Good eyesight is critical to many components of a person’s daily life, but often in developing countries, limited access to eye care leaves many unable to learn, earn, and be included in society.
This is certainly true in the remote coffee communities of Union Cantinil and San Antonio Huista, where farmers on average are aged over 50 and the nearest health services are over an hour’s drive away – and even then they’re for emergencies only. So Olam has teamed up with US-based roaster Gregory’s Coffee and NGO ‘Restoring Vision’ to carry out eye tests and distribute over 5,000 pairs of reading glasses from our mills and buying centres over the next year.
The project launched in January 2020 with about 300 farmers notified via Olam Direct – a digital platform used to establish direct buying relationships with farmers in very rural areas. In just the first two events, Olam’s team had handed out almost 500 pairs of glasses to a packed warehouse of farmers and community members.
“On 6 January I was part of the donation of the glasses. I use them every day and they have helped me to read letters and paragraphs with perfect clarity. I’m truly grateful for the support”. Monica Elena Jimenez, 52, Union Cantinil, Guatemala.
Commenting on the partnership Mac Humphries, Director of Strategic Partnerships at RestoringVision said:
“RestoringVision is excited to work with Olam to dispense reading glasses to their farmers, their families and communities. In January, Olam Guatemala held two pilot distributions at local centers and distributed over 200 reading glasses in an afternoon each time. We are in the process of shipping 5,000 more to OLAM Guatemala to expand the program there. Presbyopia – the inability to see or read close-up - is a problem for 500 million people living below the poverty line in developing countries. It’s a huge problem but a simple solution.
“Olam’s distribution of glasses will not only provide quality of life but will enable dramatic increases in productivity for their farmers. We look forward to expanding Olam’s efforts in Guatemala throughout Olam’s reach in the world. It’s truly a win-win partnership.”
These healthcare contributions and their beneficiaries are reported through the social metrics of AtSource+, providing customers with a clear picture of the difference they can make to the healthcare of farmers and rural communities, in partnership with Olam.