Lying just 12 kilometres from the capital Lima, Callao is Peru’s chief seaport and the main export terminal for the country’s rich mineral deposits of copper, lead, zinc and tin. The Trafigura Group has had an active presence at the port since 2001 and, in recent years, has invested some USD120 million in enhancements to its 175,000m2 facility operated by Impala Terminals.

As reported in 2015, improvements to the facility have included the construction of a dedicated, covered conveyor belt system to transport materials from the stock yard to awaiting vessels – mitigating the social and environmental impact of multiple trucks transiting the port each day. Additionally, the construction of a 120,000m2 new roof, the largest of its kind for a concentrates warehouse is nearing completion - further limiting the potential for dust release into the surrounding community.

Drawn in part by economic opportunities presented by the port, Callao’s population has grown dramatically over the last 15 years, resulting in significant strains on local infrastructure and resources. Many people are poor; with a high proportion of residents living in extreme poverty. In Callao, serious, often violent, crime is rife; gangs play an increasingly debilitating role in the community.

In 2005, Trafigura Group companies present in Peru jointly formed the Fundación Integración Comunitaria (FIC). Essentially a philanthropic body, the FIC has complemented the Group’s community outreach activities in the country and, as it developed, provided a channel for the company to better understand and respond to local needs through social projects.

As activities at the Callao terminal have developed and FIC’s projects have become more established, FIC personnel are increasingly seen as an important complement to Impala’s existing community relations programme. FIC social projects also act as useful listening posts for the business. They are already embedded in local schools and clinics. They are well placed to relay feedback and grievances from the community that might otherwise be difficult to discover.

OUTCOME: While local residents were once distrusting of Impala’s business, and employees often faced threats to their personal safety and security, Impala’s staff are now both closer to and better recognised by the community as positive contributors to their wellbeing.