Herakles Farms - Report by Centre for Environment & Development (Cameroon)

[for a French-language version of this page, click here]

In February 2012, the Cameroonian NGO Centre for Environment & Development (CED) published a report, "Herakles' 13th Labour:A Study of SGSOC's Land Concession in South-West Cameroon", regarding Herakles Farms (part of Herakles Capital) and its Cameroonian subsidiary, SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon.  The first part of the report, titled "Land and Resource Grabbing", raises concerns about this large-scale project: displacement of small-scale subsistence farmers from arable lands, food insecurity, lack of jobs sufficient to cancel the loss of farmland, environmental damage, access to water, and inconsistency and lack of transparency in environmental and social impact assessments.  The second part analyses the agreement between the company and the government, raising concerns such as the rights granted to the company to local resources and inconsistency of certain provisions with Cameroon's international legal obligations, including a provision that CED says permits SGSOC to "arrest and [detain]...all unauthorized persons" on the concession, which according to CED is inhabited by 25,000 people. 

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Herakles Farms/Herakles Capital to respond to the report and related news articles:

- [French] "Cameroun: une ONG dénonce un projet de culture de palmier à huile", AFP, 15 Feb 2012
- [French]  "Palme: une ONG met de l'huile sur le feu", Quotidien Mutations, 6 Mar 2012
- "Herakles' 13 Labours ? A study of SGSOC's Land Concession in South-West Cameroon" [PDF], Samuel Nguiffo & Brendan Schwartz, Centre for Environment and Development  

Herakles Farms response

Update (Apr-Jun 2012): A Cameroonian lawyer, Adolf Malle, issued a rejoinder to Herakles Farms' response, accompanied by copies of two judgments by Cameroonian courts.  We invited Herakles Farms/Herakles Farms to respond to these documents as well as an article in AlterNet; it did not respond:

Adolf Malle's response to inquiries regarding the Sustainability and interventions of Herakles Farms SG Sustainable Oil Project in South West Cameroon, 20 Mar 2012 [PDF]
Ndian Court Ruling of 27 Feb 2012 [PDF]
- Ndian Court Ruling of 31 Aug 2012 [PDF]
- How a U.S. Company is breaking laws and grabbing land in Africa, Azore Opio, AlterNet, 14 May 2012


Update 2 (Aug 2012): For further reports on this project by Oakland Institute & Greenpeace, working with Cameroonian NGOs, and a further response from Herakles Farms, click here.