Our global supply chains mean we can source from farmers for customers around the world, as well as supply the Nigerian domestic market directly from our 10,000-hectare rice farm.
The constant focus on the safety and security of our supplies have been critical to our success. Given increasing global population and environmental challenges we are also working with partners to support farmers on more sustainable production.
Since our operations began in 2006, we have expanded into almost every rice exporting country outside the United States.
Our origin teams are spread across India, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as dedicated agents in Brazil, Argentina, Pakistan, and Myanmar. Focused on buying the best rice, they work with secure counter parties, and offer flexible contracting and strong logistics in developing markets. Our farmer training and processing expertise helps us to closely monitor and ensure that the rice maintains its quality throughout the entire operational process.
“Because our distribution network has such deep roots, and our operations are highly integrated, we have exceptional insight into the demand and supply requirements in each country. Coupled with our focus on long standing partnerships, we have a strong foundation on which to build our rice business.”
A team of experienced personnel manages port logistics at both ends of the value chain to secure significant efficiencies of scale.
By using a combination of voyage and period charters, we secure competitive freight rates to ship our rice from exporting countries to destination markets. Innovative hedging tools have also been developed by in-house capabilities to effectively manage freight market volatility.
Beyond availability lies quality.
Our distribution has experienced unprecedented growth. From our roots in Nigeria 30 years ago selling unbranded rice, we now have brands that top the popularity charts in each of our 3 main countries of operation.
With extensive warehousing and networks in destination markets, we are a strategic partner in the rice trade. Our end-to-end supply chain has seen several recognised brands go onto supermarket shelves, with increasing market penetration. The success of these rice brands is reflective of our insight into a diversity of markets, and our ability to cater to the exacting standards of varied consumer groups.
We are committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger and in an effort to meet the nutritional needs of undernourished consumers in our destination markets, we are working with DSM to develop and distribute fortified rice.
Olam offers a variety of brands, including Royal Aroma, Royal Feast and Mama Africa in Ghana; Mama’s Pride and Mama Africa in Nigeria, Riz Meme Casse and Bijou in Cameroon; and Royal Aroma and Mama Africana in Mozambique.
Rice is a staple food for over 50% of the world, and the demand for rice is set to increase in line with population growth.
Innovation in rice farming is essential. We have introduced a fully mechanised large-scale rice farm in Nigeria that produces 2 crops a year for the Nigerian market, helping the country to reduce reliance on imports.
Our farm has an integrated rice mill with a processing capacity of 70,000 tonnes. This farm acts as a centre for improving productivity, and also as a vocational training hub for almost 7,000 smallholders from nearby communities under the Olam Livelihood Charter. Through our rice mill, farmers can process their crop, and gain access to market, improving local livelihoods.
Through research and development, we have also advanced agronomic practices tailored to the African growing climate and have achieved a doubling overall farm yields from 1.5 to almost 4 tonnes per hectare per season, together with better land use and more rice-farming employment. Building strong relationships with the right partners to source better inputs, and creating planting and irrigation training programmes, also improves the productivity of the farmers in our outgrower initiatives.
In 2013, The Rockefeller Foundation highlighted the rice farm as a “catalytic innovation in African agriculture”.
The Nigeria Rice Outgrower Initiative has been recognised by the Financing for Sustainable Development Office of the United Nations as one of 3 high impact success stories identified for global recognition by the United Nations Economic & Social Council.