The origin of Socfindo is credited to a Belgian agronomical engineer by the name of Adrien Hallet (1867-1925) who moved to Sumatra in Indonesia in 1905 where he devoted himself to opening new plantations, initially focusing exclusively on rubber cultivation.

Observing the effect of the improved local conditions on oil palm yield and productivity he soon began planting and before long the first commercial oil palm plantation on the Deli region of Sumatra was born.