Olam releases its 2020 annual report reaffirming sustainability commitments

The global food and agri-business Olam International has released its 2020 Annual Report, confirming its key achievements for the year, including meeting its target for 100% traceability of its directly sourced cocoa, writes Neill Barston.

As the business noted, it had delivered a robust financial performance last year, with overall annual revenues across the company up 8.6%, totalling $35.8 billion, including $12.5 for its food division, despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Significantly, it reported significant progress on its re-organisation plan to unlock and maximise long-term sustainable value, and splitting of its operations into distinct divisions of Olam Food Ingredients (OFI) and Olam Global Agri (OGA).

Another key aspect of the report was a core focus on its strategy for sustainable growth, as well as deliver a ‘Re-imagining Global Agriculture and Food Systems,’ which it has undertaken through a number of measures.

These include a total of 773,000 smallholders receiving sustainability support with over 60 customer and NGO partnerships for livelihoods, offering $7 million of in-kind and financial support to communities across 33 countries amid covid-19, as well as a notable 33% reduction of green house gas intensity for emissions across its international operations.

Sunny Verghese, Co-Founder and Group CEO of Olam, said: “2020 was one of our strongest years on record as we delivered operational earnings growth of 36.0% to S$677.8 million even as we contended with the COVID-19 pandemic. We also made significant progress on our transformational Re-organisation Plan to unlock and illuminate the current value of our business and develop new strategic pathways that drive sustainable growth for the Group.”

Sharing his optimism, A. Shekhar, Chief Executive Officer of OFI, welcomed the report. He said: “OFI’s ‘on-trend’ value-added portfolio allows us to offer our customers more choices, including sustainably sourced and traceable Food & Beverage ingredients, as well as innovative end-use application solutions. We are also reaching new customers by expanding our capabilities in targeted end-use categories like Bakery, Confectionery, Beverages, Snacks and Culinary. We remain excited and optimistic about the future growth prospects for OFI as we progress towards the proposed carve-out and concurrent demerger and listing by H1 2022.”

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