We source from approximately 5 million farmers across the world but only around 10,600 can be considered large-scale farms in developed nations like Australia or USA. The vast majority are small-scale in developing countries such as Nigeria, India, Vietnam, Colombia and Peru. They grow crops such as cocoa, coffee, cotton and cashew on smallholdings, on just 1 or 2 hectares.
This limitation is not just a missed opportunity, it is a business risk. The lower their production, the greater the risk of Olam not being able to procure the supply our customers expect. If smallholder production and profits are low, there is a risk they or their children will choose to give up on farming altogether and look for an alternative livelihood. It is therefore in our best interest to help lift as many smallholders as we can out of poverty and empower them for the future.
We focus on improving income through:
- Training and extension services for crop, fish and poultry farmers
- Access to finance, agri-inputs, climate-resilient seeds, and labour-saving tools and equipment
- Business management training
- Market information systems
- Support to farmer collectives /cooperatives
- Living income gap analysis and improved value distribution back to farmers
Large-scale farmers in developed nations also face many challenges. Often 3rd or 4th generation family farms, they have grown their businesses through hard work, perseverance and sacrifice. While Olam’s extensive farm-gate experience means we are well-placed to support farmers from America to Australia we must work in partnership to achieve the scale of transformational change required in the multi-faceted environment that is our global agricultural sector.
Read more in the Social Capital section of our 2019 Annual Report.