Form Ghana complies with the social criteria of FSC which is beneficial not only to the employees, but also to local people that are indirectly involved in the activities of Form Ghana. The company delivers important social benefits to the area in a number of ways: through a land lease and benefit sharing agreement, employment generation and cooperation with local farmers. The Corporate Social Responsibility Policy illustrates Form Ghana’s commitment to social responsibility.
Land lease and benefit sharing
Form Ghana has a long-term land lease agreement with traditional land owners and the Government of Ghana to restore productive forest in the degraded forest reserves. This lease construction is part of the presidential policy to restore degraded forest reserves in Ghana, which is a strong policy instrument for the Government of Ghana to conserve, restore and promote the sustainable use of forest resources in the country.
A benefit sharing agreement has been signed, ensuring that 10% of the revenues flow back to the Forestry Commission, traditional landowners and the local communities.
The company currently employs circa 200 permanent workers and 300 temporary workers. These numbers will grow as operations are expanding. Employees are offered a safe and healthy working environment, with good employment terms, favourable (health) insurance and retirement conditions. Free meals and transportation are provided to the employees. They also receive training in firefighting, safety-regulations, first aid, silvicultural and reduced impact logging practices.
|Employees sowing||Intercropping: tomato harvest|
|For more photos on employees and local farmers, visit the photo gallery.|
Unique cooperation with local farmers
In the area of the forest reserve managed by Form Ghana, illegal farming was widespread. This was mainly practiced by migrants from the north that do not have easy access to land outside the reserve. Form Ghana offers these illegal farmers the option to participate in an intercropping system. During the first 2 years after tree planting farmers can plant their annual food crops, like maize, okra or tomatoes, in between the seedlings. This is a win-win situation as Form Ghana gets free weeding between the seedlings and the farmers get free land for farming. Farmers were skeptic at first, but now intercropping is becoming more popular. In 2011, more than 200 intercropping agreements were signed between farmers and the company, covering over a 1,000 hectares.
The plantation outgrower schemes provides extra opportunities for local smallholders to generate income. In this scheme, smallholders are offered input and technical assistance to plant some of their land with teak.