Cote d’Ivoire
World map highlighting Africa in orange

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.

Hands of a man holding a cashew fruit plant

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 May 24, 2022

Collaborating with Save the Children to tackle Child Labor

Child labor in cocoa has no one cause. There are often complex and deep-rooted cultural, social, and economic challenges at play. 

 

Farmers cannot always afford to pay for farm labor, so their children help on the farm at weekends or after school. Some parents have no school nearby to send their children to or they cannot provide the documents needed to enroll them, such as birth certificates. Sometimes labor laws are misunderstood or poorly enforced. The complexity of the problem means one intervention will never be enough – it requires a range of long-term actions at the individual, community, and national levels.

 

Tackling child labor therefore requires collaboration across stakeholder groups – including customers, partners and NGOs. That is why in 2020 we invited Save The Children and its Centre for Child Rights and Business to assess how effectively we combat child labor across four of our key cocoa-growing countries (Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria) and to identify areas where we could be doing more.

 

Save The Children found our programs have real reach and impact. Such as in Cameroon where we trained 6,000 smallholder farmers in child labor sensitization, or in Ghana where we set up protection committees covering 210 communities. It found that our strength lies in our holistic approach, which considers a range of root causes, the link we have made between traceability and child labor monitoring, and the roll-out of our digital Child Labor Monitoring and Remediation (CLMRS) app.

 

As a result of the study, we intend to build on our existing child labor training programs and measure their impact through before and after assessments. We plan to more strongly link community protection programs with our supply chain operations and create more robust outcome indicators to ensure we are making a real difference.

 

Ines Kaempfer, CEO of the Centre for Child Rights and Business, Save the Children said:

“We really welcome ofi’s readiness to allow an independent third party to review their existing child labor prevention and remediation programs in order to define their strategy going forward. The transparency demonstrated by ofi in this process is remarkable and proves to what level ofi is committed to finding the best possible strategies to protect children in their supply chains. We are looking forward to continuously supporting ofi in this endeavor."

 

Find out more about how we’re making the future of cocoa more sustainable.

News Nov 29, 2021

Nespresso recognizes ofi’s coffee teams in Peru and Colombia as strategic partners

ofi’s coffee businesses in Peru and Colombia have been awarded the title of “Strategic Partner” by Nespresso for their contribution to its successful AAA Sustainable Quality™ Program.

 

Nespresso’s AAA coffee sourcing program is designed to ensure the continued supply of high-quality coffee while also improving the livelihoods of farmers and protecting the environment. Its name was inspired by the respected AA standard, a hallmark of coffee quality around the world, with each A standing for one of the program’s three aims: quality, sustainability and productivity.

 

ofi’s field teams support these aims by providing farmers with year-round support and training to produce reliable, sustainable, and traceable coffee.

 

“Today’s consumers want more than just exceptional quality and flavor; they want to know the coffee they buy carries a positive story for the people and environment it came from. Together with Nespresso, we’ve supported over 2,850 coffee farmers across Peru and Colombia so far to meet this demand for coffee that delights on both the sensory and sustainability front. It’s through partnerships like this that we can create real change at scale for people and planet.” Prashant Jalan, Country head Peru for ofi’s coffee platform.

 

The program also contributes to ofi’s 2025 sustainability commitments under Coffee LENS. Launched a year ago, the roadmap sets out targets for improving livelihoods, communities and landscapes by 2025 across ofi’s global coffee supply chain.

Press Release May 20, 2022

ofi’s nuts team recognized for industry excellence and innovation at INC Congress

ofi’s nuts team was awarded the Corporate Golden Nut Award, by the International Nut and Dried Fruit

Council (INC) Congress. The Golden Nut Award is the top international recognition of excellence in the nuts industry. The team also received the Innovation Award for Cashew Nut Oil Dipping Sauces & Dressings, which use minimally processed cashew oil to address consumer interest in the plant-based market.

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