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Sunday, 14 December 2014

Olam launches four global initiatives to mark 25th anniversary

Olam International, the leading global agribusiness with cocoa, cashew, rice and wheat operations across Ghana, today announced that it is launching four global initiatives to commemorate its 25 th anniversary.

Mr. Amit Agrawal, Olam Ghana Country head, said the initiatives are designed to address some of the challenges facing the next generation, such as food, water and energy security, the impact of climate change, sustainable and inclusive growth, and good governance, particularly in the emerging markets.

“As we celebrate Olam's 25th year and its journey from a singleproduct, single-country company to a global agri-business, we reflect on our vision of transcending boundaries – the meaning of Olam – and consider how we will continue to evolve over the next 25 years”, said Mr. Agrawal.

The four initiatives being introduced by Olam International to mark its 25th anniversary are - the Olam Prize for Innovation in Food Security, the Olam Scholarship Programme, the Olam Foundation and Building Sustainable Futures Forum.

Entries closed on 4 December 2014 and the winner will be announced in March 2015 at the 3rd Global Science Conference on Climate Smart Agriculture. The winner of this prize will receive US$50,000.

The Olam Scholarship Programme is aimed at fostering leadership and governance in the emerging markets by supporting aspiring and capable students to pursue higher education in esteemed international institutions.

Through the scholarships and the mentoring of awardees, Olam hopes to play its part in creating a generation of change catalysts who will contribute towards economic transformation, provide good governance, and help develop these emerging economies.

This programme will award up to 10 scholarships each year to postgraduate students wishing to complete further study in development economics, business management, and public policy and administration, and who are passionate about working in emerging markets.

The fourth initiative is inspired by Olam's increasing familiarity with the key drivers that can improve rural livelihood after operating at the farm-gate around the world for over 25 years. The Olam Foundation provides a vehicle for Olam to support these developmental issues beyond the day-to-day commercial framework of the company's business.

With an initial fund of US$3 million the company will focus on applications for projects in select developmental sectors in targeted countries. Olam also intends to make annual contributions to the fund to scale the scope of the Foundation's activities. Olam's final global initiative, Building Sustainable Futures Forum, will be a platform where the rising resource constraints threatening continued global development can be debated and solved in a holistic way. The Forum, to be held in the second half of 2015, will bring together leaders from different industries across the private sector, NGOs, Governments and academics to focus on key developmental issues, including food security, water security, energy security, climate change, sustainable growth and inclusive growth.

Olam International explains that the objective for the forum is to break down silos and find sustainable solutions to these interlinked yet complex and intractable issues. Through starting the debate, the company hopes to develop a practical, action-oriented approach, with inter-disciplinary collaboration and a focus on private sector-led programmes, in order to find solutions to these key global developmental challenges.

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