Olam Foods Ingredients scales up efforts to enhance sustainability in global cashew supply chains

UK – Olam Food Ingredients (OFI), has published new targets aimed at making the global cashew supply chain more sustainable and rewarding to the farmer. 

According to OFI, despite cashews being in high demand, cashew farmers are among the poorest in the world with no enough income to feed their families, afford much-needed healthcare or send their children to school. 

 Through its new sustainability targets, OFI hopes to change this narrative and encourage others in the sector to collaborate for measurable change. 

 The Cashew Trail strategy sets 2030 targets across OFI’s cashew business – in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals1 and OFI’s commitment to deliver naturally good, sustainable ingredients.  

These include ambitious goals to fight poverty by increasing average yields by 50% and helping 250,000 cashew households to improve their livelihoods.  

Along with economic opportunity, OFI has made broader commitments that seek to address issues around health, education, diversity and climate. 

OFI, for instance hopes that by 2030 it will have achieved 100% traceability of own processing volumes while at the same time ensuring 50% reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission intensity in OFI cashew supply chains. 

250,000 cashew households are also expected to benefit from improved livelihoods through training and access to inputs like fertiliser 

OFI also commits to ensuring that 100% of children from cashew communities for directly sourced volumes benefit from investments into education infrastructure. 

“One of the greatest impacts we can have as a business is to help farmers earn a living income and help protect the environment that nurtures their trees and communities,” said Ashok Krishen, Managing Director and CEO of the OFI nuts business. 

“We’ve worked with customers and partners for over a decade to make the cashew supply chain fairer, stronger and more sustainable, but cashew farmers are still struggling for survival.” 

To achieve these ambitious targets, OFI is innovating its approach to sustainability, using data to deliver training tailored to individual farmers, and disruptive technologies like Olam Direct which gives farmers access to the latest market prices. 

With good knowledge of market prices, OFI notes that farmers will have the ability to negotiate directly rather than through traditional buying agents, thereby retaining more value for their crop. 

Progress on Cashew Trail will be reported annually, tracked and supported by data from 100+ economic, social and environmental metrics on Olam’s sustainability insights platform AtSource. 

The data will include carbon, water and land use footprinting and information on  OFI’s cashew processing facilities located in both Asia and Africa.  

Currently most of the global processing for cashew nuts takes place in Asia. OFI seeks to boost job creation and reduce emissions through transportation of the raw nut by increasing the processing in Côte d’Ivoire and Nigeria. 

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