Olam Agri Wins African Sustainability Initiative Award With Nigerian Seed For The Future Foundation

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News in brief: Olam Agri Seeds for the Future (SFTF) Foundation won the Sustainability Initiative of the Year at the African Food Awards 2023 for its social development initiatives in Nigeria. The foundation focuses on education, women empowerment, health and nutrition, supporting local wheat production and reducing carbon emissions in its operations.

Olam Agri, an agriculture business in high-growth emerging markets, has won the Sustainability Initiative of the Year at the African Food Awards 2023 with its Seeds for the Future (SFTF) Foundation.

The initiative, which the company initially launched as a wheat value-chain social development initiative in Nigeria in 2021 became a foundation in 2022. At the initial launch, the company had put up ₦300 million to fund research and development, innovation, education and economic empowerment.

However, as a foundation, it broadened its vision to focus on social action pillars like enabling wider education and skills development for young people, empowering women in farming communities, promoting health and nutrition in Nigeria, and supporting farms and farmers to improve local wheat production.

The company announced an educational grant for first-year public tertiary institution students while launching the foundation. While announcing its win at the African Food Awards 2023, Olam Agri revealed that it added reducing carbon emissions in business operations to its focus.

In its first year performance report, the Seeds for the Future (SFTF) Foundation trained 240 women from low-income households on baking and decorating bread, cakes, and confectionaries through the Crown Flour Angels Initiative. It also collaborated with the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the Lake Chad Research Institute (LCRI) to train farmers, provide them with tools and developed drought- and heat-resistant seed varieties.

“After evaluation by our judging committee, Olam Agri’s sustainability investment through the Seeds for the Future Foundation met all criteria of reach, depth, and impact, and towers above the competition in the sustainability investment category and deserves to receive one of the Sustainability Initiative Award for the year 2023,” Francis Juma, the Founder and CEO of FW Africa, which organised the awards, said.

The award is part of the Africa Food Industry Week event which features other side events like the Africa Sustainability Symposium, AFMASS Food Expo and the Africa Food Safety Summit.

Accepting the award, Ashish Pande, the Country Head of Olam Agri in Nigeria, promised that the company will keep scaling its investments in the foundation.

Besides Olam Agri’s foundation, others who won awards in the same sustainability category include: Ngorongo Tea for its electrical and thermal energy initiatives; Farmers Choice for installing solar energy at the factory in Kenya; East Africa Breweries PLC (EABL) for its biomass boilers project and Water for Life Initiative; The Marindi Healthy Woman for its Agri-nutrition Community Initiative that enables women to tackle hypertension and diabetes in Homa Bay County, Kenya; Broadway Bakery for the Be Sugar Smart Campaign; and Bio Food Products for its Feeding for Profit Program.

Obinna Onwuasoanya
Obinna Onwuasoanya
Obinna Onwuasoanya is a tech reporter of over five years, fiction writer, SEO expert and an editor. He is based in Lagos, Nigeria, and was previously shortlisted for the Writivism Short Story Prize 2018.

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