Olam’s operations in the Republic of Congo began with its acquisition in 2011, of Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB), the largest logging company in the country and one of Central Africa’s major forestry and wood processing operations. Today, we operate three large forest management concessions and one forest production concession in the Sangha and Likouala Provinces. We have also developed an innovative social mapping project that allows communities living in our forests to actively participate in forest resource management.
Our forest management concessions cover about 1.4 million hectares, each obtained under long-term lease agreements and all managed according to the highest standards of Sustainable Forest Management. We have also, since 2011, been Forest Stewardship Council (FSCâ„¢) certified across all our concessions. Logs are selectively harvested on an annual basis over three separate harvesting phases. Harvested logs not directly exported are processed locally in our own mills, drying kilns and moulding factory.
We currently employ over 900 workers in one of the Republic of Congo’s remotest areas and have invested in infrastructure to ensure their wellbeing and community development. This includes building modern housing, schools, hospitals, sports fields and even a television and radio station. We have also developed a comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programme that has been well-supported by international donors.