Olam puts sustainability ahead at two African coffee plantations

AFRICA – Two of Olam International’s coffee plantations in Africa have achieved Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certification, making the company to be a major producer of sustainable coffee in the continent.

Olam’s subsidiaries, Aviv in Tanzania, and the Northern Coffee Corporation Ltd (“NCCL”) in Zambia, now meet the growing demand from international specialty coffee customers for single-estate, certified, traceable volumes, covering over 2,500 hectares (ha) of planted Arabica coffee, according to Olam.

“Tanzania and Zambia have exceptional growing conditions to produce fine Arabica coffee, but historically both countries suffered from limited investment, leading to lower volumes,” Varun Mahajan, Vice President and Commercial Head of Olam Coffee Plantations in East Africa argues.

“By committing from the start to develop our plantations responsibly, and support surrounding smallholders to improve yields and income, we have been able to enhance the coffee production of both countries, putting them firmly on the coffee connoisseur map.

“The Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certification now gives our specialty coffee customers that extra layer of reassurance of third party verification on top of our consistent quality,” he explains.

Aviv is a 2,000 ha. plantation in the Songea Rural District of Southern Tanzania with 1,025 ha. of planted Arabica coffee and a wet mill processing facility. It also has an outgrower scheme

Aviv expects to produce 1,600 metric tonnes of coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms in 2017, which is a significant contribution to Tanzania’s total production of Arabica of 38,500 tonnes per year.

NCCL, one of Africa’s largest Arabica plantations has over 1,500 ha. With the crop,  with a target of 2,700 ha.

Situated at Kasama, in Zambia’s Northern Province, it has wet and dry mill processing facilities and an out grower programme supported by Olam.

It is already the largest producer and exporter of coffee in Zambia, and expects to produce 2,500MT of Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee in 2017.

It is also the only plantation in the country with Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certification and is responsible for 88% of the country’s 900 tonnes of total certified production.

A global agri-business, Olam is one of the world’s largest coffee suppliers, with plantations in Africa, South America and Asia, as well as procuring green coffee from a global network of smallholder farmers.

In Africa, Olam is the leading originator and exporter of coffee, supplying all of the world’s major consuming countries.

By going the specialty way, Olam is building its capacity into a growing sector of the coffee industry.

“The specialty coffee market is hugely important, as where it goes today, the rest of coffee markets follow tomorrow.

This commitment by Olam to put sustainability at the heart of their specialty coffee, by working with Rainforest Alliance and UTZ, is key to helping consumers know they can have the coffees they love and support the sustainability of coffee farmers into the future,” says Stuart Singleton-White, Head of Communications at the Rainforest Alliance.

January 20, 2017. 

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