Asia Plantation Capital,
Lights on Green
15 December 2017
With at present 160 plantations, 19 offices on four continents and more than 2,000 employees and 7,000 customers, Asia Plantation Capital brilliantly consolidates its position as global leader in sustainable plantation management.
As manager of more than 3,000 hectares of sustainable plantations and having more than $650 million in forest assets worldwide, APC has planted 7.5 million trees and plants of various species all over the world and continues to plant more trees every day. In particular, the award-winning agroforestry group has Thai facilities producing an oil at $30,000 per kilo which is extracted from Agarwood taken from the aquilaria tree: oud oil.
From Soil… To Oil… to You…
Oud oil is an extremely valuable commodity which has been prized throughout history. It is extracted from the resinous heartwood or agarwood of tropical Aquilaria trees. The precious resin is the result of the tree’s natural defence mechanism when it is infected by a fungus. This resin, known as oud or agarwood, is now one of the most important ingredients in the fragrance industry, with one out of eight major fragrances containing oud.
The market for fragrances continues to grow at an accelerating pace, with more than 1,200 luxury perfumes launched each year. Oud-based fragrances, with their intense smoky woodiness, are becoming a mainstay in modern perfumery, with many global highend products using oud as a base note ingredient.
The Asia Plantation Capital Group’s business model ranges from the management of plantations, to the inoculation, harvesting, distilling and processing of agarwood inputs into a multitude of agarwood end products, including the highly prized oud oil which has allowed the company to break successfully into to the high-end perfume markets by supplying the luxury perfume brand Fragrance Du Bois, a now independant entity, but which has finalized an exclusive 30 years contract with APC as its sole provider. With a focus on commercial plantation projects and vertically integrated businesses that offer a combination of commercial, environmental and community benefits, Asia Plantation Capital has created a successful and dynamic “triple bottom line” company.
Social, ethical and environmentally friendly practices are also a constant concern for the company, as its CEO Barry Rawlinson, stated in a preamble to the group’s general assembly on 21 October at Bangkok Intercontinental, in front of more than 400 participants, customers, executives and partners from many countries in Europe, from Thailand, Malaysia and even Africa… “Asia Plantation Capital continues to remain steadfast in its ethos of ‘holistic sustainability’. Throughout 2017, the company has embraced programmes and directives that transcend mere Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects, ensuring that equal care, consideration and encouragement are given to all members of staff – from top and middle management all the way through to plantation workers and their families.” He closed his speech by announcing Asia Plantation Capital’s 3rd consecutive year of winning the “Forestry Investment Company of the Year” award.
Jinda Tonkhambai, Asia Plantation Capital Thailand’s Operations Director, then outlined the details of Asia Plantation Capital’s ongoing socially responsible activities, in particular those that have been carried out over the last year, from which many local communities have benefited.
Malaysia has also become a major operation for APC and Steve Watts, Chief Executive Officer of Asia Plantation Capital Asia, spoke about the business operations of Asia Plantation Capital Berhad (APCB) – the Malaysian arm of the APC Group, heading the largest agarwood distillery in Southeast Asia.
One of the most significant achievements for APCB has been the recent recognition and unconditional approval of its products by the Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM), which is Malaysia’s equivalent to the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK.
Former subsidiary of APC, Fragrance Du Bois is now independent, but keeps strong bonds with the group. Clotilde Antoine, Brand and Retail Manager, explained how the luxury perfume brand scaled new heights this year with new partnerships and openings in Paris, Hong Kong, Milan, Marbella, Doha, and Zurich, as well as its very own European flagship boutique in Geneva: “The relocation of Fragrance Du Bois’s flagship boutique in Singapore to the busy shopping area around Orchard Road, was another exciting project that the brand embarked upon in 2017, and appears to have been an instant success with increased levels of brand awareness and revenue. In the upcoming year, we’ll see the expansion of our boutique network in the Middle East (where at least two outlets will be opening in Dubai in the next few weeks), along with outlets in the USA and Portugal.”
Asia Plantation Capital also announced that it has entered into an exclusive supply agreement with dynamic, new skincare and accessories brand, Oud Essentials.
Part of the Oud Essentials mantra is to “change the face of skincare”, and the inclusion of 100% pure, organic, sustainably sourced and ethically produced oud in all of the company’s products is set to be a “game changer” in the ultra-competitive, multi billion-dollar market.
Oud Essentials will introduce the use of oud oil in skincare – a world’s first – through the creation of unique and innovative products. The agreement is said to be valued in the region of US$50 million over the next 10 years, with understanding between the two companies to supply valuable oud oil, and other Asia Plantation Capital products sourced and manufactured from its sustainable agarwood plantations.
But oud is not the only natural treasure APC is growing. Bamboo is another one and Africa Plantation Capital has acquired 200 acres of freehold land and reserved 800 acres as part of its first multiple-step bamboo project in Kilifi, Kenya.
Another APC partner, Boo-Tex is leading the way in scientific development to commercialise bamboo. Known as “the miracle plant”, bamboo is a considered to be the most sustainable solution across a wide spectrum of commercial applications, all of which feed down the supply chain to support rural communities, benefit the environment, reduce global warming, and develop new net economies.
Working closely with Boo-Tex, Africa Plantation Capital is targeting the establishment of more than 5,000 acres in the next five years between. The APC Group is widening its corporate presence to Kenya in order to facilitate the group’s major investment into forestry plantation sector that could be crucial in meeting the challenges currently faced by the global biomass industries in their quest for a sustainable source of textile quality fibre for the garment industry, as well as the need for African-based manufacturing solutions.
To end up the Meeting, the APC Group awarded two certificates to Africa Plantation Capital. One to its Chief Executive Officer, Konstantinos Kioleoglou, who received the ’Asia Plantation Capital Global Innovation Award 2017’, and the other to Kelvin Kaloki Sila, Business Development Director, who garnered the ’Asia Plantation Capital Global Leadership Award 2017’.
People, Planet & Profit
Private clients can become investors with APC and produce their own oud oil by purchasing young aquilarias that APC will manage as its own until the final harvest. Both highly profitable and respectful of the environment and people, this ethical investment approximately doubles in worth in seven to eight years. For more information, contact Director of APC Development Stéphane Sintès, a Frenchman who knows Asia well and Thailand in particular.