In 1998, Olam Europe opened its first office in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, to market cashews to Europe and the Americas. In 2000, we set up an office in Poland to administer our coffee and dairy efforts and followed this up with offices in both London and Italy in 2003, to manage our cocoa and coffee trading activities in these countries.
Today, we trade and market 17 different products in nine countries. As part of our corporate strategy to extend our value chain, we are actively acquiring more processing facilities in the region, and have already acquired three in Spain, Poland and the UK respectively.
We trade close to 120,000 tonnes of cotton, or 10% of the region’s total exportable surplus, and are the top shipper of CIS cotton into the key destination markets of Bangladesh and Turkey. We are also the biggest exporters of cotton fibres from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan where we have the advantage of strong local management and market intelligence.