Goldtree is located near Daru in Kailahun District in Sierra Leone’s Eastern Province. Since 2007, the company has succeeded in establishing a small plantation and rebuilding an abandoned palm oil mill that serves thousands of farming families. This has led to the revival of the oil palm industry in the province.
Goldtree has modernised the mill in Daru to operate to exacting organic purity standards. Around 10,000 farming families in a 40-kilometre radius supply their excess and growing fruit volumes to Goldtree through the company’s own buying agents and enterprising local transporters. This supports thousands of families in the rural community and ensures they receive a fair price for their product. Goldtree further pays a premium to those farmers who have attended free training on the appropriate farming practices to operate sustainable organic agroforestry. Further training is scheduled to include all farmers in the registration process. The company operates a demonstration plantation surrounding the mill as well as planting plots among neighbouring villages, providing practical, concrete guidance of modern yet sustainable practices.
The rapid transition from a defunct mill to an operational plant and restarting the outreach to communities and farmers was made possible with the support and assistance of the African Agriculture Fund (AAF), the Finnish Fund for Industrial Co-operation (Finnfund), and recently joined by Planting Naturals (previously known as Natural Habitats Europe-Africa). Natural Habitats is a pioneer in strictly organic palm oil, opening export markets to Europe and elsewhere and making fair, increased prices possible for the farming families.