AtSource: Olam's digital map of sustainable sourcing
- François-Xavier Branthôme
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Growing focus on supply impacts
On 17 April, agri-business Olam International announced it is launching AtSource, a data and insight solution that aims to provide "unrivalled" social and environmental insights into food ingredients and raw materials, from farm to manufacturing and retail customers.
Singapore-based Olam said the initiative will enable it to "assess and positively influence" the environmental footprint of the 4.7 million farmers in the company's supply chain. Olam insisted that the availability of resources and climate change have placed the planet's ability to generate enough food for the growing global population "of tipping point',
In order for the food sector to take meaningful action and support change, reliable data and insight is required. However, this information is "difficult to obtain" due to the fragmented and complex nature of the global agricultural supply chain, Olam suggested. This means traceability is a challenge requiring a new set of tools to help inform and plan environmental and social initiatives developed by food manufacturers, Olam argued.
"Leading companies in the food sector have been investing significantly in social and environmental programmes to source their raw materials more sustainably, but […] it is impossible to state how much of the world's food supply can be considered truly sustainable," co-founder and CEO Sunny Verghese, said.
Olam said AtSource has been developed in answer to this challenge. "AtSource will provide our customers with the most comprehensive sustainable supply solution for their raw materials. With AtSource we can now deliver the critical sustainability factors for the long-term resilience of a crop or ingredient from a particular producing country or region," Verghese explained. AtSource will provide manufacturers with "granular" data via a digital dashboard that tracks the social and environmental impact of a given product.
The data will be available at three levels. Entry will ensure products comply with Olam policies and that suppliers have signed the Olam Supplier Code, minimising risks at a country level and ensuring suppliers are engaged in responsible sourcing. AtSource Plus focuses on identifying opportunities for improvement based on 80 indicators across 12 topics, such as deforestation or water usage. Meanwhile, the most advanced platform, AtSource Infinity, allows Olam to co-create programmes with its customers to achieve a "net positive impact" by regenerating agriculture and living landscapes "at scale".
"As the company closest to the farmer, we believe AtSource is a key driver in helping us to re-imagine global agriculture, by starting to mainstream sustainability before it is too late, "Verghese said.
AtSource will initially cover five commodities: cocoa and cashew from Cote d'lvoire, coffee from Brazil and Vietnam, as well as onions and garlic from the US. By 2025, Olam wants 100% of its physically sourced volumes to be AtSource ready,
Olam “International Company of the Year” in Africa
On 26th March, Olam International received the “International Company of the Year” award in Africa at the Africa CEO Forum Awards 2018 held at the Sofitel Hotel in Abidjan.
The ‘International Company of the Year Award’ is given to an international company that has achieved the most outstanding growth in Africa in a recent period and the criteria includes the number of growth operations in Africa within the past two years and the number of countries where the company is present (at least five). The other criteria are Africa’s share in the total sales, the number of African employees on the continent, the company’s corporate social responsibility and sustainability activities as well as its capacity for innovation.
The Awards scheme rewards companies and investors whose strategies are proof of their sheer determination to play a part in Africa's growth.
Established in Ghana since 1994, Olam is among the largest private Licensed Buying Companies in Ghana’s Cocoa sector, the country’s leading cashew exporter and one of its largest importers of rice. In addition, Olam Ghana operates a tomato paste processing and canning facility, a state-of-the-art wheat flour mill and a biscuit manufacturing facility.
Olam’s success in Ghana has been based on delivering value to farmers, customers and consumers through best in class operational capabilities and a long-term commitment to develop Ghana’s agricultural supply chains.
Some complementary data regarding AtSource:
Complementary information and Video at:
For further information, please read the announcement and visit the AtSource website.
Source: Olam, FoodNavigator, Ghanaweb