History

Expertise built up over time.

  • 1890: Adrien Hallet, the Group’s founder, develops the methodical cultivation of rubber tree and palm oil in the Congo.
  • 1906: Observing that climate conditions are better for the oil palm there, Adrien Hallet expands into Malaysia and founds La Compagnie du Sélangor.
  • 1909: La Société Financière des Caoutchoucs (Socfin S.A.), is founded.
  • 1910: In partnership with the Rivaud Group, a presence is established in Indochina, an ideal location for the cultivation of rubber. 

Each village on the plantation has a crèche, a primary school, a dispensary, a market square, a shop and a football pitch. All staff are housed at the expense of the company near their workplace. The medical care of employees and their families is paid for by the company. Plantation hospitals are managed by one or two expatriate physicians accompanied by a team of local health workers. The Group has become a pioneer in responsible tropical agriculture.

  • 1918: First Research & Development initiative with the agronomic research section of Socfin Medan, the best research institute in the oil palm and rubber sector at the time.
  • 1919: Socfin S.A. is taken over by the Rivaud Group.
  • 1925: Adrien Hallet dies, having run various companies, including Socfin S.A. and Banco, operating in Africa, Indochina and Southeast Asia. The companies’ plantations represent 73 000 hectares of rubber trees, 29 000 hectares of oil palms and 21 000 hectares of coffee trees. Robert Hallet, his son, takes over the business. A period of prosperity starts.
  • 1930 : Foundation of the Société de Gestion des Caoutchouc et Oléagineux, Sogescol.
  • 1932: Pierre Boule joins the Plantations des Terres Rouges.
  • 1936: Plantation of the first rubber trees clones.
  • 1940: Robert Hallet manages over 350 000 hectares of concession: 73 000 hectares of rubber trees, 31 000 hectares of oil palms and 36 000 hectares of coffee trees. The Group now produces 6% of the international rubber market and 20% of the palm oil market. It begins a gradual withdrawal from the coffee sector.
  • 1947: Robert Hallet dies.
  • 1950: A wave of decolonisation takes place after the Second World War.
  • 1951: Establishment of Socfinaf.
  • 1959: Formation of the Société Financière Luxembourgeoise (Socfinal), which invests in Socfin S.A. among other companies.
  • 1960: Wave of nationalisation and expropriation of plantations following decolonisation.
  • 1968: In Indonesia, Socfindo is born of a joint venture between Plantations Nord Sumatra and the Indonesian government.

All the houses on the plantations are replaced by permanent constructions. A "cinema truck" drives around the plantation to show movies in the villages, in addition to traditionally organized shows (dance, theater etc.).

  • 1971: Socfinal invests in La Compagnie Internationale de Cultures Intercultures S.A., Socfin Industrial Development (Socfinde S.A.), and La Compagnie du Cambodge (France).
  • 1972: Socfinal is involved in the creation of Socfinasia S.A. (Luxembourg).
  • 1973: Zairianisation of the plantations in the Congo.
  • 1973: The Socfin Group is born of the merger of La Financière des Colonies with La Société Financière des Caoutchoucs. On behalf of its customers or on its own behalf, it designs, develops and manages agro-industrial projects consisting of plantations and factories around the world, working closely with research organisations such as the IRHO and the IRCA.
  • May 1974: Creation of Socfinco, a consultancy and engineering firm bringing together and consolidating the technical and agricultural expertise that has been acquired. Armed with the Group’s know-how, Socfinco becomes its technical operator.
  • 1974 – 1990: At the request of a number of African and South American states accompanied by the World Bank, Socfinco creates numerous agro-industrial complexes. These countries include Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Congo-Brazzaville, Brazil and Ecuador.
  • 1988: The Bolloré Group becomes a shareholder in the Rivaud Group.
  • 1990: In Nigeria, in order to optimise the production of palm oil and meet domestic demand, the Okomu Oil Palm Company is privatised. At the request of the Nigerian State, Socfin becomes the majority shareholder.
  • 1990 - 2017 : Socfin becomes an internationally renowned producer of selected seeds.
  • 1991: The Bolloré Group takes a stake in Socfin S.A. and Plantations Nord Sumatra.
  • 1994: Côte d'Ivoire, Privatisation of agro-industrial complexes. In the context of a public call for tenders, the Socfin Group acquires a majority stake in a rubber company, La Société des Caoutchoucs de Grand Béréby (SoGB). The SoGB is partially floated to give the local population a chance to acquire a stake, and a large smallholder programme is launched to help open up the Grand Béréby region.
  • 1994: In Côte d'Ivoire, a large program of village plantations is launched in partnership with the Deutsche Investitions und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) to support the opening-up of the area. A second project with Swiss cooperation is then launched in 1997: "Fonds Ivoiro-Suisse de Développement Economique et Social" (FISDES).
  • 1998: Liberia, after the civil war, two major donors (International Finance Corporation and Proparco) ask the Socfin Group to help restore the country’s agro-industrial complexes. A modernisation of the Liberian Agricultural Company (LAC), and of the Weala rubber processing plant is initiated. Opening of the first secondary school since the end of the war and renovations start on the hospital.
  • 1999: Cameroon, the SIPH Group sells a palm-growing company, La Société des Palmeraies de la Ferme Suisse (SPFS), to the Socfin Group.
  • 2000: Cameroon, La Société Camerounaise des Palmeraies (Socapalm) is acquired following a public call for tenders with a view to its privatisation.
  • 2004: Côte d'Ivoire, SoGB initiates talks with the government to make its hospital a recognized center for HIV prevention and treatment. After successful negotiations, the SoGB hospital becomes the first private institute in Côte d'Ivoire to take care of people living with HIV.
  • 2006: Restructuring of the holding companies in Luxembourg: Socfinasia holds the Asian investments, while Intercultures (now called Socfinaf) holds the African investments. Socfin remains the parent holding company.
  • 2007: Cambodia, two concessions are obtained and Socfin KCD is created.
  • 2007: Liberia, the Socfin Group, at the request of the Ministry of Agriculture, acquires the Salala Rubber Corporation (SRC).
  • 2007: Democratic Republic of Congo, rehabilitation of an abandoned oil palm plantation in the Mapangu region: the re-emergence of the Brabanta plantation.
  • 2008: Côte d’Ivoire, at the request of local authorities, a rubber processing plant is created in partnership with smallholders from the Aboisso region (30% of shares); La Société Sud Comoé Caoutchouc (SCC) is established.
  • 2008 - 2013: Socfin collaborates with DEG on long-term health and education projects: intensifying HIV / AIDS prevention and treatment, for employees and their families, and for local communities, in several highly-affected countries where the Socfin Group is active (DRC, Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Nigeria and Liberia).
  • 2009: Sao Tomé, in order to generate employment and economic activity in the southern region of the country, an agreement is entered into between the State and the Socfin Group, leading to the creation of Agripalma.
  • 2010: Kenya, under pressure from urbanisation around the city of Nairobi, the Socfin Group sells its coffee and rose plantations.
  • 2010: Sierra Leone, at the request of the State and in order to supply the local market with vegetable oil, a modern oil palm plantation is developed in the southwest of the country. Creation of Socfin Agricultural Company (SAC).
  • 2012: Ghana, following a public tendering process, the plantation of Plantations Socfinaf Ghana Ltd (PSG) is acquired.
  • 2013: Cambodia, a concession, Coviphama, is obtained.
  • 2013: Partnerships with the European Institute for Cooperation and Development (IECD) for the development of Agricultural Family Schools on the Safacam and Socapalm plantations; and ANAFOR (Agence Nationale d’Appui au Développement Forestier), for the purchase and planting of 3 000 trees for the reforestation of villages and schools and the creation of recreational areas.
  • 2013: In order to formalise and consolidate the Group’s agricultural research work and its renewable energy activities, the companies Socfin Research and Socfin Green Energy are created.
  • 2014: Cameroon, the Socfin Group takes over La Société Africaine Forestière et Agricole du Cameroun (Safacam) from the Bolloré Group.
  • 2015: in Cameroon: Socapalm is the first oil palm plantation certified ISO 14001 in Central Africa.
  • end of 2015: In Sierra Leone, the district of Pujehun is declared to be the first Ebola-free district, thanks to the support of SAC.
  • 2016: The Socfin Group is committed to a quality assurance approach intended to demonstrate its ability to supply a high-quality product that meets its customers’ requirements and expectations.
  • End 2016: The Socfin Group published its policy for responsible management.

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