Feronia Inc. Announces Appointment of Chief Executive Officer
Feronia Inc. (“Feronia” or the “Company”) (TSX-V: FRN) today
announces the appointment of Mr. Bernard Francois as Chief
Executive Officer (“CEO") of the Company, effective November 14,
Having begun his career as a coffee plantation
manager in the Democratic Republic of the Congo more than three
decades ago, Mr. Francois has gained extensive agriculture
experience having managed plantations and agricultural businesses
in Africa, Asia and South America. Between 2010 and 2015, he was
CEO of Palmci S.A., a publicly listed palm oil company in Côte
d’Ivoire with approximately 40,000 hectares of industrial
plantations and more than 7,000 employees.
After leaving Palmci in 2015, Mr. Francois spent
several months as a senior consultant with SIAT Group and then as a
Country Head for Halcycon Agri Group in Cote d’Ivoire, with both
roles drawing upon his extensive experience with oil palm and
rubber plantations as well as his ability to develop strategic
plans for growth development.
Most recently, Mr. Francois has worked as an
independent consultant in the management of agri-business in
developing countries. A Belgian national, Mr. Francois has a
Master’s Degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Gembloux
Agro-Bio Tech University in Belgium.
Following Mr. Francois’ appointment, Mr. Frank
Braeken, currently Executive Chairman, will become Non-Executive
Chairman as of January 1, 2020.
Frank Braeken, Executive Chairman of
Feronia commented: “After what has been an extensive and
thorough recruitment process, I am delighted to welcome Bernard as
the new CEO of Feronia. In Bernard, we have a new CEO of the
highest calibre and with considerable experience. I very much look
forward to Bernard joining the Company and working with him.”
The appointment of Mr. Francois as CEO of the
Company is subject to the approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.
For further information please
Frank BraekenExecutive Chairman, Feronia Inc.+971 5660 30358
Paul DulieuDirector of Communications and Corporate Development,
Feronia Inc.44 (0)7554 521421
About Feronia Inc.
- Feronia is an agribusiness operating in the Democratic Republic
of the Congo (DRC).
- At the heart of Feronia lies a long established palm oil
business, Plantations et Huileries du Congo (PHC), which has three
remotely located plantations; Lokutu, Yaligimba and Boteka.
- When Feronia acquired its palm oil business from Unilever in
2009, it had suffered from years of underinvestment and
considerable disruption caused by conflict in the DRC. Our initial
focus has been on rebuilding the business and resuming production
to secure its future and the livelihoods of the thousands of people
we directly employ.
- Feronia’s plantations produce crude palm oil (CPO) and palm
kernel oil (PKO). CPO is part of the staple and traditional diet of
the Congolese and, with our products sold locally in the DRC, we
are well placed to help decrease reliance on imports and increase
food security and quality.
- Feronia prides itself on being the guardian of our 108 year-old
palm oil business and its employees, communities, and environment.
We have a long term commitment to improve the living and working
environment of our employees and their communities and are
committed to sustainable agriculture, environmental protection and
community inclusion. Feronia has in place an Environmental and
Social Action Plan which is focused on implementing environmental
and social best practice and improving social infrastructure.
- Feronia is implementing IFC/World Bank standards for
environmental and social sustainability. Our oil palm replanting
programme is brownfield in nature – replacing old palms with new –
and it has no reliance on deforestation.
- Feronia’s management team has extensive experience in managing
both plantations and farming operations in emerging markets.
- For more information please see www.feronia.com
Except for statements of historical fact
contained herein, the information in this press release constitutes
“forward-looking information” within the meaning of Canadian
securities law. Such forward-looking information may be identified
by words such as “anticipates”, “plans”, “proposes”, “estimates”,
“intends”, “expects”, “believes”, “may” and “will”. There can be no
assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate; actual
results and future events could differ materially from such
statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ
materially include, among others: risks related to foreign
operations (including various political, economic and other risks
and uncertainties), the interpretation and implementation of the
“Loi Portant Principes Fondamentaux Relatifs A L’Agriculture”,
termination or non-renewal of concession rights or expropriation of
property rights, political instability and bureaucracy, limited
operating history, lack of profitability, lack of infrastructure in
the DRC, high inflation rates, limited availability of debt
financing in the DRC, fluctuations in currency exchange rates,
competition from other businesses, reliance on various factors
(including local labour, importation of machinery and other key
items and business relationships), the Company’s reliance on two
major customers, lower productivity at the Company’s plantations,
risks related to the agricultural industry (including adverse
weather conditions, shifting weather patterns, and crop failure due
to infestations), a shift in commodity trends and demands,
vulnerability to fluctuations in the world market, the lack of
availability of qualified management personnel and stock market
volatility. Details of the risk factors relating to Feronia and its
business are discussed under the heading “Risks and Uncertainties”
in Feronia’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the year
ended December 31, 2018, a copy of which is available on the
Company’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. Most of these
factors are outside the control of the Company. Investors are
cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking information.
Except as otherwise required by applicable securities statutes or
regulation, the Company expressly disclaims any intent or
obligation to update publicly forward-looking information, whether
as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its
regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the
policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for
the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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