The development of a plantation is a long and complex process.
Every agricultural development project starts with an exploratory survey in which its technical, environmental and social feasibility is analysed.
If this preliminary study proves favourable, negotiations are entered into with the landowner (usually the State) to acquire a right of occupancy in the form of a long lease of 25 to 99 years.
When the plans are sufficiently advanced, a social and environmental impact study is carried out, with consultation of local people who might be affected by the development.
Naturally, Socfin adheres scrupulously to land ownership and environmental legislation in the countries where it operates, as well as to the principles and standards with which it has decided to comply: the performance standards of the World Bank, the RSPO Principles and Criteria for its oil palm plantations, and the criteria of the Sustainable Natural Rubber Initiative for its rubber plantations.
The environmental and social impact assessment includes environmental and social management plans, impact mitigation measures, a community development plan and a stakeholder engagement plan, all of which will be part of the occupancy agreement entered into with the State and the people.
Where applicable, special attention is paid to indigenous peoples, who have their own relationship with their environment and different identities from those of the main population; in many cases, their status is vulnerable and their culture is under threat. We therefore do all we can to ensure that our development activities do not undermine their culture, their special relationship with the natural environment and their identity in general.