Guatemala

Guatemala is an incredibly diverse country with 47 volcanos that cover the mountainous landscape and two dozen indigenous languages still spoken today. The coffee is no different. There is a profile for everyone in Guatemala. The large range of altitudes and microclimates provide many ideal yet different growing conditions for Arabica coffee.

 

OFI Guatemala began in 2011 starting operations in Huehuetenango. Since then, we have grown to be one of the largest exporters in the country with a pan Guatemala reach and presence. We have 7 Farmer Centers placed at the doorstep of smallholders, and hence are uniquely positioned to support farmers throughout the crop cycle. Our proximity gives us both the chance to know who grows the coffee and provides the chance to offer region and farmer traceable lots. 

 

The communication and engagement with the many smallholders is year round. We have one some of the largest certification supply chains in the country for Rainforest Alliance Coffee. In the last couple years, we have committed to long term Sustainability Projects with a diverse group of partners to provide durable solutions to the some of the challenges the farmers face. Some of those partnerships have supported Coffee Camps (AtS video link to Coffee Camps). Other partnerships are dedicated to a three year long training program to enable smallholders to treat their farm like a business while improving quality and production.

 

Once that coffee comes to market we have some incredible tools we provide to the farmers to increase their market access and reward better quality with better prices. This economic opportunity is unique in a country where many intermediaries don’t pay for quality or provide transparency. When the coffees are very special, they can be sold as one of our two Specialty coffee brands: Jabiru (Video link please) or Blue Ayarza (video link please). This year we will be launching Café Delas Guatemala, a very special coffee from smallholder women farmers. The project is dedicated to improving the quality of their coffee through education and on-farm trainings. 

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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

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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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