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. Almost 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. 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).
Goldtree’s operations are based on the independent farmers and nucleus plantations to the mill model with the support of a group of enterprising local transporters. The main business components are:
Goldtree has 2,197 hectares of its own plantations, some of which were initially planted under a World Bank programme in the 1960s. The company is committed to sustainable production practices and good care of planted palms. The estates have already achieved EU organic certification and 697 ha were also certified against RSPO Principle and Criteria 2018.
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.
Crude palm oil and crude palm kernel oil are packaged on-site into 20-metric tonne flexitanks for export and in 200-litre drums or 20-litre containers for local requirements.
Goldtree supports close to 9,000 outgrowers who own their land and care for their oil palms. The work is co-ordinated in collaboration with the Goldtree Internal Control System and a community-based farmers’ association, Ngoyaï Gbaayegie, who supply fresh fruit bunches to the company. A portion of our smallholder farmers has achieved RSPO certification in 2021. This means that 4,983 smallholder farmers, covering an area of 8,667 hectares are supplying our operations in Goldtree with FFBs that have been produced in a sustainable manner, according to RSPO’s standards.
Goldtree has 2,197 hectares of its own plantations, some of which were initially planted under a World Bank programme in the 1960s. In 2018, Goldtree has initiated the certification process of those plantations with EU Organic and RSPO standards. Today, all nucleus plantations underwent EU organic certification and one of the nucleus plantations (697 ha) was RSPO certified in 2021. The image below demonstrates Goldtree’s nucleus estates: