With its heritage of more than 100 years of excellence, the iconic deZaan spearheads a portfolio of respected brands that includes Unicao of Africa; South America's Joanes; Macao, and the recently launched Huysman, both of which make cocoa powders; and the Britannia speciality and confectionery fats brand.
Olam's cocoa beans are sourced from all major origins across Africa, Asia and South America, and it has processing, refining and milling presences in the main cocoa producing countries, as well as in - or adjacent to - primary consumption markets in Asia, Europe, South America and North America.
Alongside its supply chain infrastructure, Olam recognises its responsibility to operate sustainably. This is formalised through the Olam Livelihood Charter (OLC) and is enhanced by the Olam Farmer Information System (OFIS), which collects and analyses data at the farmgate level for monitoring, evaluating and developing sustainability projects in farming communities.
Olam is already one of the world's leading suppliers of sustainable cocoa, but its mission is to go even further. One of the company's curent goals is to achieve 100% traceable and sustainable cocoa volumes from its direct origination supply chain by 2020.
Olam is not a consumer product manufacturer, nor does it produce chocolate or chocolate products. Instead, it supports its customers' needs by offering cocoa products and services that do not compete directly with their interests.
The company believes in creating a fully sustainable supply chain; focusing on traceability and proper measurement to ensure integrity throughout; and in building a framework of international policies and best practices that provide cocoa farmers and their communities with long-term, positive support. Olam's cocoa products are prized for their ability to provide consistent flavours and colours and are used all over the world.
Olam's global origination capabilities mean that it is working with independent cocoa farmers and cooperatives from the very beginning of the growing process.
Origination for Olam means having team members present on the ground, year-round, in some of the world's most remote areas. Its origination footprint spans 11 countries and sources beans from an ever-expanding network of 650,000 farmers.
This helps guarantee the quality of the cocoa beans it buys. The additional advantage of this presence is that, instead of purchasing exclusively from the trade and then selling on, Olam is better able to support its customers with traceability. It has more than 2,500 staff and is steered by an executive leadership committee with extensive industry experience.
As Africa produces more than 70% of the world cocoa crop, it is the heart of Olam's bean-sourcing operations, and the company is the leading exporter of cocoa beans from the continent. Its African footprint spans Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria in West Africa, Cameroon and Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) in Central Africa and Tanzania and Uganda in East Africa.
In addition, Olam's sourcing operations are well established in Asia with a focus on Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. The company's South American footprint includes a substantial operation in Brazil and an expanding presence in Ecuador, and we also source fine-flavour cocoa from niche geographies.
Olam is also one of the world's leading processors of cocoa powder, cocoa mass (also known as cocoa liquor or cocoa paste), and cocoa butter, which it markets under the deZaan, Joanes, Unicao, Macao, and Huysman brands. Its 12 processing facilities (including powder milling, blending and refining) have a bean-grinding capacity of 700,000Mt and are strategically based either in the main producing countries or in primary consumption markets (Asia, Europe, North America and South America) to optimise transportation and environmental efficiency.
As experienced supply chain managers, Olam's year-round farmgate presence in cocoa-producing countries means that it is engaged in the direct sourcing of cocoa beans. It creates value through its activities in two interconnected channels: upstream and midstream.
Upstream activities include providing financial and agriinputs through sustainability programmes and through the management of seed nurseries, and the distribution of cocoa and shade-tree seedlings.
Logistics teams orchestrate the warehousing, transport, shipping and delivery of cocoa beans and cocoa products, either directly to Olam's customers, or via its own cocoa processing facilities. In the midstream part of the value chain, Olam invests in and pursues initiatives that add value to its cocoa manufacturing activities.
At its Cocoa Innovation Centres in Brazil, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, the UK and US, R&D professionals develop tailor-made ingredient solutions for confectionery, bakery, beverage, dairy, cereal, ice cream and dessert applications, supported by comprehensive quality testing and precision processing.