In the coffee growing region of Matas de Minas in Brazil, Olam has been working to improve sanitation and access to safe drinking water.

Natural springs provide the main water source for these communities but used without any filtration or catchment system in place, they were found to harbor dangerous contaminants and could even dry up completely.

As part of Olam’s project in Brazil, "União Sustentável, so far seven springs have had containment boxes and filtration systems installed to prevent soil erosion, increase water flow, and remove contaminants. These springs now produce a reliable supply of safe drinking water for 20 families and a school.

Additionally, sanitation facilities have been improved in the communities with the construction of septic tanks and waste collection points for the correct disposal and treatment of recyclable waste. These improved facilities are available to 60 families in the communities so far and the aim is to scale up our efforts to reach all 120 families by April 2022.

With these improved facilities in place, Olam’s coffee team are also educating and equipping producers with the knowledge and tools to improve sanitation and the availability of safe water for the whole community in the long-term.

"With this project I learned mainly about rural sanitation and water spring protection. But more than that I learned what sustainability is. I care about my family, about the next generation and I care about living in a sustainable way that doesn't degrade the environment". Reginaldo Luis Barbosa, coffee producer, Ouro, Matas de Minas.