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 Sep 1, 2022

How local cashew processing can be a catalyst for sustainable growth

By Arouna Coulibaly, Managing Director Côte d’Ivoire, ofi (olam food ingredients)

 

Snack bars, spreads, nut-milks, cookies, and other sweet treats; cashew is becoming an increasingly popular ingredient across applications from bakery to beverages, feeding demand for healthier snacking options and plant-based proteins. Many of these versatile and tasty nuts are produced in Côte d’Ivoire, which is the biggest exporter of cashew in the world. They are one of the country’s top three cash-crops, yet only around 10% of raw cashew is processed locallyi, with the rest shipped to Asia for its more advanced, mechanized facilities at lower costs.

 

As a result, the value to be created from cashew processing also leaves the country. As the largest processor of cashew in Africa, ofi’s Côte’d’Ivoire team is well-placed to be the change for a more integrated and sustainable value chain. For over a decade, our cashew teams have invested in modern machinery to mechanise and expedite local processing, with the creation of over 3,000 direct jobs at our four private processing facilities, more than 70% of which are held by women.   

 

Recently, we’ve partnered with three national cashew processing units in the country’s northern growing region. Our teams will train workers on proper use of equipment and quality control techniques and help build commercial relationships to enhance marketing prospects for the processed kernels.

 

To expand these efforts, we are working with the Prosper Cashew project to stimulate growth in the country’s processing sector and increase returns to cashew communities. This latest collaboration between ofi and NGO TechnoServe, will provide technical support to farmers and processors and facilitate access to critically needed working capital.

 

We are one of many actors in the supply chain trying to address intractable challenges like rural poverty and child labor, so multi-stakeholder action is critical to deliver meaningful change at scale. The combined technical and on-the-ground resources of these partnerships will also build on some of our existing programs at farm-gate, where smallholders often battle low yields and quality from a lack of finance, inputs, and training. These include increasing agricultural productivity, reducing waste with improved crop residue management, and community development initiatives focused on tackling malnutrition and building health and sanitation infrastructure. This will contribute to our 2030 target under Cashew Trail for our teams around the world to support the livelihoods of 250,000 cashew households.

 

Stepping up value-generating activities in producing countries by processing at source, creates traceable cashew kernels with a lower carbon footprint, along with jobs and economic opportunity for farmers, workers, and communities for the long-term. It leaves better-quality cashew that delivers on both sensory and sustainability expectations.

 

 

i Reuters

News Aug 17, 2022

How can companies implement effective workforce nutrition programs? 

Press Release Sep 27, 2022

ofi drives climate action in global cocoa supply chain

ofi (olam food ingredients), a global leader in naturally good food and beverage ingredients, says it substantially advanced towards the climate goals stated in its Cocoa Compass sustainability report 2020/21 – the year of COP26. In order to achieve the structural change required to have an impact at scale, the report makes clear that work on the ground in cocoa communities should be supported by international collaboration and regulation.

 

In the report, published today, ofi shares its sustainability progress across its cocoa supply chain, achieved in collaboration with customers and partners, and benchmarked against three years of impact data. From the Brazilian Amazon to the landscapes of Côte d’Ivoire, the company has taken further steps to protect and restore forests: it distributed 1.75m trees to farmers (a 356% increase since 2017/18) and enhanced the accuracy of its deforestation monitoring, having polygon mapped two-thirds of its sustainability programs.

 

ofi also invested to reduce its COemissions per metric ton of product output from its cocoa processing facilities, down by 19% since 2018, by installing circular biomass boilers fueled by waste cocoa shells and switching to green electricity. The boiler at the Koog aan de Zaan facility in the Netherlands, where it produces its premium cocoa ingredient brand, deZaan, will now allow ofi to target a further 50% cut in natural gas usage, which will lead to a significant reduction in COemissions.

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