Company information

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  • Sector: Agriculture
  • Country of operations: Madagascar

Green machine

From its base in southern Madagascar, Phileol has become one of the world’s most diversified producers of vegetable oil – not bad for a company whose Founder, Stephane Philizot, describes as “a company from the ends of the earth”.

Phileol grows seeds in partnership with local farmers and then uses those seeds to produce oil for an impressively wide range of uses, from cosmetics to fuel. The business has grown through a mixture of crowdfunding, finance purchases from farmers, diversifying its crops and paying attention to the demands of the global market. The company works with more than 700 families to collect and grow seeds, ensuring steady employment in what is one of the poorest parts of the country.

“The use of oils in the international cosmetics industry allowed us to diversify on different types of oilseeds, from a single crop to eight different types of oilseeds in four years,” says Stephane.

Phileol is now focused on developing its core areas of activity in the coming years and is looking to expand into new markets. “We must be a reliable partner for the cosmetic industry. In addition, we must confirm the potential of vegetable oils in the production of energy to customers and then be able to meet the demand,” says Stephane. “At the international level, we must be vigilant and move to new markets other than Europe.”

“We must be a reliable partner for the cosmetic industry”

As it targets further growth, Phileol has vowed to continue to put sustainability first. The company already uses its oils to run the generator in its factory and is currently working on setting up a rural electrification network. “Only sustainable development can lead to wider development in Africa,” says Stephane. The company’s aim for the next five years, he adds, is “to be a profitable company of sustainable development”.

  • 700+ - The number of families Phileol works with to collect and grow seeds