Recognition highlights Olam’s leadership in working with smallholder cocoa and coffee farmers
Olam International Limited (“Olam”), a leading global, integrated supply chain manager and processor of agricultural products and food ingredients, is pleased to announce that it is to receive the Rainforest Alliance ‘Sustainable Standard-Setter’ Award for its pioneering work with small-scale cocoa and coffee farmers across the world. The annual award programme acknowledges businesses that demonstrate outstanding leadership in helping to safeguard the environment and support local communities.
Olam’s Global Head of Cocoa, Gerard Manley said: “Long-term supply of cocoa and coffee depends on production that unlocks mutual value – for farming communities, Olam and Olam’s customers. This means helping farmers to improve incomes through better yields and quality, while simultaneously working to protect natural habitats. We are delighted that the Rainforest Alliance recognises our efforts to share expertise and adopt best practices through our collaboration and our wider work within the Olam Livelihood Charter.”
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. Olam originated 115,000 metric tonnes of sustainably grown cocoa beans globally this year through a number of verified and certified programmes. This focus on sustainable cocoa is further underpinned by Olam and Blommer Chocolate’s joint venture, GrowCocoa, which seeks to ensure a healthy and equitable cocoa value chain for generations to come.
Olam worked with the Rainforest Alliance to develop a ‘climate-friendly’ cocoa initiative in Ghana that trains 2,000 farmers in 13 communities on how to maximise the use of existing land to improve yields, rather than extending plantations through forest encroachment. Such encroachment not only has impacts on biodiversity, it also reduces the carbon sink capacity provided by the trees. To improve carbon stocks further, 100 hectares of native tree species are being planted in the region.
“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.”
The presentation ceremony takes place at the American Museum of Natural History on the evening of May 15, 2013 in New York and will be attended by senior leaders from across the agriculture, forestry and tourism sectors.