Key dates

Expertise built up over time

Adrien Hallet, the Group’s founder, develops the methodical cultivation of rubber tree and palm oil in the Congo.

1890

Observing that climate conditions are better for the oil palm there, Adrien Hallet expands into Malaysia and founds La Compagnie du Sélangor.

1906

La Société Financière des Caoutchoucs (Socfin S.A.), is founded.

1909

In partnership with the Rivaud Group, a presence is established in Indochina, an ideal location for the cultivation of rubber.

1910

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.

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.

1918

Socfin S.A. is taken over by the Rivaud Group.

1919

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.

1925

Foundation of the Société de Gestion des Caoutchouc et Oléagineux, Sogescol.

1930

Pierre Boule joins the Plantations des Terres Rouges.

1932

Plantation of the first rubber trees clones.

1936

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.

1940

Robert Hallet dies.

1947

A wave of decolonisation takes place after the Second World War.

1950

Establishment of Socfinaf.

1951

Formation of the Société Financière Luxembourgeoise (Socfinal), which invests in Socfin S.A. among other companies.

1959

Wave of nationalisation and expropriation of plantations following decolonisation.

1960

In Indonesia, Socfindo is born of a joint venture between Plantations Nord Sumatra and the Indonesian government.

1968

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.).

Socfinal invests in La Compagnie Internationale de Cultures Intercultures S.A., Socfin Industrial Development (Socfinde S.A.), and La Compagnie du Cambodge (France).

1971

Socfinal is involved in the creation of Socfinasia S.A. (Luxembourg).

1972

Zairianisation of the plantations in the Congo.

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.

1973

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

1974 - 1990

At the request of several African and South American states, Socfinco, together with the World Bank and other financing agencies, is implementing numerous agro-industrial projects in Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Congo Brazzaville, Brazil, Ecuador, etc.

The Bolloré Group becomes a shareholder in the Rivaud Group.

1988

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

1990 - 2017

Socfin becomes an internationally renowned producer of selected seeds.

The Bolloré Group takes a stake in Socfin S.A. and Plantations Nord Sumatra.

1991

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.

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).

1994

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.

1998

Cameroon, the SIPH Group sells a palm-growing company, La Société des Palmeraies de la Ferme Suisse (SPFS), to the Socfin Group.

1999

Cameroon, La Société Camerounaise des Palmeraies (Socapalm) is acquired following a public call for tenders with a view to its privatisation.

2000

Côte d'Ivoire, SoGB initiates talk 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.

2004

2004 - 2006

SOGB Hospital becomes the first private facility in Côte d'Ivoire to provide care for people living with HIV.

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.

2006

Cambodia, two concessions are obtained and Socfin KCD is created.

Liberia, the Socfin Group, at the request of the Ministry of Agriculture, acquires the Salala Rubber Corporation (SRC).

Democratic Republic of Congo, rehabilitation of an abandoned oil palm plantation in the Mapangu region: the re-emergence of the Brabanta plantation.

2007

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

2008 – 2013

Socfin collaborated with the DEG on long-term projects focusing on health and education: intensifying HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment for employees and their families, as well as for local communities, in the highly affected countries where the Socfin Group operates (DRC, Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon, Nigeria and Liberia).

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.

2009

Kenya, under pressure from urbanisation around the city of Nairobi, the Socfin Group sells its coffee and rose plantations.

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).

2010

Ghana, following a public tendering process, the plantation of Plantations Socfinaf Ghana Ltd (PSG) is acquired.

2012 

Cambodia, a concession, Coviphama, is obtained.

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.

2013

Cameroon, the Socfin Group takes over La Société Africaine Forestière et Agricole du Cameroun (Safacam) from the Bolloré Group.

2014

In Cameroon: Socapalm is the first oil palm plantation certified ISO 14001 in Central Africa.

In Sierra Leone, the district of Pujehun is declared to be the first Ebola-free district, thanks to the support of SAC.

2015

The Socfin Group is committed to a approach intended to demonstrate its ability to supply a high-quality product that meets its customers’ requirements and expectations.

Inauguration of the SAC oil mill in Sierra Leone.

Inauguration of the LAC dam in Liberia

The Socfin Group publishes its new responsible management policy.

2016

Start of construction of the rubber factory in Cambodia.

Start of construction work on the Agripalma oil mill in Sao Tome.

Extensions of the production capacities of SOGB and SCC rubber factories in Côte d'Ivoire.

Start of the construction of the PSG oil mill in Ghana.

The transparency dashboard is now online.

2017