Olam Coffee sets sustainability goals for 2025

Olam Coffee, a leading green coffee origin exporter and part of Olam Food Ingredients, has announced its vision for the future of the coffee sector.

‘Coffee LENS’ – standing for ‘Livelihoods, Education and Nature at Scale’ – sets Olam Coffee’s first formal sustainability targets for 2025 across its global, direct coffee supply chain, covering 18 origins and a sourcing network of an estimated 424,000 farmers.

Aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Coffee LENS focuses on four priority areas to improve economic opportunity, education and skills, climate action and ecosystems in the coffee sector, with the following goals:

  • 200,000 households benefitting from improved productivity and incomes;
  • All children of coffee farmers in Olam’s supply chain have access to education and young people are engaged in vocational training;
  • Greenhouse gas emission intensity from Olam Coffee’s global footprint is reduced by 15%;
  • All Olam’s coffee supply chains are deforestation-free with improved soil health and biodiversity at landscape level.

The strategy will be achieved through collaboration with partners – customers, governments, financial institutions, multi-lateral agencies and NGOs – and builds on a decade of sustainability experience, with over 60,000 coffee farmers across Africa, Asia and South America already receiving sustainability support from Olam Coffee.

Speaking ahead of the UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty on 17 October, Vivek Verma, managing director and CEO, Olam Coffee said, “While the coffee supply chain is highly fragmented making direct access to farmers difficult, our sustainability ambitions have grown each year, promoting the importance of traceability, quality, profitable farmers and living landscapes. Despite our collective efforts however, many of the complex challenges in coffee remain and are now compounded by Covid-19 imposed restrictions to markets and skilled labour squeezing incomes further.

He said that the Coffee LENS strategy focuses Olam’s efforts on increasing the impact of what they are already doing through a more structured approach. “Through dynamic alliances and tools such as our insights platform AtSource and buying app Olam Direct, we aim to deliver these targets by 2025, creating visible and scalable impact. As a result, we will then be able to expand those targets further, re-imagining the future of coffee.”

Heske Verburg, managing director, Solidaridad Europe, a sustainability partner of Olam Coffee in Peru, added, “Solidaridad and Olam share a vision of prosperous farmers and resilient farming systems, providing a solid base for a promising alliance to integrate shared value solutions into the coffee supply chain, creating positive impact at scale.”

Progress on Coffee LENS will be reported annually, tracked and supported by data from the 100 economic, social and environmental metrics of Olam’s AtSource program. AtSource is a comprehensive business-to-business sustainable sourcing solution for agricultural raw materials and food ingredients. Launched in 2018, AtSource is designed to help producers effect real change on their farms while meeting multiple social, economic and environmental targets, thus increasing resilience and transparency throughout the supply chain — and improving farmers’ livelihoods in the process.

For more information, download the Coffee LENS brochure here.

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