Olam Cocoa Singapore recently welcomed 29 students, teachers and parent volunteers of Anglo Chinese School (Barker Road) Singapore and Alexandra Park School from London for the inaugural “Olam Learning Journey” event.

Organised by the Asia Cocoa Academy (the learning arm of Cocoa Association of Asia) and the International Trading Institute (ITI) at Singapore Management University (SMU), this programme aims to promote greater interest in the cocoa industry in the region. The Cocoa Association of Asia is a trade association headquartered in Singapore which includes members such as, Olam, Cargill, Barry Callebaut, Mars and Mondelez. It is a platform for cocoa industry players across the supply chain to collaborate on formulating strategies and policies for the industry as well as encourage knowledge sharing and innovation in the industry.

One important demographic group is the youth who are the leaders of tomorrow. The students from the 2 schools, aged 12 and 15 years old, learnt about Olam’s presence in the global agribusiness industry, as well as Cocoa in particular. They were an energetic and inquisitive group and were eager to expand their knowledge about Olam’s cocoa business and the industry. The 3-hour session covered commodities trading, risk management, sustainability, cocoa processing and product development, and gave students the opportunity to interact with traders, processing and R&D experts in our team.

Sylvester Loy, Senior Trader, Cocoa, giving participants an overview of what Olam does

It wasn’t all work and no play! Participants were treated to delicious chocolates and cocoa drinks and went on a tour of the cocoa plant. Many had never visited a food manufacturing plant before and shared that it was “a great experience” and “a wonderful place to be, with the factory smelling so good and chocolatey.”

Moving forward, the Asia Cocoa Academy, chaired by Peter Ng, Trading & Sustainability Director, Olam Cocoa, will be introducing various levels of educational programmes and materials that will help more people learn about the cocoa industry and increase its relevance. Key areas that they are working on in partnership with SMU are the cocoa trading programme, Asia cocoa case studies and the Asia cocoa story.

Special thanks goes to the Olam Cocoa Singapore team, namely Ajay Nair, Vice President, Cocoa, Sylvester Loy, Senior Trader, Cocoa, Balachandar Selvamohan, Head of Product Development & Innovation, Thomas Tan, Process Engineer, Sharon Zhuo, Product Development & Innovation Manager, Charles Tey, Management Trainee, and Alvin Chua, Management Trainee, who contributed to the success of the event.

Contributed by,
Peter Ng