New lens on the future of coffee: Olam Coffee unveils contributions to SDGs with commitments to improve livelihoods, communities and landscapes

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

Coffee Lens – which stands for livelihoods, education, and nature at scale – sets Olam Coffee’s first 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 Nations’ 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

Speaking ahead of the UN Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Vivek Verma, managing director and CEO for 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 laboured squeezing incomes further.

“Our Coffee Lens strategy, therefore, focuses our efforts on increasing the impact of what we 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, reimagining the future of coffee.”

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 in Africa, Asia and South America already receiving sustainability support from Olam Coffee.

A Shekhar, CEO for Olam Food Ingredients, concluded: “Olam’s Coffee Lens strategy exemplifies everything that OFI stands for – striving to ensure that sustainability is at the core of our offering not only in coffee, but across our diverse portfolio of on-trend ingredients and solutions. We want to help our customers curate their own sustainability journey to meet the increasing demands of consumers for food products that are not only natural but right for both planet and producer.”