Investing in Coffee Entrepreneurs
Olam has invested in a new generation of coffee farmers. Supporting their training to master the art of processing .
Our buying teams have years of experience in selecting the best coffees, our processing teams make sure all our coffees are customised to the requirements of our customers, and our logistics teams ensure our coffee has a smooth journey from the farm to the factory gate. In addition to sourcing from farmers, we have invested extensively in our own estates in Brazil, Laos, Tanzania and Zambia which allow us to cater for the growing consumer demand for single estate, certified and traceable coffees - Rainforest Alliance / UTZ and 4C.
Each estate has been chosen for the quality of its coffee and ideal climatic conditions. This, coupled with our farming skills, passion and dedication to sustainable practices, helps us to produce consistent and traceable coffee that not only tastes and smells great but has benefited surrounding communities with minimal environmental impact.
In our third-party sourcing, we support around 60,000 smallholder farmers under sustainability programmes to improve quality and yields, and therefore incomes, as well as provide social investment and promote stewardship of the environment. Read more in our Olam Coffee Sustainability section.
We consistently deliver premium coffee beans to our customers through first class warehousing and processing capabilities at our wet and dry mills across 15 coffee origins. More than 90% of our total coffee volume is processed in our own mills. With this infrastructure in place, we are able to control the quality and consistency of our finished coffees and create customer-specific coffee grades that offer better value.
Our facilities include the latest cleaning and grading lines, colour sorters and polishers, enhancing our capability to process all variety and quality requirements across global markets. An 800-strong team makes sure every bean meets our standards in terms of preparation, screen sizes, regional specialties and cup profiles.
Our Africa sourcing is extensive from estates in Tanzania and Zambia to smallholder sourcing in Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, DRC, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia.
The vast spread and depth of these operations means that we maintain strong control over the flow and quality of the coffee we procure. We work with expert partners such as USAID, IITA and the MasterCard Foundation on sustainability programmes that aid the development of smallholder communities, primarily through Olam's sustainable sourcing platform AtSource.
In India, our buying operations span its entire coffee belt. We leverage both our network of intermediary buyers and our privileged planter relationships to purchase the best quality coffees and process them in our mills in Hassan, Chikmagalur, Coorg and Wyanad.
Through our sustainable sourcing platform AtSource, we train farmers at the Bynekere Estate in Karnataka to reap higher quality beans and enjoy the corresponding income from it. Read more about this project and others here.
In Indonesia, we buy coffee from all the major growing regions in Sumatra, processing them in our production facility in Lampung. At our specialty Arabica coffee operations in Medan and Gambung, we carefully select and handpick premium quality Lintong, Mandheling, and Aceh coffees.
In Vietnam, we maintain a wide procurement spread across the country’s 3 largest coffee growing provinces, namely Dak Lak, Lam Dong and Gia Lai. We operate a large wet-processing facility in Lam Dong through which we purchase fresh Arabica cherries and process these into high quality “fully-washed” and “semi-washed” Arabica coffee beans.
Our entry into Papua New Guinea during 2013 further strengthened our coffee footprint in Asia. Like the rest of our Asian operations, in PNG we are present at source.
In Laos, our estate sits at an altitude of 1,250 metres and has been certified Rainforest Alliance / UTZ.
In Colombia, we operate 3 coffee mills supported by a network of buying offices. We offer most coffee varieties and qualities, including regional specialties like Medellin, Huila, and Tolima. Read about Diofanor, a local coffee entrepreneur here.
In Mexico and Guatemala, we have enhanced our origination capabilities in the region for mainstream and specialty coffees by establishing facilities and offices. Through our AtSource platform, we have been supporting a new generation of coffee farmers in the art of processing so they benefit from improved incomes.
In Peru, we have 1 mill in Lima and 1 in Jaen, processing all coffee varieties. In addition to regular Peruvian Machine Clean Mejorado and Machine Clean coffees, we also offer customised grades and blends to cater to specific customer requirements.
In Honduras, we operate 2 mills and a large upstream buying network. In addition to offering the regular High Growth and Strictly High Growth coffee varieties, we are also large exporters of special cupping coffees from specific areas like Marcala and San Marcos.
In Brazil, we are among the largest coffee exporters, with a large network of buying offices. We have invested significantly in building comprehensive coffee processing infrastructure and preferred partnerships in the country, servicing them through our large team of experienced professionals.
Coffee LENS is our sustainability ambition for the future of coffee. It is the first stage of a roadmap to increase the impact of what we are already doing to build a more resilient coffee supply chain, enabled through structured collaboration with partners.
We celebrated National Farmers’ Day in Zambia by hosting an agricultural fair at our estate. Little did we realise the impact it would have amongst the farmers themselves.