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Home Business Olam International wins impact award for empowering farmers

Olam International wins impact award for empowering farmers

by Charity Mbaka
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Olam International has won an award at the 2020 Innovation Leader’s Impact Awards for improving farmers’ lives.

The Innovation Leader’s Impact Awards recognize companies which have been running corporate innovation initiatives for at least 1 year, and have achieved extraordinary outcomes with measurable business results.

Olam International’s, ‘Olam Direct’, was awarded by a judging panel comprising reputable organizations including; Verizon, Philips Healthcare, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, CME Group, Dover Corporation, Duke Energy and Cambia Health Solutions.

Olam direct is an ecosystem of apps, a portal and an analytics dashboard, which connects farmers with Olam, in order to ensure a fair and transparent sourcing process.

This empowers farmers to get prices and transact directly with Olam, cutting out the middle man. This in turn ensures they get to keep more of their earnings and reduce their expenses as well as Olam manages ‘last mile’ collection.

Group Head of Digital, Olam International, Siddharth Satpute, said, “We are honoured by this recognition. Our aim is to bring transparency and traceability to the agriculture supply chain. Many under-estimate how difficult it can be to establish direct buying relationships with farmers in very rural areas; and, equally, for farmers to connect to large exporters.

“Through our Indonesia pilot in 2017, we understood that a farmer’s’ greatest needs are: ‘How can I get a better price?’ and ‘Who can collect and pay me on time?’ Olam Direct is the resulting model, although we continue to learn and improve with every new supply chain and country’s specific circumstances. Crucially, the platform’s reach and flexibility has proved invaluable during COVID-19 as we have been able to issue health advisories and raise awareness about the virus through in-app notifications and news in the farmers’ local language.” 

Scott Kirsner, CEO and editor-in-chief of Innovation Leader said: “2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for innovators in big organizations. So, we’re really excited to be able to shine a spotlight on some of the people and programmes that have been creating positive change. The Impact Awards are all about people who keep moving ahead, no matter what the obstacles — and that’s something really worth celebrating this year!”

Olam International is an agri-business supplying food, ingredients, feed and fibre to 25,200 customers worldwide. It operates in over 60 countries and has a sourcing network of about 5 million farmers.

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