The Directors have sought to ensure that the acquisition and development of its estates are in full compliance with all applicable material Peruvian laws and appropriate best practice.
Selected examples of this approach are summarised below:
- The Group’s land titles were purchased from local farmers who had been cultivating the land since 1997;
- All of the parcels were zoned and allocated to the original farmers by authority of the Ministry of Agriculture;
- All of the parcels are governed by Legislative Decree 838 which specifically intends for the parcels to be fully developed for agricultural purposes;
- The site was heavily logged of all tropical hardwoods in the 1980s;
- The Group has not sold or removed any timber from its project sites; and
- There is no high value conservation forest area on any the Group’s titled lands.
Given the extensive agricultural activities previously underway, the government authorities have required the Group to complete a PAMA whilst current agricultural activities are underway. The Group has retained an experienced environmental consultancy to prepare and submit the report. The terms of reference of this PAMA were approved by the Ministry of Agriculture on 9 October 2013. The Community Participation Plan, a part of the PAMA, was submitted on 4 September 2014. The Group expects to submit the completed PAMA immediately after its soils studies are approved by the Ministry of Agriculture; we are unable to estimate the time required by the relevant authorities to approve the soil samples and subsequently the PAMA but estimate that approval will come sometime during 2016.
The Company is in fully compliance with all local environmental and water regulations. On 7 January 2016, the National Water Authority issued a statement exonerating the Company of any accusations of water pollution or damage stating that the area water is "not affected by components related to [the cultivation of cacao]". The full report can be accessed here.
The Group has produced a Community Impact Report 2013 which provides a detailed overview.