OPERATIONS

Goldtree’s operations are based on the independent farmers/buying mill business model. Also included is a nucleus model/demonstration farm around the mill, distributed model planting plots across the region and a group of enterprising local transporters. The main business components are:

Nucleus plantation

Goldtree has its own model plantation, initially planted under a World Bank programme in the 1960s. The Company has rehabilitated the plantation into a model that displays good care of planted palms and other essential practices. In addition, several planting plots have been established through the region interspersed with villages to serve as models. Goldtree leases these plots from local communities.

Palm oil mill

The Daru mill has the capacity to process 20 tonnes of fresh fruit bunches per hour and the potential (with a capacity upgrade) to process 30 tonnes per hour in the future. The main product from the milling operation is certified organic crude palm oil.

The mill is equipped with a palm kernel crushing plant to produce organic, certified crude palm kernel oil.

Packaging plant

Crude palm oil and crude palm kernel oil are packaged on-site into 20-metric tonne flex tanks for export and in 200-litre drums or 20-litre containers for local requirements.

Family farm operations

Goldtree supports close to 10,000 outgrowers who own their land and care for their oil palms. The work is co-ordinated in collaboration with the Goldtree Oil Palm Growers Association, a community-based farmers’ association that represents Goldtree’s farmer-suppliers, who supply fresh fruit bunches to the Company.

The Goldtree Replanting Programme

Sierra Leone, in West Africa, is still recovering after a long civil war that ended in 2002. The country has undergone substantial economic growth and the risk of a return to civil unrest has virtually disappeared. Nevertheless, Sierra Leone remains one of the poorest countries in the world (161st out of 185 by World Bank ranking). The economic situation was exacerbated in 2014, as the country faced a serious outbreak of the Ebola virus disease. During the outbreak, Goldtree stayed in operation, providing an essential income source to the farmers and communities.

Palm oil is a staple food item in Sierra Leone. The equatorial climate is ideal for cultivating oil palms and according to Sierra Leone household data, an estimated 185,000 smallholder farmers own palms. It is used daily in traditional cooking and provides critical energy in the national diet. However, despite 240,000 hectares of oil palms in the country, Sierra Leone still needs to import edible oils in order to meet local demand.

The case for replanting

The deficit in locally produced palm oil could be drastically reduced through a well-managed replanting programme. The majority of palms standing today were planted in the 1980s and due to their age, they yield less than two tonnes per hectare. This poor productivity not only impacts land use as more land would be converted to palm trees, but also limits the income generated by farmers from their plantations. If these palms were to be replanted, the yield could easily be increased five-fold.

The Company buys the majority of its fruit from the smallholder farmers who live within a 40-kilometre radius of the mill. For Goldtree, the sustainable, organic future is inextricably linked to its smallholder suppliers. For this reason, the Company intends to support smallholders in the mill catchment area to replant their old palms and replace them with good-quality, high-yielding seedlings.

Impact partners welcome

Goldtree welcomes partners to join in the effort to grow sustainable, organic livelihoods for our thousands of farming family partners. It’s an opportunity to work hand in hand with the private sector to build the livelihoods of small rural farmers in Sierra Leone and enhance food security.

Contact Pieter van Dessel, General Manager – Goldtree, directly for more information.

Email: enquiries@goldtreeholdings.com | Telephone: +232 30 088 878