Despite what is often and widely reported to the contrary, Herakles Farms remains committed to the highest standards of ethical behavior. This includes providing mandatory Free and Prior Informed Consent (FPIC) - if not to communities at least then to our beloved investors.
Herakles Farms is and has always operated legally within the Republic of Cameroon. Other people have often disagreed with that and also had some issues with the Ministry of Forestry & Wildlife (MINFOF) who decided in May 2013 to suspend our activities.
But to be honest these are minor issues that have been blown all out of proportion by our critics and unfair, albeit, regular press reports. Although it is also true that we were busted by the authorities for illegal logging in defiance of Cameroon’s forestry legislation, the fact is that this was, a one-time mishap, a minor oversight, like accidentally uprooting a few vegetables while weeding a garden.
In case you are worried that our track record of illegal activities may jeopardize this project, worry not. We have regular meetings with the US Ambassador and very sympathetic government senior officials who support the project. The former US Ambassador in particular was instrumental in helping us obtain a 20,000 hectare land lease, despite all of our illegal activities.
In October 2013, the European Union asked the Cameroonian Government to once again send the Independent Forest Observer to inspect our illegal logging operations. Fortunately the request was formally rejected by the Cameroonian Government.
Since we are targeting over 70,000 hectares of communities’ customary lands for conversion from communally managed forests to private, monoculture palm production, we find it important to maintain the most open and honest of community relations principles. We have read the joint report of the Program for the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources (PSMNR) and the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, which accused us of “intimidation and corruption,” but that was just a little misunderstanding that has since been cleared up. We've decided to file a criminal complaint against one of our most outspoken critics for libel. Physical assaults have also proven effective.