Cote d’Ivoire

ofi established operations in Côte d’Ivoire in 1994. Today over 2 million people across the country earn part, or all, of their livelihoods with ofi, as farmers, employees, service providers and their respective dependents. 

 

We are present throughout the country, sourcing cocoa, coffee and cashew directly from over 185,000 farming families, and via a vast network of local traders. We operate 36 offices, 11 large processing facilities, several primary processing operations and manage over 200,000 square metres of warehouses. 

 

Offering employment opportunities

ofi is one of the largest employers in the country, with over 5,000 employees, including sub-contracted workers. More than 90% are Ivorian and 45% are women. We partner with top schools and universities and professional associations to attract the best talent and integrate them into meaningful career paths. 

 

Releasing individual’s potential

Through programmes such as Growing Olam African Leaders Programme, Graduate Engineering Trainee Programme, Finance Leaders Programme and Leadership Development Programme, high-potential employees receive tailored training and coaching, both in Côte d’Ivoire and abroad, to help them to maximize their potential and enter management roles across our business. 

 

A trusted partner

We work closely with government bodies and industry associations such as the Conseil Café Cacao (CCC), Confederation Générale des Entreprises de Côte d’Ivoire (CGECI), and African Cashew Alliance (ACA). We are trusted partners of development agencies, NGOs and programmes, including the ComCashew (formerly African Cashew Initiative). This enables us to provide full assurance to our customers of our products’ quality and traceability.

Cocoa

Côte d’Ivoire grows 40% of the world’s cocoa, making it the top producing country globally. 

 

ofi established a cocoa trading business in CDI in 1997, today we have the largest procurement network for sustainable cocoa in the country and are the second-largest exporter of cocoa by volume.

 

We are a member of the Cocoa Livelihoods Programme and the African Cocoa Initiative, and a founding member of Cocoa Action to promote productivity and develop communities. In addition to the support of communities, we also seek to protect the environment, as such we are one of the 12 signatories of the Cocoa and Forests anti-deforestation agreement coordinated by WCF. 

 

Our extensive infrastructure includes five bean cleaning and bagging facilities and 16 warehouses. We have  two state-of-the-art grinding facilities, one in San Pedro and  one in Abidjan, producing cocoa liquor, butter, and cake.

 

Read more about our global cocoa business here, and our Cocoa Compass which maps our sustainability goals and activities here.

Cashew

Côte d’Ivoire has quadrupled its crop size to 700,000 MT in the last 10 years, making it the largest cashew producing and exporting country in Africa. It is also one of the largest suppliers of Organic and Fairtrade cashew kernels in the world. 

 

Established in 1994, our cashew business is the market leader for trading. Our supplier base exceeds 35,500 partner farmers and 200 traders, of which 31,000 are supported through sustainability programmes. We have pioneered linking farmers to a guaranteed market and improving traceability for our customers with the support of our in-house digital team.

 

Our infrastructure includes 3 processing facilities in Bouaké, Dimbokro and Djekanou which provide jobs to more than 4,000 workers (of whom more than 70% are women), two factories, 12 satellite units, 15 warehouses, and nine offices. Our “Sustainable Cashew Growers Programme” links farmers from over 350 villages to the factories and has been a 2013 finalist at the Guardian Sustainable Business awards in the supply chain category.

 

 Read more about our global cashew business here, and our sustainability initiatives here. 

Coffee

Through our strong trading network, we buy around a third of the country’s 120,000 MT of Robusta and are the largest exporters to North Africa, Europe and Asia. 

 

One of our desired sustainability outcomes is to help farmers and food systems prosper. Our supplier base includes approximately 13,000 partner farmers and 144 cooperatives, many of whom receive direct farmer training from ofi

 

In addition, we have launched a project to rejuvenate the coffee plantations and distributed over 2,000 hectares of high-yielding coffee seedlings, 60% of which are productive. We finance post-harvest infrastructure including 120 hulling machines. 

 

We are the first 4C-verified coffee exporter in Côte d’Ivoire - an independent verification that our supply chain is sustainable. 

 

Our infrastructure includes a factory, seven warehouses and marketing offices, and two laboratories.

Growing Responsibly in Côte d’Ivoire

In Côte d’Ivoire, we support over 185,000 farmer families from 1,226 farmer associations through our Sustainability Programmes, improving their livelihoods and community well-being and safeguarding natural resources. In 2017, these partner farmers produced more than 200,000 metric tonnes of cocoa, cashew and coffee.

Traceable, high quality products

With our sustainable sourcing models and processing units certified BRC, Organic, Kosher, and Fair Trade, our customers can rest assured they are receiving responsibly produced products. Our  sustainability  approach is complemented by third-party certifications, including  Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, Organic, UTZ Certified, and 4C. 

 

The Olam Farmer Information System (OFIS) is our innovative, proprietary data solution for farm-level data collection, analysis, and use. OFIS provides customers with traceability and an unparalleled understanding of who supplies their raw materials. 

 

The Analysis Graphing Tool maps farms, social infrastructure, and more, allowing ofi and sustainability partners to identify risk ‘hotspots’ and target their resources. The Farm Management Plan module can provide personalised long-term plans for our partner farmers. In Côte d’Ivoire, over 156,000  cocoa farmers are registered. 

Read ofi news

Blog Jan 11, 2023

Transforming Sustainability in the Food and Beverage Industry with Technology

As Global Head of Sustainable Business Development at ofi, I had the pleasure of participating in the Reuters Transform Food USA 2022 conference in Chicago. This event connected over 200 sustainability, supply chain and agriculture leaders to discuss ways in which we can support a more sustainable food system and understand how to collect quality, transparent data. I was honored to present Technology – Driving Sustainability in Food Production, shedding light on the challenges facing the industry and sharing how technology can be a powerful catalyst for progress.

News Aug 17, 2022

How can companies implement effective workforce nutrition programs? 

By Clara Tessler, Nutrition & Health Manager, ofi

 

Malnutrition and poor health around the world continue to negatively impact businesses as result of working days lost to illness and reduced workforce productivity.

 

As well as benefiting employees, investments by companies in health and wellbeing can lead to better employee engagement, reduced absenteeism and higher performance and productivity.

 

We want to create an environment where employees want to come to work every day – it’s in everyone’s best interest.

 

To that end, at ofi we’ve set a goal that by 2030, everyone in our primary workforce will have access to nutrition support. This is the goal we are working towards to ensure the health and wellbeing of all our employees, driven by our purpose to be the change for good food and healthy future.

 

In 2021, with support from the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), ofi began the roll-out of the Workforce Nutrition Alliance’s Workforce Nutrition Scorecard to assess our baseline and develop or strengthen workplace nutrition programs that tackle issues related to malnutrition across our worksites globally. This includes initiatives across four pillars: healthy food at work, nutrition education, nutrition-focused and breastfeeding support, and resources for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

 

Discover more from my discussion with GAIN and the Consumer Goods Forum in the Healthier Lives podcast:

Press Release Dec 13, 2022

ofi Vietnam conferred prestigious UN WEPs Award; leads the way in building an inclusive and equal workplace

olam food ingredients (ofi), a global leader in naturally good food & beverage ingredients, is pleased to announce that it has emerged as a national winner in the 2022 United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (UN WEPs) Award for Vietnam under the Leadership Commitment category.

 

The Leadership Commitment award recognises ofi Vietnam’s commitments towards progressive policies, regulations and practices aimed at promoting gender equality in the workplace and with supply chain partners. This prestigious accolade follows a first runner-up national win at the 2021 UN WEPs Award under the Gender Inclusive Workplace category.

 

The UN WEPs Award represents recognition of exemplary company efforts for gender equality aligned to the Women’s Empowerment Principles. The WEPs are seven guiding principles providing a roadmap for a more equal, inclusive and sustainable future.

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