Today olam food ingredients (“ofi”), one of the world’s largest suppliers of ingredients* from almonds to black pepper, has published sustainability targets to tackle the biggest challenges in the global cashew supply chain, starting with farmer livelihoods.
Cashew farmers are among the poorest in the world. Most are smallholders in rural areas across Africa and Asia and cannot always grow enough to feed their families, afford much-needed healthcare or send their children to school. ofi, which has directly supported over 50,000 cashew farmers over the last decade, hopes to change this and encourage others in the sector to collaborate for measurable change.
The Cashew Trail strategy sets 2030 targets across ofi’s cashew business – in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals1 and ofi's commitment to deliver naturally good, sustainable ingredients. These include ambitious goals to fight poverty by increasing average yields by 50% and helping 250,000 cashew households to improve their livelihoods. Along with economic opportunity, Cashew Trail includes commitments around health, education, diversity and climate to ensure that by 2030:
- 100% of own processing volumes are traceable to farmer group-level
- 250,000 cashew households benefit from improved livelihoods through training and access to inputs like fertiliser
- 100% of children from cashew communities for directly sourced volumes benefit from investments into education infrastructure
- 30% of farmers in directly sourced cashew communities are women
- 50% reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission intensity in ofi cashew supply chains
ofi is making these goals real by innovating its approach to sustainability – providing customers with a pathway to drive tangible change in farming communities. This innovation is both practical, like using data to deliver training tailored to individual farmers, and disruptive, like Olam Direct, which reaches farmers further afield, giving them access to the latest market prices, and the ability to negotiate directly rather than through traditional buying agents, thereby retaining more value for their crop.
Progress on Cashew Trail will be reported annually, tracked and supported by data from 100+ economic, social and environmental metrics on Olam’s sustainability insights platform AtSource, including carbon, water and land use footprinting which can be used by customers in their own sustainability programmes and consumer communications. This includes measuring impacts in ofi's cashew processing facilities located in both Asia and Africa. Currently most of the global processing for cashew nuts takes place in Asia. ofi seeks to boost job creation and reduce emissions through transportation of the raw nut by increasing the processing in Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria.