A handful of sesame fruit and hulled seeds, Olam.


    Olam is the world’s leading supplier of sesame. We supply natural sesame, sortex and powder, as well as hulled sesame.

    Thanks to our extensive origin and processing footprint, our breadth and depth means we can provide up-to-date market information, pricing and a stable supply. We drive international food safety standards across both farming and processing operations.

    We produce natural sesame for use in oil crushing, sortex and sesame powder as well as hulled sesame for commercial baking and condiments. We source from small- and large-scale sesame farmers in all main producing countries, focusing on traceable tonnage. The seeds pass our stringent quality checks before they’re accepted into our system. We work directly with farmers to improve yields, quality and incomes.

    Sanjeev Sharma, Senior Vice President, Sesame

    “Between our sourcing and processing capabilities, along with a deep knowledge of our customer requirements, we are able to offer the most suitable sesame seeds for each customer’s specific use.”

    Sanjeev Sharma
    Senior Vice President, Sesame

    Our Facilities

    In Nigeria and Turkey, we’ve state-of-the-art facilities where we process sesame and related products – such as tahini – in line with customer requirements. We’re a leading supplier to Japan, which is the most demanding market as regards food safety standards.

    Together with offices in our sesame origins and processing facilities, we also maintain marketing offices in China, Dubai, Singapore, Rotterdam, India, Turkey and the USA, allowing us to deliver comprehensive service to our customers.


    Although sesame is usually grown in Asian and Latin American countries, Africa accounts for about a third of the global sesame production, and contributes about 70% to the global trade, a share which continues to grow.

    We’re based in all of the major sesame-producing areas, where we buy seeds from small-scale and large-scale farmers, cooperatives and collectors. Our network ensures we are the most cost-effective and quality buyer, communicating directly with farmers to ensure good quality output. 

    Through our experience in sustainability programme management, and by establishing strategic partnerships between stakeholders such as government agencies, NGOs and the wider farming community, we help facilitate the flow of information, knowledge and technology to improve yields, quality and incomes.

    We’ve procurement offices across Africa and in India. In addition, we also have representatives and agents in other countries of origin, including Ethiopia. 


    In most of the locations where we operate, sesame seeds are harvested manually and separated from their husks using traditional methods. Seeds produced this way can contain impurities, so we have set up primary cleaning centres.

    This investment allows us to assure our buyers that they are guaranteed clean sesame for use in their applications. For applications that require a hulled or edible grade sesame, we have processing plants in the sesame-growing countries. The produce from these facilities is ready to be used as ingredients in kitchens and bakeries. 

    We’ve also established in-house product testing programmes. We also have an Aflatoxin testing facility in Africa – which is rare in the industry – and offers further assurance to our customers through our rigorous safety and quality protocols.


    Food Safety, Livelihoods and Water

    In Nigeria we work with 2,200 sesame farmers under the Olam Livelihood Charter. Yields have increased by 100% in the last five years. Their crop is processed into hulled sesame as well as cleaned, sortexed natural sesame at our custom-designed processing plant at Sagamu, which meets FSSC 22000 and OHSAS 18001-2007 certification. This technology has decreased our water consumption by up to 95%. Dry hulling increases food safety as contaminated water is the source of most potential pathogens.


    Tahini Production

    In 2017, we acquired Ahenk, a leading producer of tahini paste used in Asian, Middle Eastern and European cuisines. Ahenk has more than 50 years’ experience and operates out of Samsun in Turkey, a major port within the Black Sea region, supporting easy movement to global consumer markets. 

    We’ve invested heavily in highly advanced technology to upgrade this plant to produce ‘ultra-white’ sesame without the need for caustic soda. This means we can deliver high purity tahini production close to European consumption regions. The plant also provides aqua processing and mechanical processing. 

    Talk to Our Team

    Whether you’re interested in speaking to our country management team, enquiring about one of our products or partnering with us, we want to hear from you.

    Want To Get the Latest From Olam?

    Subscribe to our Olam monthly newsletter.