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Yaoundé - 13 April 2024 -
Agriculture

Olam Food Ingredients, ofi Cameroon Backs ‘Top Employer’ Certification

Olam Food Ingredients, ofi Cameroon Backs ‘Top Employer’ Certification
  • Comments   -   Tuesday, 30 January 2024 02:44

(ofi Cameroun) - Prominent agribusiness company, Olam Food Ingredients, ofi Cameroon has been awarded the prestigious "Top Employer 2024" certification from the Top Employers Institute, a global authority on recognizing excellence in people practice.

This recognition honors the company’s HR practices excellence in the areas of talent acquisition & development, employees' well-being, diversity & inclusion.

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The rigorous certification process involved a comprehensive evaluation across six main categories notably:

  1. Steer (Strategy, leadership)
  2. Shape (Organization change, work environment)
  3. Attract (Employer branding, talent acquisition, onboarding)
  4. Develop (Performance, career, learning)
  5. Engage (Wellbeing, rewards, and recognition, offboarding)
  6. Unite (Purpose and values, diversity, equity and inclusion, sustainability)

This global recognition is a testament to ofi Cameroon’s commitment to excellence in people practices and underscores her dedication to fostering a supportive and inclusive workplace environment.

During a ceremony to commemorate this significant achievement, at the company’s corporate headquarters in Douala, the Country Head and Vice President of ofi, Manna Joseph, noted that from inception ofi has always been a people-centered company that puts the welfare of employees first. He added that this prestigious certification underscores a nearly three-decade legacy of being a people-centric organization, dating back to Olam’s initial presence in Cameroon. Manna Joseph has dedicated the award to employees of ofi Cameroon noting the award is a result of collective efforts of all employees who work diligently every day to collaboratively create and maintain a positive work environment.

About Cameroon’s Cocoa Giant, ofi: A Story of Resilience, Sustained Growth and Pacesetting in Supply Chain Sustainability

Cameroon’s agribusiness landscape is bursting with many actors, but one company that stands out is the global leader in food and beverage ingredients, Olam Food Ingredients (ofi) which has some 29 years plus of history and heritage in the country, particularly in sourcing cocoa.  ofi Cameroon which operates as OFI CAM SA (formerly part of OLAMCAM SA) is one of the top two players in the cocoa industry and today accounts for more than 20% of the total Cameroon cocoa beans export.

With flagship product, cocoa beans, ofi Cameroon became one of the pioneer companies to attain 100% traceability, and 100% deforestation monitoring in her direct supply chain and 100% Child Labor monitoring in managed programs. The company is set to becoming the reference in supply chain sustainability in Cameroon. So, what is the story of ofi Cameroon?

Ofi Cameroon

The journey of ofi in Cameroon dates to 1995 when, Olam, as it was formerly known, expanded to Cameroon, focusing on sourcing, and exporting agri-commodities, specifically cocoa and coffee, and importing rice. In 2006, ofi acquired USICAM from Bollore, which at the time was the country’s biggest cocoa beans drying, cleaning and grading facility.

Spurred by the ever-growing desire to drive innovation and maximize its long-term value, Olam International, in October 2020, created two distinct businesses: Olam Agri with focus on consumer-packaged food, and Olam food ingredients (ofi) specifically for sustainable, natural, value-added food products and ingredients consisting of industry-leading businesses derived from cocoa, coffee, dairy, nuts and spices. These innovations reflect ofi’s purpose ‘to be the change for good food and a healthy future’.

With an incessant desire to expand its long-term impact on the Cameroonian economy, ofi Cameroon is capitalizing on a near 3-decade legacy to continue growth in the sourcing, processing and export of cocoa beans, its flagship product. 

Headquartered within the vicinities of the Douala Port, ofi Cameroon is fully focused on being a good corporate citizen, maintaining a direct physical presence in all major cocoa basins across the seven major cocoa-producing regions of Cameroon. The company has committed significant investments in the cocoa sector to help drive Cameroon’s economic growth and support farmers to have a more prosperous future.

ofi’s operations provide direct and indirect sources of income to thousands of farmers and households. ofi Cameroon directly employs over 500 permanent and seasonal workers, including Local Buying Agents, Transporters, and service providers.

ofi is fully focused on being tax compliant. In 2019, ofi was awarded a trophy by the country’s customs department for achieving the highest growth in volume, contributing to the country’s growth plans. This meant a growth in tax contributions. In 2023, ofi Cameroon was again recognized by Cameroon’s Customs Department as the exporter with outstanding progress in 2022 and the third biggest exporter in Cameroon in the same year.

Sourcing Sustainable Cocoa

In alignment with ofi’s cocoa compass, ofi Cameroon in 2018 rolled out an extensive sustainability direct supply chain program.  Through the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) training program, cocoa yields increased from 496 kg per hectare (2019 baseline year) to 639kg per hectare a year in 2023. Through the Rainforest Alliance Certification, the company has moved from 3000 tons in 2019 to 30 000 tons of certified cocoa beans in 2023, with a corresponding increase in sustainability premiums to farmers from over 250,000 USD in 2019 baseline year to approximately 1,500,000 USD in 2023.

In accordance with ofi’s commitment to ensuring a deforestation free cocoa supply chain, 98% of farmers have been GPS polygon mapped to ensure that they are not in protected forest areas. ofi has worked with the Cameroon Cocoa Development Corporation (SODECAO) to donate about a million high yield cocoa seedlings to farmers across its supply chains for the regeneration of old farms where productivity is already below average. The company has taken further steps to protect and restore forests by initiating actions with Cameroon’s Forestry Agency (ANAFOR) to distribute more than 10,000 shade trees to farmers to help shade cocoa plants and increase forest vegetation.

In conformity with its cocoa compass ambition of remediating all identified cases of child labour in its supply chain by 2030, ofi Cameroon in partnership with Fair Labour Association, became one of the pioneer cocoa companies to introduce the first professionalized child labor monitoring and remediation system in Cameroon. Since 2020, ofi Cameroon has achieved 100% child labor mediation and remediation monitoring for farmers in our managed sustainability programs. The program has moved from actively monitoring 1839 farmers in the 2019 baseline year to over 21000 in 2023.  The company has donated over 600 benches to benefit over 6500 pupils in five years as part of its supply chain relief effort to grant children access to good education. During the 2023/24 academic year, the company distributed over 5,000 customized exercise books and over 500 school bags and hundreds of didactic materials and scholarships to children in her supply chain.

In the health domain ofi has conducted anti typhoid fever campaigns amongst farmers in supplier network, where testing and treating as well as vaccinating against the disease was carried out. Most recently, the company sensitised and did free breast cancer screening for over one hundred farmers in her supply chain.

Supplying communities with good drinking water has also been part of the ofi’s supply chain relief efforts. The company has invested over 83 million FCFA to provide clean water to communities. It constructed ten boreholes across different communities including: Bivouna, Nguette, Betamba, Nyabidi, Jerusalem (Nguila), Ndimi, Makenene, Voundou, Biakoa, and Ntui. The publication of these supply chain relief activities on ofi’s award-winning sustainability insights platform, AtSource has provoked a sharp increase in the demand for high-quality and a steady supply of cocoa beans from Cameroon.

OFICAM SA, BP 6130 Zone Portuaire, Douala. Tel: +233 43 77 98.

Direct all enquiries to Corporate Communication via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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