Setting New Standards - Olam's Livelihood Charter Drives Prosperity Through its Principles

 Setting New Standards - Olam's Livelihood Charter Drives Prosperity Through
                                its Principles

US$118.6m microfinance at 0% helps over 300,000 smallholder farmers gain
US$13.9m premium

PR Newswire

LONDON, May 22, 2013

LONDON, May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --



Olam Livelihood Charter Key Highlights for 2013^[^1]

  oNumber of farmers involved in OLC has increased 388% in last 3 years to
    313,476
  oUS$118.6 million of microfinance provided to 313,476 farmers at 0%
    interest
  oUS$267.2 million income generated for OLC farmers
  o200,000 metric tonnes of product brought to market through sustainable
    value chains on farms covering over 500,000 hectares
  oUS$13.9 million paid in premiums for quality (+67%, from US$8.3m in 2012)
  o19.2% of OLC farmers are women
  o73% of OLC farmers own a mobile as a business tool 
  o99,681 people reached over 3 years in HIV/AIDS programmes

Olam, a leading global, integrated supply chain manager and processor of
agricultural products and food ingredients, today announced third year results
for the Olam Livelihood Charter. A practical and measurable framework that
focuses on creating economic prosperity, improving social welfare and
safeguarding the environment, the Charter aims to generate mutual value for
smallholders, customers, NGOs and ultimately, shareholders.

 (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130522/614170 )

The smallholder farmers growing many of the products that Olam purchases, are
in emerging markets, often working on less than 3 hectares of land with
limited access to fertiliser, seedlings, education, farmer training or credit
for investment.

"Only by unlocking value for farmers and creating thriving agricultural
communities can we ensure the long-term security and quality of crop supply,"
said Sunny Verghese, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer,
Olam. "Enabling farmers to become serious commercial partners is integral to
our business model, as it allows us to build sustainable supply chains
delivering the large volumes of high quality, traceable products that our
customers require. In turn this provides us with a competitive edge and
benefits our overall business performance."

The OLC is based on eight principles to achieve holistic long-term
improvement: finance, improving yields, market access, quality produce, social
investment, labour practices, environmental impact and traceability. They are
aligned with the United Nation's Millennium Development goals to maximise
impact and drive inclusivity. To qualify for OLC status, initiatives have to
meet all eight principles. From the many corporate sustainability initiatives
that Olam conducts across its operations, 20 programmes achieved the flagship
OLC status in 2013.

Key 2013 highlights include:

Commercialising smallholder production: US$118.6 million microfinance offered
to farmers at 0% interest

Helping farmers to become commercial partners in the global supply chain by
improving quality and yield through investment, drives profitable growth for
farmers and Olam:

  oPre-finance at 0% interest: US$118.6 million in both short and long-term
    finance for crop production, purchasing and asset investments (+86%, from
    US$63.8m in 2012)
  oSupply of inputs: US$19.1m invested to train and support farmers (+34%,
    from US$14.3m in 2012)
  oFarmer training: US$3.8m invested over 5,583 training days
  oUS$13.9m paid in premiums for quality (+67%, from US$8.3m in 2012)
  o19.2% of OLC farmers are women who traditionally face problems raising
    credit
  oExample of yield improvements^[^2]:
    - Côte d'Ivoire Farmers, Blommer and Olam (CIFOB) initiative:
     farmer cocoa yields have increased 34% (484kg/ha to 650kg/ha)

Integrating technology innovation into agriculture: 73% of OLC farmers have
mobile phones

Provision of mobile technology helps overcome poor infrastructure by
connecting farmers to global markets, as well as enabling farmers to share
crop information, access pricing data and receive payments:

  o73% of OLC farmers now have mobile phones
  o37,682 GPS mapped farms - builds economic and social profile to enhance
    farmer access to services and inputs

Improved social benefits: US$1.6m invested in community development during
2013 to continue programmes initiated in last three years

By collaborating with expert partners, Olam increases access to health
programmes, as well as education, and skills development, including business
skills. Such support enables the long-term development of self-sustaining
enterprises.

Results achieved between 2010 and 2013:

  oHIV/AIDS & long-term awareness, testing and counseling programmes: 99,681
    beneficiaries
  oMedical facilities: 3 health centres built, 1 maternity unit built, 1
    medical laboratory built
  oVaccinations: 3,142
  oProvision of basic healthcare: 12,035 beneficiaries
  oFinancial support for education: 1,200 beneficiaries including 200 women
  oSchools and materials: 2 primary schools built, 14 schools rehabilitated,
    20,979 pupil beneficiaries of education materials 

Pioneering 'next practice' environmental impact

Olam manages its overall environmental footprint by reinforcing sustainable
agricultural practices such as water management and working with farmers to
maximise production on existing land. In Côte d'Ivoire, for example, Olam
promoted sustainable production of cashew through certification: 3,183 farmers
obtained certification for 17,014 hectares and 7,780 tonnes of organic raw
cashew nuts.

Collaboration for lasting change

637 Olam staff work directly with farming communities to ensure the effective
transfer and implementation of OLC-led initiatives amounting to an investment
of US$7.7m.

Many programmes are in close partnership with the public, private and NGO
sectors which is essential when delivering a multitude of programmes at any
one time, as well as in helping to create lasting social and economic change.
Partners include Blommer Chocolate, CAFÉ, Control Union, COSTCO, Nestlé, Bill
& Melinda Gates Foundation, BMZ, USAID, Douwe Egberts Foundation, GIZ, Greater
Capital, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, Fairtrade, Soil Association, Better Cotton
Initiative, ACDI/VOCA, Winrock, Solidaridad, TechnoServe, IDH, 4C and Bureau
Veritas.

Chris Brett, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability,
concluded: "Rigorous data collection shows that in just three years,
sustainable business practices under the OLC principles are facilitating
smallholder growth and benefiting communities. Customers and other
stakeholders are increasingly recognising the OLC as the defining framework
for sustainable smallholder supply chains. We will ensure momentum is
maintained and that initiatives are up-scaled and replicated through
innovation and collaboration to set new standards and create further value for
all."

A further breakdown of the 2013 OLC results across Olam's different business
units is available here.

The OLC recently won the Guardian Sustainable Business Award for its positive
impact on Society. In 2012 it was also recognised at the Africa Investor
Awards where Olam received the Leadership in Sustainable Investment in Africa
Award.

Notes to editors

^[1] 2013 results are based on April 2012 to March 2013 (i.e. not the
financial year)

^[2] Not all projects are at a stage where robust yield comparisons can be
made against external factors

SOURCE Olam

Contact: Sally Maier +44 (0) 207 935 4800, +44(0)7824331698,
sally@gongcommunications.com