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

Press Release Mar 7, 2024
ofi’s net-zero ambition recognized at UK’s largest sustainable business awards

A new carbon monitoring tool developed by leading food ingredients supplier ofi and Google geo-spatial partner NGIS, has been recognized in the “Net-Zero Innovation of the Year” category at this year’s Edie awards, which celebrate sustainability leadership.

 

The tool is designed to measure carbon gains and losses across supply chains. It uses satellite imagery and machine learning to track changes in forest cover and carbon stocks at a granular level - down to the individual farm1. This data is helping ofi to identify areas at risk of deforestation and prioritize conservation efforts on cashew, cocoa and coffee suppliers’ farms and in sourcing landscapes.

 

Climate Action Manager at ofi, Dr Pedro Lafargue said: “We are delighted to be recognized for our innovative solution that is helping us monitor and measure GHG emissions and progress towards net-zero goals. Part of this is about driving transformational change in strategic landscapes which means keeping growing and retaining more trees on and around farms.

 

“Planting more trees is one of the ways to move towards net-zero, but carbon sequestration potential is highly dependent on tree species and farm typology. The tool allows us to assess the optimum level of planting for different farmers and farms so we can create more efficient agroforestry programs that maximize both yields and carbon storage.”

 

ofi’s customers, who are some of the world’s largest food retailers and manufacturers, can access results of the data-driven sequestration efforts in their joint supply chains via performance metrics on ofi’s sustainability management system AtSource. These insights can help them monitor and reduce their climate risk and meet science-based targets, as well as prepare for compliance with new EU rules and disclosures in relation to nature and climate risks.

 

The move by ofi to take carbon stock monitoring from a manual, desktop-based process to an integrated pipeline which leverages cloud computing, is allowing ofi to progressively scale this analysis across multiple commodities and regions – covering over 950,000 farms so far.

 

But Lafargue says that there’s a role for industry partners to play to scale up the innovation and progress towards net-zero at scale: “While the tool can help our customers quantify the ecosystem services provided to supply their ingredients and invest efficiently in better farming systems, we need them to recognize the efforts made by farmers to plant trees and maintain agroforestry systems with financial incentives, like annual premiums, to scale up these efforts over the long-term.”

 

Looking ahead, there is potential to take the tool beyond ofi supply chains to quantify carbon stocks and removals across entire production landscapes to provide better data for the industry on land use change and carbon removals. 

 

ofi was also a finalist in the Circular Economy of the Year award for using residual cocoa shells to fuel its cocoa factories2, where it produces its premium cocoa ingredients deZaan. The circular biomass boilers will reduce natural gas usage and CO2 emissions at ofi’s Koog aan deZaan facility in the Netherlands by 50% and in Mannheim, Germany, where it is believed to be the first cocoa shell boiler of its kind in the country, it will save approximately 8,000 tons of CO2 annually.

 

Discover much more about what ofi has to offer at ofi.com

 

Notes to Editors

 

1 The Carbon Sequestration Monitoring Tool combines data from ofi polygon-mapped farms and satellite data with machine learning techniques to build models in Google Earth Engine that calculate the total aboveground biomass (AGB) - vegetation above the soil, such as stumps, trees, and foliage and how much carbon is present in each plot.

 

2 https://www.ofi.com/news-and-events/press-release/olam-food-ingredients-turns-cocoa-shells-into-power-to-fuel-factory.html

Events Mar 6, 2024
Join ofi at Expo West 2024, March 14-16

Come connect with ofi at our booth at Natural Products Expo West 2024, the leading trade show in the natural, organic, and healthy products industry.  Stop by to discover our portfolio of nutritious and delicious ingredients and learn more about how we drive sustainability impact through collaboration and work directly with customers to create new recipes and better products.

 

This year our theme is Flavor Fusion where you can see if you are sweet or spicy as you explore our ingredients through creating your own trail mix. We’ll be featuring a variety of ofi ingredients from our spices, nuts, and cocoa portfolios along with highlighting some of our capabilities.

 

Visit us from March 14-16, at Booth #3887, Hall D at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA.

Articles Feb 14, 2024
The sweet treats and trends winning hearts this Valentine’s Day

Author | Madeline Bills | Cocoa Innovation Manager at ofi

 

Chocolate has long been synonymous with Valentine’s Day, with sweet treats a classic way to celebrate the season of love.

But Valentine’s Day is evolving, with Gen Z and Millennials redefining traditions.  Many consumers are choosing to celebrate this day with friends and family members, as well as significant others. In 2023, 40% of Gen Z and 20% of Millennials said they were planning to buy their friends a Valentine’s gift.[1] And what better way to do so than with cocoa?

 

As consumers change the way they celebrate Valentine’s Day – and who they celebrate with – there is an opportunity for manufacturers to develop new products.  From introducing more exotic flavors in confectionery to creating more experiential formats and expanding into new categories, we’re seeing companies inventing new ways for consumers to celebrate the season of love with those who matter most to them. At ofi we explore the top chocolate, confectionery and bakery trends shaping Valentine’s Day 2024 and how manufacturers can develop new offerings to win the hearts of consumers.

 

[1] Actually, Lots of Gen Z Would Rather Spend Valentine’s Day with Their Friends - YPulse

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