Olam Food Ingredients (OFI), a leading supplier of cocoa beans and cocoa ingredients – and one of the largest private Licenced Buying Companies (LBCs) in Ghana’s cocoa sector, has supported hundreds of female cocoa farmers to earn additional sources of income.
As part of the company’s sustainability ambitions – Cocoa Compass, the projects are intended to empower women by giving them the tools and training they need to take charge of their finances and increase their incomes above and beyond cocoa.
So far in 2021, women from over 20 communities in the Twifo Praso and Assin Fosu districts have been trained in the production of liquid soap, shower gel, bleach, and hand sanitizers. They are also shown how to bottle and market the finished products. With facilitators from the Inner-City Development Centre in Accra, the women are encouraged to pass on their news skills to their peers.
At Assin Fosu, farmers from the Village Savings & Loans Association (VSLA) in Duofo, Akwetey Brahabebome, Nkwantanan, Essilfie, Diadokono, Asaman, Nyamebebu, and other communities who benefitted from the additional livelihood training have received funding to start commercial production.
In Twifo Praso, while some farmer groups have received funding but are yet to start production, others have finished commercial production and are preparing their products for the market. The 10 farmer group beneficiaries are from Bimpongso, Mmaabaso, Mampong, Mangoaso, Anthony, Bediako, Tawiah Nkwanta, Pepekrom A, Pepekrom B and Aboso.
Initial funding for the projects will be repaid at no interest and on flexible terms. Periodic visits by facilitators to the farmer groups will be sponsored by OFI to monitor progress and provide further assistance if necessary.
General Manager and Head of Sustainability, Mr. Kennedy Ntoso said: “OFI’s investment in these cocoa farmers is to enable them to become self-reliant and run a profitable business outside the main crop season. This not only supports the women themselves but also benefits the wider community.”
Proceeds generated from the sale of the products will be channeled back into the business and saved by the women.
Olam Food Ingredients (OFI) is a new operating group born out of Olam International. OFI offers sustainable, natural, value-added food products and ingredients so that consumers can enjoy the healthy and indulgent products they love. It consists of Olam’s industry-leading businesses of Cocoa, Coffee, Edible Nuts, Spices, and Dairy.
OFI has built a unique global value chain presence – including its own farms, farm-gate origination, and manufacturing facilities. OFI partners with customers, leveraging its complementary and differentiated portfolio of on-trend food products to co-create solutions that anticipate and meet changing consumer preferences as demand increases for healthier food that is traceable and sustainable.