Deal #1151

Location #1

Spatial accuracy level
Exact location
Location
Bidjoka, Cameroon

Latitude
3.692552278389627
Longitude
10.60671893358232
Target country
Cameroon
Contract area
Comment on location
Mbambou as an additional location

Location #2

Spatial accuracy level
Exact location
Location
Eseka, Cameroon

Latitude
3.6240348642173075
Longitude
10.685946400525618
Target country
Cameroon
Contract area
Comment on location
Edea as additional location

Location #3

Spatial accuracy level
Exact location
Location
Kribi, Cameroon

Latitude
2.9339954905479146
Longitude
9.980294195955414
Target country
Cameroon
Contract area

Location #4

Spatial accuracy level
Exact location
Location
Bidjoka, Cameroon

Latitude
3.7100372615970656
Longitude
10.587836182117483
Target country
Cameroon
Contract area

Location #5

Spatial accuracy level
Exact location
Location
Eseka, Cameroon

Latitude
3.586591716928069
Longitude
10.685946400525598
Target country
Cameroon
Contract area

Land area

Intended size (in ha)
63763.0
Size under contract (leased or purchased area, in ha)
[2004] 78529
[2019, current] 58063
Size in operation (production, in ha)
[2014] 37001
[2019, current] 34651
Comment on land area
The SOCFINAF annual report 2019 states that the company owns 58,063ha of which 32,584ha is planted with oil palm and 2,067ha with rubber. At the time of privatization, Socapalm totaled 78 529 ha. More than 20 000 ha were retroceded to the legal owner, the State of Cameroon at the end of June 2005. 40% of planted area by smallholders on the estate. Cameroons largest producer of palm oil. Another report states 58000 hectares under contract, while a farmland grab article states 56000ha. 37,001 hectares of plantations in 2014: 35,037 ha of oil palm and 1,964 hectares of rubber. Socfin 2014 report states 59 563 ha under contract, with area planted being 33 044ha. 6 sites. Original leasehold states 20 000ha only. Grain report states concession size 73529ha while area under plantations is 41951ha (Sept 2019).

Intention of investment

Intention of investment
Non-food agricultural commodities, Agriculture unspecified
Comment on intention of investment
Oil palm and rubber

Nature of the deal

Nature of the deal
Lease
Comment on nature of the deal
One data source states 60 year lease. Initially SOCAPLAM bought 78,000 hectares of land and in 2005 it was agreed that 20,000 hectares be given to the indigenous population. They said SOCAPALM violated this "Gentleman Agreement"

Negotiation status

Negotiation status
[2000] Concluded (Contract signed)

Implementation status

Implementation status
[2000, current] In operation (production)
Comment on implementation status
Previously government owned, started in 1969

Contract farming

Contract farming
Yes
On leased / purchased area
Yes
On leased / purchased farmers
2338
[2018, current] 107
Not on leased / purchased area (out-grower)
Yes
Not on leased / purchased farmers (out-grower)
[2018, current] 804
Comment on contract farming
2018 contract farming figures are based on the tracability reports from the company 40% of planted area by smallholders on the estate. They have 2,338 outgrowers, who themselves have about 3,000 agricultural workers.

Contract #1

Contract expiration date
2060
Duration of the agreement (in years)
55
Comment on contract
The 2019 SOCFINAF annual report states a 55 year lease from 2005. The contract was signed by government in 2000 with SOCAPALM.

Number of total jobs created

Jobs created (total)
Yes
Current number of employees (total)
3200
[2019, current] 2244
[2016] 2164

Number of domestic jobs created

Jobs created (domestic)
Yes
Current number of jobs (domestic)
[2014] 2184
Current number of daily/seasonal workers (domestic)
[2014] 2200
Comment on jobs created (domestic)
One source mentions that the company employs more than 6000 people.

Operating company

Operating company
Comment on investment chain
67.46% of shares owned by SOCFINAF, 22.36% owned by the government of Cameroun. Proparco provided CFA1.5 billion to Socapalm in 2009 to extend milling capacity and rejuvenate plantations.

 

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Data source #1

Data source type
Company sources
File
Comment on data source
Socfin website

Data source #2

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2017-05-31
Comment on data source
Cqmeroun - Mouvement social: Les riverains des plantations Socapalm et Safacam manifestent à Douala

Data source #3

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Comment on data source
WRM Bulletin. World Rainforest Movement Nro. 224 – May/June 2016. What is driving land grabbing? A critical overview across the Congo Basin region

Data source #4

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Date
2010-12-01
Comment on data source
The Impact of the Privatization of SOCAPALM on Communities and the Environment in Cameroon:Briefing paper

Data source #5

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Comment on data source
ECOFYS- Land grabs for biofuels driven by EU biofuels policies,By: Carlo Hamelinck, 2013

Data source #6

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2017-08-21
Comment on data source
Huile de palme : polémique autour des plantations de Bolloré au Cameroun

Data source #7

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Comment on data source
Grain- Planet palm oil, September 2014

Data source #8

Data source type
Personal information
File
Date
2015-01-13
Includes in-country-verified information
Yes

Data source #9

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Comment on data source
Agro-industrial Investments in Cameroon: Large Scale land acquisitions since 2005. IIED. Samuel Nguiffo and Michelle Sonkoue Watio.

Data source #10

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2017-06-30
Comment on data source
Cameroun : la Socapalm manœuvre auprès du gouvernement pour obtenir une hausse de plus de 30% sur le prix de l’huile de palme

Data source #11

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2015-07-13
Comment on data source
Farmland Grab- Cameroun : où en est vraiment la Socapalm ?

Data source #12

Data source type
Company sources
File
Comment on data source
Socfin 2014 Sustainability report

Data source #13

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Date
2017-06-15
Comment on data source
Communiqué du 15 juin 2017 du Point de contact national belge pour les Principes directeurs de l’OCDE à l’intention des entreprises multinationales relatif à la circonstance spécifique SOCAPALM

Data source #14

Data source type
Media report
File
Date
2016-06-21
Comment on data source
Cameroun - Accaparement des terres: Des paysans réclament toujours 20 000 hectares de terre à la SOCAPALM

Data source #15

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
File
Comment on data source
European Development Finance Institutions and land grabs. The need for further independent scrutiny.

Data source #16

Data source type
Other (Please specify in comment field)
Comment on data source
“Oil palm concessions.” Accessed through Global Forest Watch on 04 March 2019. www.globalforestwatch.org.

Data source #17

Data source type
Research Paper / Policy Report
Publication title
Communities in Africa fight back against the land grab for palm oil
Date
2019-09-19

Data source #18

Data source type
Media report
File
Publication title
Cameroon: Moungo local chiefs decry desecration of their cultural heritage
Date
2019-12-16

Data source #19

Data source type
Media report
File
Publication title
SOCAPALM conflicts, Cameroon
Date
2018-08-10

Data source #20

Data source type
Company sources
File
Publication title
RELATIONS BETWEEN SOCAPALM AND ITS NEIGHBOURING COMMUNITIES
Comment on data source
social responsibility

Data source #21

Data source type
Company sources
File
Publication title
2019 Annual Report SOCFINAF
Date
2020
Comment on data source
SOCFINAF 2019 annual report

Consultation of local community

Community consultation
Limited consultation
Comment on consultation of local community
No consultation with the forest-dwelling Bagyeli people

How did the community react?

Community reaction
Rejection
Comment on community reaction
On June 1, 2016, hundreds of community members peacefully mobilized to disrupt Socapalm and Safacam's activities in five plantations (Mbambou, Mbongo, Dibombari, safacam, Kienké) and to challenge the company administration.

Presence of land conflicts

Presence of land conflicts
Yes
Comment on presence of land conflicts
Land acquisition conflicts Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp Deforestation) Agro-fuels and biomass energy plants (Agro-toxics)

Negative impacts for local communities

Negative impacts for local communities
Environmental degradation
Socio-economic
Cultural loss
Other
Comment on negative impacts for local communities
Traditional authorities of Mbonjo, a village located in Moungo division of the Littoral region accuse SOCAPALM (Société Camerounaise de Palmeraies) of defiling their cultural heritage and landgrabbing. Mbonjo Community is a typical agricultural setting that depends on subsidence economy for survival and can no longer survive because not only have their land be expropriated but they have been denied their source of survival. The group has also been accused of water pollution and inequitable distribution of wealth. For instance, the agrochemicals used in the monocultures and the residues of its Kienké processing plant have massively polluted nearby rivers.

Promised or received compensation

Promised compensation (e.g. for damages or resettlements)
In 2013, an action plan was signed between Bolloré Group and some ten NGOs defending the rights of communities on the issue of palm oil production in Cameroon. It was intended to improve the living conditions of residents and workers of SOCAPALM.
Received compensation (e.g. for damages or resettlements)
However, the Bolloré Group is accused of never having respected its commitments. The workers of SOCAPALM are disgruntled because after several hours of work they are paid only 650 FCFA daily.

Promised benefits for local communities

Promised benefits for local communities
Education
Other
Comment on promised benefits for local communities
Water Wells

Materialized benefits for local communities

Materialized benefits for local communities
Health
Education
Roads
Other
Comment on materialized benefits for local communities
According to the company sources neigbouring communities have access to free education for their children in schools built by Socapalm and also have free access to Socapalm’s medical services. Socapalm provides several villages with electrical connections of medium and low voltage; several drinking water units are also installed in the villages, as well as boreholes and wells for which Socapalm ensures repair and maintenance.Furthermore, Socapalm ensures the excavation and re-profiling of roads, construction and maintenance of bridges connecting the villages to each other and to the urban centers.

Presence of organizations and actions taken (e.g. farmer organizations, NGOs, etc.)

Presence of organizations and actions taken (e.g. farmer organizations, NGOs, etc.)
In 2013, an action plan was signed between Bolloré Group and some ten NGOs defending the rights of communities on the issue of palm oil production in Cameroon. It was intended to improve the living conditions of residents and workers of SOCAPALM. Local producers have been staging strike actions against the company, which they accuse of failing to respect terms of the agreement.

Former land owner (not by constitution)

Former land owner
State
Comment on former land owner
The plantations were privatised in 2000 and sold to the Bolloré group

Former land use

Former land use
Forestry
Comment on former land use
Prior to the arrival of SOCAPALM, the region was covered with a Guineo-Congolese rainforest with an exceptionally rich biodiversity.

Former land cover

Former land cover
Forest land

Detailed crop, animal and mineral information

Crops area
[2019] Oil Palm (32584 ha)
[2019] Rubber tree (2067 ha)
Crops yield
[2019] Oil Palm (140349 tons)
[2018] Oil Palm (135641 tons)
[2019] Rubber tree (2442 tons)
[2018] Rubber tree (2082 tons)
Comment on crops
Surface area of oil palm plantations: 32 901 ha Surface area of rubber tree plantations: 2 079 ha

Use of produce

Has domestic use
Yes
Domestic use
100
Comment on use of produce
All produce sold exclusively to Cameroonian companies.

In country processing of produce

In country processing of produce
Yes
Comment on in country processing of produce
6 oil mills. POL (Palm oil production). In 2014, the production of crude palm oil was 91,505 tons. In 2014, rubber production amounted to 519 tons. Plus an oil refinery. In 2016, they produced 95 644 tons of crude palm oil.

Overall comment

Overall comment
Includes Société des Palmeraies de la Ferme Suisse (SPFS) – Palm’Or, which it acquired in 2001. Previously state-owned

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