam International Limited (“Olam”), a leading global, integrated supply chain manager and processor of agricultural products and food ingredients, has won both the Guardian Sustainable Business – ‘Society’ and the Rainforest Alliance ‘Sustainable Standard-Setter’ Awards.

    At the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards, the company was commended for its measurable approach to improving the wellbeing of smallholder communities through the Olam Livelihood Charter (OLC). The OLC brings together vocational training, educational, health and environmental initiatives to help move farmers from subsistence to commercial farming, thereby supporting long-term global supply.

    Olam’s Global Head of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, Chris Brett said: “Olam is committed to growing responsibly and this starts with the smallholder farmers that we rely on in many of our product supply chains. The Olam Livelihood Charter is a win-win for everyone involved as it builds sustainable small-scale farmer supply chains.

    “By helping farmers to improve the volume and quality of their produce through a range of practical and social measures, they can increase their income and standard of living. Simultaneously, Olam benefits as thriving communities help to secure a long-term traceable supply of high quality product. Our customers also welcome our pioneering work in this area.”

    The Guardian’s internationally prestigious awards programme is highly respected among key sustainability opinion leaders with a judging panel including some of the most influential thinkers from the world of sustainable business such as Cambridge University, University College London, London Business School, Oxfam, WWF, Greenpeace and Forum for the Future. These awards recognise companies that combine innovation and effectiveness to make a positive impact through their corporate sustainability initiatives.

    Similarly, the annual award programme from the Rainforest Alliance acknowledges businesses that demonstrate outstanding leadership in helping to safeguard the environment and support local communities. Olam was the first company to introduce Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa to Nigeria, Togo, Indonesia and Uganda. This means that Olam now offers the widest Rainforest Alliance Certified™ cocoa origins for its customers.

    “We are proud to recognise Olam’s bold commitment to sustainability, which is helping to transform the way cocoa and coffee are produced worldwide,” said Tensie Whelan, President of the Rainforest Alliance. “Through working with the Rainforest Alliance to promote sustainable farming practices, Olam is playing a key role in conserving the environment and improving conditions for farm workers and their communities.”

    These latest awards add to Olam’s ongoing recognition for growing its business responsibly. This is a continuous process and further results of this year’s Olam Livelihood Charter will be announced shortly.


    About Olam International

    Olam International is a leading global integrated supply chain manager and processor of agricultural products and food ingredients, supplying various products across 16 platforms to over 12,300 customers worldwide. From a direct presence in more than 65 countries with sourcing and processing in most major producing countries, Olam has built a global leadership position in many of its businesses, including Cashew, Spices & Vegetable Ingredients, Cocoa, Coffee, Rice, Cotton and Wood Products. Headquartered in Singapore and listed on the SGXST on February 11, 2005, Olam currently 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), MSCI Singapore Free, S&P Agribusiness Index and the DAXglobal Agribusiness Index. Olam is the only Singapore firm to be named in the 2009, 2010 and 2012 Forbes Asia Fabulous 50, an annual list of 50 big-cap and most profitable firms in the region. It is also the first and only Singapore company to be named in the 2009 lists for the Global Top Companies for Leaders and the Top Companies for Leaders in the Asia Pacific region by Hewitt Associates, the RBL Group and Fortune. More information on Olam can be found at  

    About the Olam Livelihood Charter (OLC)

    Olam’s heritage was founded on collaborating with smallholder farming communities 24 years ago. Olam’s sustainable business practices draw on this experience and begin at the start of the value chain with around 3.5 million smallholder farmers worldwide. This is embodied in the Olam Livelihood Charter (OLC) launched in 2010 – a framework that aims to improve the viability and well-being of 800,000 smallholder farmers living near subsistence levels by 2020. 

    Eight principles form the OLC to ensure positive economic, social and environmental changes to every farmer it touches:

    • Finance: short & long-term finance at 0% interest for crop production, purchasing and asset investments
    • Improved Yield: Investment in training and inputs
    • Market Access: Commitment to a fair price
    • Quality: Encouragement of quality produce by enhancing value to farmers and customers
    • Social Investment: Support of rural health, education and infrastructure
    • Labour Practices: Education on child labour, gender and safety issues
    • Environmental Impact: Improvement of our overall environmental footprint
    • Traceability: Tracking of products back to source

    In its first two years, the initiatives engaged over 210,000 farmers and covered nearly 370,000 hectares of land. Latest figures show that this has now risen to 313,476 over 500,000 hectares. A full set of highlights for the OLC’s third year are due to be released shortly.

    About the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards

    Now in their third year, the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards set out to reward innovation and impactin sustainable business. There are plenty of people working in both large and small organisations who deserve recognition for helping build sustainability into business. The Awards recognise that the challenges are different depending on the organisation. Large businesses grappling with embedded structures and dispersed control face unique challenges in driving sustainability. Ambitions and time scales may sometimes not seem stretching enough to those of us hungry for progress. However, should large businesses achieve their sustainability goals, the scale of the impact they can make is significant.

    More information on the winning projects and runners will be available on The Guardian’s Sustainable Business Best Practice Exchange shortly. Olam’s integrated sustainable cashew growers’ programme is also a runner up in the Supply Chain Category.

    About the Rainforest Alliance

    The Rainforest Alliance works with people whose livelihoods depend on the land, helping them transform the way they grow food, harvest wood and host travelers. From large multinational corporations to small, community-based cooperatives, businesses and consumers worldwide are involved in the Rainforest Alliance’s efforts to bring responsibly produced goods and services to a global marketplace where the demand for sustainability is growing steadily. For more information, visit  

    Rainforest Alliance certification — awarded to farms that meet the comprehensive standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) — focuses on how farms are managed. The SAN standards encompass the three pillars of sustainability — social, environmental and economic — and empower farmers with the knowledge and skills to negotiate for themselves in the global marketplace. Farmers engaged in the Rainforest Alliance Certified programme learn to grow smart, increasing their bottom line today, and conserving the fertile soils and natural resources on which their children will depend tomorrow.

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