Grievances

Socfin believes stakeholders play important and constructive roles in the implementation of its Responsible Management Policy and related policies. The Policy includes a commitment to implement an open, transparent and consultative grievance management mechanism to enable any stakeholder to raise a grievance against the Group, its subsidiaries and joint ventures or any of its suppliers. All grievances logged under the Grievance Management Procedure will be dealt with in a timely manner, and all investigations and findings will be reported transparently with full public disclosure.

The Grievance Management Procedure is available here. All new grievances formally submitted according to the Procedure will be logged on this page.

Grievances may be expressed via email to transparency@socfin.com or in writing to:

Socfin S.A.
Attn: Grievance coordination team
4, Avenue Guillaume
1650 Luxembourg
Grand-Duché de Luxembourg

Grievances should include provision of the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Name of Organization (if any)
  • Address
  • Phone Number or Fax Number or Email Address (at least one contact point)
  • Description of the grievance in detail
  • Evidence to support the grievance
  • SAC-01-2018

    Subject

    Communities of Malen and MALOA through FIAN’s support have been asking for certain documents concerning the land lease agreement and other matters related to SOCFIN’s activities in the Chiefdom of Malen, Sierra Leone.

    Progress

    In March 2018 Green Scenery requested to have a meeting with the Management of Socfin Agricultural Company (SAC); the meeting took place on 22nd March 2018 with Green Scenery coming with a delegation from Fian as unannounced guest; the SAC General Manager and the SAC Community Liaison Manager answered during this meeting to a list of questions raised.
    It was made clear that requested documents related to lease agreements, registry of compensation payments and registry of annual rent payments were available from the Registry Office in Freetown; other requested documents can be obtained from the Union or the Ministry of labour or the Sahn Malen Chiefdom authorities; some requested Company documents were shared while others are restricted information.

  • NIG-02-2017

    Subject

    The article report on allegations declared by a representative of the Okomu Ijaws Community against the State of Edo and the Government. Some of those accusation are also oriented towards OOPC:
    – The community hasn’t been included in the board of OOPC because of they are settlers
    – There is a discriminatory employment policy
    – No visit to this Ijaws host community
    – Admin HQ of Ovia SW local gvt has influenced the change of the name of OOPC to include “settlements of Udo”.

     

    Progress

    Accusations against OOPC have been investigated and further clarifications and documents have been shared by OOPC. Socfin thus concludes that these accusations are unfounded based on the clarifications which are reported below for each of the points under review.

    – The community hasn’t been included in the board of OOPC because they are settlers:
    The process of selection of board members follows the OOPC Board Charter (Section 5) as prescribed by the Code of Corporate Governance of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
    No discrimination criteria towards local communities or settlers are included in this process. One of the criteria clarifies that only shareholders have the right to elect board members.
    The processes used in relation to all Board appointments are available in the company’s annual report, as required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
    The company’s shareholders are drawn from a diversified spread of Nigerian and international individuals and institutions. The list of shareholders (more than 15,000) is available at Caridnalstone Ltd who are the registrar for OOPC. The registrar is required by law and their contact details are included on the company’s website as well as in the company’s annual report. The Company Secretary is also available at all times to guide any shareholder in this regard.
    The company’s registrars are CardinalStone Ltd, 358 Herbert Macaulay Way, Yaba, Lagos; Tel: +234(1) 4405107.

    – There is a discriminatory employment policy:
    OOPC has included in its employment procedure (section 7, point 9) that:
     “OOPC shall endeavour to give the first right of employment to candidates within its neighbouring communities, especially where one candidate is not from a neighbouring community and the other candidate is, and where both candidates are equally qualified in all aspects for that vacancy. OOPC vacancy/vacancies will be placed on the community notice board and the community CDA will provide OOPC with, what they deem to be, suitably qualified candidates for these job vacancy/vacancies.”

    Currently OOPC’s permanent staff counts 10 employees from the Ijaw community out of which 2 were honoured in 2017 with long service awards for being with the company for 25 years.
    We invite anyone to contact us through our grievance management mechanism if discrimination in a precise case of recruitment has been observed.

    – No visit to this Ijaw host community:
    OOPC’s community liaison officer (CLO) is required to visit Okomu Ijaw community, residing at Okomu Town, on a quarterly base, except in exceptional circumstances, such as insecurity issues, which has occurred over the past few years within the Okomu community and its surrounds (in 2015 and 2017).
    The last visit to the Okomu Ijaw community took place on the 27th July 2018 as stated in the attached draft meeting minute and the next visit will be at the end of the 3rd quarter 2018.

    – Admin HQ of Ovia SW Local Government has influenced the change of the name of OOPC to include “settlements of Udo”:
    OOPC doesn’t include “settlements of Udo” in its name, it is part of its official address as you can find it on the annual reports. “The Okomu Oil Palm Company PLC. Okomu – Udo, Ovia South West L.G.A., P.M.B. 1449, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.”

  • CAM-02-2017

    Subject

    Lors d’une conférence de presse organisée par le Réseau des acteurs du développement durable (Radd), des femmes riveraines de la Socapalm accusent les militaires chargés de la sécurité de l’entreprise d’agressions sexuelles et la Socapalm d’accaparemment des terres.

    Progress

    L’article a été enregistré et les accusations listées.
    Suivant sa procédure de gestion des plaintes, Socfin a analysé les éléments car aucun élément factuel n’avait été communiqué.
    Les recherches nécessaires pour entrer en contact avec ces parties prenantes et recueillir des éléments concrets, ont été menées.
    Le journaliste de Camer.be et le RADD ont été contactés. Ceux-ci n’ont pas fourni d’information supplémentaire et ont suggéré de contacter la Synaparcam.
    La Synaparcam a été contactée le 27/12/2017.
    Localement, la Socapalm a également pris contact avec ses parties prenantes.
    En date du 17/02/2018, la Synaparcam a transmis une liste non exhaustive de femmes ayant subi des abus.
    Dès ce 26 février, la Socapalm va assurer l’analyse des éléments transmis.

  • CAM-01-2017

    Subject

    Au Cameroun, selon les membres du Synaparcam, une décision des autorités (datant de 2005) demande à la Socapalm de rétrocéder 20 000 ha de terres aux populations. Jusque-là ces terres resteraient occupées par l’entreprise

     

    Progress

    L’article a été enregistré et, les faits analysés et listés. Socfin a collecté la documentation afférente. Un commentaire a été laissé sur le site internet, affirmant que les 20 000 ha avaient été rétrocédés au propriétaire légal (l’Etat camerounais) en 2005, et qu’il est du devoir de l’Etat camerounais de décider à qui les louer.

    Suivant notre procédure de gestion des plaintes, Socfin a souhaité rentrer en contact avec le journaliste mais entre-temps l’article n’est plus présent sur Internet.

  • OOPC-01-2017

    Subject

    In Nigeria, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria and some representatives of the Owan and Okomu communities accused Okomu Plc of ignoring a supposed revocation from Edo State regarding 13 750 ha of land.

    Progress

    Socfin has investigated the facts listed as per its grievance management procedure.
    Here is the update that allows to close this grievance :
    In 2017 an NGO called ERA/FoEN alleged that Okomu was illegally on property which was revoked by the Government. This apparent revocation was not in the name of Okomu, it was unsigned and there was no gazette that went through the House of Assembly ratifying it. In March 2018 the Governor of Edo State came to commission Extension Two of Okomu Oil Palm Company. We attach the three Certificates of Occupancy of OOPC and their respective maps.

    Okomu – Certificate of occupancy – Main Estate

    Okomu – Certificate of occupancy – Extension 1

    Okomu – Certificate of occupancy – Extension 2

    Okomu maps