Community struggles against oil palm company Feronia-PHC in the DR Congo

In 2009, the global food corporation Unilever sold its palm oil subsidiary Plantations et Huileries du Congo (PHC), in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), to the Canadian company Feronia.

European Development Banks provided over US$ 100 million in funding to Feronia and its Congolese subsidiary PHC since 2013, claiming that the money will support development and secure jobs. The development bank funding has done neither, as reports and statements from community organisations and national and international organisations supporting the communities’ struggle to reclaim their land demonstrate. On the contrary, conflicts have escalated since the development banks became involved, the company’s security guards have been implicated in brutal beatings, killings of young men from villages and violence and abuse against women.

Feronia went bankrupt in 2020, and development banks agreed to hand over PHC to an obscure company called Straight KKM. Since the new owner took over, two people have been brutally killed amidst community reports of escalating violence perpetrated by the company’s security guards.

In 2018, communities have filed a complaint with development banks, requesting a mediation. The mediation has yet to start off, while the violence and killings continue as European development banks remain shamefully indifferent to the violence and killings on the plantations they continue to finance.

The publications below expose the colonial history behind these oil palm plantations as well as the violence that continues to this day. The community statements are testament to the struggle for justice that communities affected by this land grab dating back to colonial Belgian rule have been mounting ever since the land was violently taken from them more than 110 years ago. A complete repository of articles, reports, statements and audio-visual media reports on the community struggle against Feronia’s occupation of their ancestral land is available at:

Bulletin articles 17 November 2020
European development banks have financed a plantation company in DRC that is built on injustice and violence dating back to a colonial-era land grab. When the company went bankrupt in 2020, the banks chose to uphold the plantation model.
Bulletin articles 15 July 2020
While palm oil companies present themselves as benevolent donors during the pandemic, communities living in and around these plantations tell another story. Activists against industrial oil palm plantations talk about communities’ situation since the Covid-19 outbreak.
Action alerts 16 June 2020
More than 100 years ago, lands were stolen from communities in DR Congo for industrial oil palm production. Since 2009, those lands are under control of the company FERONIA.
Action alerts 11 February 2020
Groups call for the immediate release of villagers in the DR Congo imprisoned for over 5 months on false charges related to a land conflict with the Canadian oil palm plantation company Feronia Inc. Sign the letter!!!
Action alerts 8 November 2019
Community leaders and traditional chiefs in areas affected by the plantations of Canadian company PHC-Feronia in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) continue to suffer all kinds of massive human rights violations.
Action alerts 15 October 2019
On 18 September 2019, Mombulu Boyama Alphonse was arrested in Yangoma, and subsequently detained at Lokutu Police Station following a complaint against him from the General Prosecutor of Tshopo province. The complaint is related to a protest by villagers against Feronia in March 2019.
15 October 2019
In 2009, the global food corporation Unilever sold its palm oil subsidiary Plantations et Huileries du Congo (PHC), in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), to the Canadian company Feronia.
Action alerts 16 August 2019
In a statement released on 14 August 2019, RIAO-RDC and support organisations call on DRC authorities to immediately find and arrest the murder suspect. Weeks have passed since the killing of Joël Imbangola Lunea without an arrest of the murder suspect.
Action alerts 31 July 2019
A letter signed by over 140 organizations and social movements from different countries around the world and by over 110,000 individuals has been sent to the President of the DRC and the Governour of Equateur province, where the killing took place.
Action alerts 24 July 2019
We ask for your urgent support. Please sign on to the Action Alert. It is important to send the letter as soon as possible.
Action alerts 23 July 2019
A member of the Congolese environmental and human rights organisation RIAO-RDC was brutally killed by a security guard of the Canadian palm oil company Feronia Inc. on Sunday, July 21, 2019, near the company’s Boteka plantations in Bempumba, Eqauteur Province, DRC.
Action alerts 6 November 2018
Nine communities from the DR Congo took a historic step this week by filing a complaint with the complaints mechanism of the German development bank (Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft – DEG)