The plantation in Zambia (pictured) expects to produce 2,500 metric tonnes of coffee this year.
Olam International has received Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certification for two of its coffee plantations in Africa, meaning that 2,500 additional hectares of Arabica coffee have been granted accreditation under the two schemes.
Subsidiaries Aviv in Tanzania, and the Northern Coffee Corporation in Zambia, will now be able to supply growing demand from speciality coffee producers for certified and traceable single-estate coffees. Between them, the two plantations expect to product around 4,100 tonnes of Rainforest Alliance-certified coffee in the coming year.
Varun Mahajan, vice-president and commercial head of Olam Coffee Plantations in East Africa, said: “Tanzania and Zambia have exceptional growing conditions to produce fine Arabica coffee, but historically both countries suffered from limited investment, leading to lower volumes.
“By committing from the start to develop our plantations responsibly, and support surrounding smallholders to improve yields and income, we have been able to enhance the coffee production of both countries, putting them firmly on the coffee connoisseur map.
“The Rainforest Alliance and UTZ certification now gives our speciality coffee customers that extra layer of reassurance of third-party verification on top of our consistent quality.”
Rainforest Alliance head of communications Stuart Singleton-White added: “The speciality coffee market is hugely important as where it goes today, the rest of the coffee markets follows tomorrow. This commitment by Olam to put sustainability at the heart of their speciality coffee, by working with Rainforest Alliance and UTZ, is key to helping consumers know they can have the coffees they love and support the sustainability of coffee farmers into the future.”
Singapore-headquartered Olam is one of the world’s largest coffee suppliers, with plantations in Africa, South America and Asia. It also procures green coffee from smallholder farmers around the world.
Speaking about the company’s latest achievement, UTZ executive director Han de Groot said: “The Olam commitment to UTZ and Rainforest Alliance coffee is an inspiring example of how different certification programs can complement each other and jointly strengthen a company’s road towards sustainability.
“We are working together to create opportunities for coffee producers worldwide to better market their product and improve their livelihoods. At UTZ we are proud to work with companies like Olam; it is because of them we are able make a difference for an increasing number of farmers ultimately making sustainable farming the norm.”
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