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A HEALTHY FOOD SYSTEM STARTS WITH HEALTHY FARMERS

49 year-old Ashraf Ibrahim, a truck driver on an onion farm, receives a blood sugar test at an Olam Spices healthcare facility in Egypt.

“I have never had a health check-up in my life. But now thanks to Olam and this campaign I'm aware that I may have diabetes, a disease if not controlled, may have cost me my ability to feed my family, or even my life.”

Behind almost every plate of food is the work of many farmers in remote rural areas of emerging markets. Helping them live well is part of ensuring they can continue to put food on our table. Olam’s health campaign, based in the Western Desert region of Egypt, launched in February this year and offers check-ups and hygiene training to local farmers and their farmhands; something many of them, like Ashraf, will never have had before. They’ve proved particularly effective in detecting those at risk of developing hypertension and diabetes; rates of which in Egypt are among the highest in the world.

Around 40 farmers and labour hands have made use of this service so far; receiving specific recommendations on how to manage or treat any diagnosed risks.

For many of these farmers, greater awareness, prevention and early detection of such conditions allows them to continue the career they depend on, and for some, it’s even a life-saver.