Socfin is a large European publicly-traded company 82 percent owned by five institutional investors with a landbank distributed throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and Indonesia.
Socfin faces numerous allegations of land-grabbing throughout its global palm oil estate. For instance, Voice of America reported in 2017 that farmers in Sierra Leone saw their land taken by Socfin overnight.
In another example, villagers in Sierra Leone were jailed for protesting Socfin’s land-grabbing. In Nigeria, NGOs have been protesting Socfin’s 53 percent majority-owned and publicly-traded company Okomu Oil Palm Company for its actions clearing rainforests. Employees of Socfin have been shot during protests against the company. The company’s problems in West Africa continue amid allegations of land-grabbing and human rights violations.
Greenpeace has pushed repeatedly for Socfin to address these land-grabbing and rainforest deforestation issues. In 2017, Socfin announced policies to address these issues including transparency of its palm oil supply chain. But for Socfin, it will need a deliberate and conciliatory effort by management to implement statutes that are monitored and measurable to address these numerous community and deforestation issues. The company recently released a policy implementation plan developed with Earthworm.
Socfin is a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. The company is based in Luxembourg and its main investor is Hubert Marie Ghislain Fabri, Socfin’s chairman of the board.