Press Release

    The Rainforest Alliance recognises Olam with ‘Sustainable Standard-Setter’ Award

    Press release

    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.


    Additional information on Ghana and Uganda joint cocoa initiatives with the Rainforest Alliance:

    Climate-friendly farming, Ghana

    Launched in 2011, the US $1million initiative is supported by USAID and NORAID and aims to provide training and logistcial support for 2,000 famers in 13 communities by 2014 with a goal to expand. This focuses on improving and increasing production through sustainable farming practices – specifically teaching farmers how to maximise land use to improve yields rather than extending land through deforestation. As part of this, farmers learn how the carbon stocks of cocoa, shade trees and soil can be improved by developing specific farming practices. These steps will enable communities to improve farmer incomes and adapt to the changing climate whilst at the same time mitigating adverse potential impacts on the environment.

    Uganda Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa farms

    Olam has recently become the first and only cocoa exporter in Uganda to source from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. Through this collaboration, over 1,200 farmers that supply Olam have earned Rainforest Alliance certification. These certified farms cover 3,800 acres with a total production of 2,400 metric tonnes per annum of cocoa. From this, Olam currently procures approximately 500-600mt per year and can scale up in-line with growing customer demand. 

    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 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.

    For more information, please contact:

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