Friday 19 August 2022

ofi supports the plant-based revolution

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LONDON, UK – olam food ingredients (ofi), a global leader in natural and sustainable food and beverage ingredients, and its almond business have developed its first public sustainability targets for its 50,000 acres of almond orchards and farming operations in Australia and the US.

As plant-based diets move into the mainstream, almonds are a popular ingredient in everything from protein powders to nut butters for plant-based recipes. But eco-conscious consumers want to know their almond products are having a positive impact on the people and environment they come from.

Ashok Krishen, CEO of ofi’s nuts platform said:

“At every stage, from plant to palate, we aim to delight consumers while supporting our purpose to be the change for good food and a healthy future. As one of the world’s largest almond growers, we’ve long invested in sustainable practices across some of our almond farming operations, like state-of-the-art irrigation and bee-friendly habitats. Now, we are seeking to deliver even more transparency and impact by setting public targets and sharing our data and insights.

“Customers can use ofi’s almonds, processed in our manufacturing facilities across the US, Australia and Vietnam, with our other sustainably-sourced ingredients to create customized products. From chocolate coated almonds made with ofi sourced cocoa, to almond milk lattes made with organic coffee and spices, we can work with customers to create natural, delicious, and sustainable products with our ingredients.”

Almond Trail sets out ambitious targets for water stewardship, carbon reduction and support for communities and ecosystems, including a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with achieving a 1.5˚C pathway.

By 2030, ofi is committing to a broad range of almond-related targets¹, including:

  • Increase our irrigation distribution uniformity to 90%+ on all orchards²
  • Reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions in line with achieving a 1.5˚C pathway
  • Offset 75% of total energy demand by purchasing renewable energy
  • Achieve Bee Friendly certification across 100% of almond orchards
  • Achieve annual cover cropping in 75% of all orchards.

Burcu Turkay, Global Sustainability Manager of ofi’s nuts platform said:

“Innovation will be key to achieving these goals by using smart tech to track everything from tree growth to soil health. We’re working with several university partners to explore new research opportunities. For example, we’re looking at the potential of artificial intelligence in making data-driven decisions to optimize fertilization and water use.

“We’re also using technology to measure our impact. We will track sustainability data through our insights platform, AtSource³, helping us to monitor our progress and provide customers with a single view of their supply chain sustainability. For instance, in 2020 we launched the “More Crop per Drop” trial, to better understand the behavior of almond trees under different conditions. Using innovative technologies to track everything from tree growth to soil health helps us to understand and reduce our water footprint.”

Fiona Chambers, CEO of The Wheen Bee Foundation in Australia said:

“We applaud ofi’s public recognition of the important role bees and other insects play in almond production, and the company’s dedication to creating healthy ecosystems and improving diversity. The certification of 100% of its farms with the Bee Friendly Farming program would set a new standard for the almond industry, and other pollinator-reliant sectors across agriculture.

ofi has shown great leadership in its commitment to increasing pollinator habitats and foraging crops, and balancing the risks related to pest management with pollinator welfare front of mind, as part of its 2030 goals. The company’s partnerships with universities, almond boards and other related organizations will ensure best-practice pollinator management techniques are employed across the supply chain.”

¹ These targets apply to ofi orchard volumes
² *The baseline is 80% irrigation distribution uniformity.
³ AtSource is ofi’s sustainability insights platform, powered by a comprehensive suite of data and metrics to report on the social and environmental impact of almonds, as well as other ingredients, across the entire value chain. There are three tiers of data with increasing granularity for customers’ to choose from, based on their sustainability management requirements.

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