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June 19, 2011

US company to invest in palm oil plantations in Cameroon, Ghana

Herakles Farms, a New York-based agriculture company, is planning two commercial-scale sustainable palm oil plantations in Cameroon and Ghana, providing over 10,000 jobs to local people.

Herakles Farms began working on the project in 2009, when it acquired 100 percent ownership in SG Sustainable Oils from Sithe Global. The plantations will follow the highest environmental and social standards, complying fully with Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Principles & Criteria. RSPO is a not-for-profit association that unites stakeholders from the palm oil industry to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.

"We are very excited.... the need for local supply is significant. In 2009, Africa imported approximately 4 million tons of palm oil, primarily from Indonesia and Malaysia. Currently, the continent's average per capita consumption of oils and fats is only about 11 kg, compared to the world average of about 24 kg," said Bruce Wrobel, CEO of Herakles Farms. "In addition to reducing dependence on imports for this food staple, the plantations will deliver a whole range of benefits for the local population, including jobs, housing, health clinics, clean water and schools, while safeguarding the incredible biodiversity of this part of the world."

Herakles Farms

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