Connect with us


Tanzanian Coffee Plantation The First In Africa To Achieve Stewardship Standard



Coffee by Henner Zeller via Flikr

Olam is first agri-business globally and first business in Africa to have a site achieve the Alliance for Water Stewardship Standard for its Aviv Coffee Plantation in Tanzania

London, August 25, 2016 – Olam International (“Olam”) has advanced its approach to water stewardship by becoming the first agri-business globally to achieve the AWS certification for its Aviv Coffee Plantation in Southern Tanzania. This means it conforms to the AWS International Water Stewardship Standard – global best practice in collaborative water management.

In doing so, it is helping to build the collaborative partnerships and tackle the challenges needed to ensure water security for the 300,000 people living in the surrounding Ruvuma River Basin.

With 1,025 hectares of Arabica coffee in the Songea Rural District, Aviv also becomes the first business in Africa to achieve the Standard which guides, recognises and verifies responsible water use by private sector users. Under its continuous improvement methodology Olam has achieved the Core level, with ambitions to progress to Gold and Platinum.

“The Ruvuma River is the lifeblood of the whole region, so in developing the plantation we take care to ensure that our irrigation needs do not impact adversely on its eco-system and the other water users, such as local communities and the local hydro-electric plant,” said Jeremy Dufour, Olam’s Environmental & Social Manager, Plantations & Farming, South & East Africa.

“But with climate change an increasing threat, we must ensure that our usage in years to come does not upset the balance.

“The Standard brought 3 major benefits: for communities beyond our boundaries, the best practice guidance helped us to convene the different river users to address shared challenges and scenario plan, particularly for extreme events such as droughts.

“For our workforce, the Standard has further strengthened our provision of Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) facilities. For our customers, the transparent verification process provides third-party reassurance for their own product quality controls and water foot-printing.”

AWS Chief Executive Adrian Sym said, “Committed to growing responsibly, Olam was already addressing water risks. Implementing the AWS Standard in Tanzania has strengthened that effort and advanced collaboration in pursuit of long-term water security in the region. The example of Olam’s implementation of the Standard will be a springboard for rolling out AWS across Africa, as well as providing critical learning for the global AWS network”.

Aviv was supported in the process by Water Witness International, the International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP); GIZ and SGS.

Applying the AWS Standard beyond Tanzania

The highlands of southern Tanzania and California’s Central Valley could not be more different, but Olam’s Spices and Vegetable Ingredients team is the first US food producer to pilot the Standard at their onion drying plant in Firebaugh, California with WWF and Ecolab.

The team is now exploring rolling out the AWS Standard across other processing facilities and applying learnings to the water stewardship work they already do with its large-scale onion and tomato farmer suppliers.

Chris Brown, Head of Environment for Olam, explains why the company is trialling the AWS Standard beyond the Tanzania plantation.

“California is into its 5th year of drought and, in 2015, according to the World Economic Forum, water crises became the primary risk to the global economy in terms of impact.

“With around 1.2 billion people – almost one-fifth of the world’s population – living in areas of water scarcity, and 500 million people approaching this situation, the social risks are also vast.

“Olam has operations in 70 countries, so we have a responsibility to focus on improved water efficiency. “We are pleased that we have already met our 2020 target to reduce water use by 10% per tonne of product in our farms and plantations (publicly reported under the UN CEO Water Mandate) but we recognise we have further to go across our processing.

“We are therefore looking at how we can take the AWS Standard, and its learnings, across multiple operations.”

Watch an interview with an SVI onion grower on trialling the AWS Standard here.

Issued on behalf of Olam International Limited by: Gong Communications, 1 Blandford Street, London, W1U 3DA


Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage



water conserving

While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.

If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.

Repair and Maintain Appliances

Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.

Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.

When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.

Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full

It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.

The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.

Recycle Water in Your Yard

Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.

You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.

Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants

Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.

Install Water-Saving Features

The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.

There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.

Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City

Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.

If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.

Continue Reading


Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism



When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.

After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.

How was it started?

It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.

How to go about it?

So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.

If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.

What can be learned?

Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .

Continue Reading