Olam Coffee partners with customers to support vulnerable farmers through COVID-19

In May, Olam Coffee launched a COVID-19 Global Intervention Plan to strengthen its ongoing relief efforts for the world’s worst-affected coffee farming communities.


Securing skilled labour, earning a living and affording usual food and new hygiene supplies are the main challenges being faced by coffee farmers as a result of lockdowns and movement restrictions. All of which are compounding the pre-existing vulnerability of coffee farmers to low prices and climate shocks.


Donations from customers and partners, together with Olam’s contributions, have reached US$449,670 to date, funding food and hygiene packages for over 20,000 coffee households across 12 countries, where farmers are navigating the complexities of harvesting during a pandemic.




Vivek Verma, Managing Director and CEO, Olam Coffee, said:


“We are extremely grateful for the generous support from our customers, namely Lavazza, Nespresso, Caffé Borbone, JM Smuckers, Mother Parkers Tea & Coffee, Strauss, Melitta and Zavida. Our teams have been working around the clock to put their donations to use, together with our own funding, to deliver relief to those we’ve assessed as the most critical cases.”



In the first phase of the Plan, Olam’s origin teams on the ground have distributed over 100,000 masks and 10,000 food packages, as well as contactless handwashing units, sanitisation and hygiene kits.



  • Democratic Republic of Congo: hygiene and medical supplies distributed to 1,100 coffee households

  • Côte d'Ivoire: 100 contactless handwashing stations distributed and sensitisation of 7,000+ farmers

  • Uganda: 135 COVID relief kits distributed, to reach 3,350 by the end of September.

  • Tanzania & Zambia: Re-usable masks supplied to 4,000+ pickers on Olam’s estates. Donation of sanitary material and thermometers to local public health facilities and community sensitisation campaign.

    “I'm very, very happy with this gift, it was a great surprise for me. When I arrived home with the package, my husband couldn't believe it either. The whole family, my children, my husband and I were all celebrating yesterday.”

    Kahambu Malikeo, North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo



  • India: 10,000 masks distributed to producers and estate workers + donation of a contactless swabbing station for local hospital.

  • Indonesia: Locally sourced re-usable masks and sanitiser supplied to 10,800+ farmers, with 6,000 also receiving basic food items.

  • Papua New Guinea: Training of 1,000 pastors on Covid-19 prevention measures and mask manufacturing, messages passed on to more than 50,000 individuals in very isolated communities.


“Thank you, PT Olam Indonesia (and partners) for this food package and PPE. It really helps us survive a bit better through this pandemic situation that we don't understand very much”

Diyon Cahyono, Bondowoso, East Java, Indonesia


  • 263 sanitation kits distributed to producers and workers

  • Ventilator funded for local hospital

  • Corporate matched employee fundraising for Fundaçao Oswaldo Cruz and Medicos Sem Frontiers


“I loved the kit, it came at a good time, my daughter is pregnant and we have some children in our family who have health problems. I distributed the masks and the hand sanitizer to everyone and everyone is using it.”

Ivone Corsi da Silva, Minas Gerais, Brazil


  • Colombia: Hygiene and food kits delivered to 600 producers with sentisisation infomation, plus kids colouring books

  • Guatemala: Basic food packages delivered to 1,000 families

  • Peru: food packages and sanitation kit supplied to 3,000 smallholders


"I’m very happy that the team from Olam (and partners) is coming here to visit us and give us this package”

Perez Mahuanca Andres, Kanuja (Junin), Peru