A new partnership between Yokohama and the Rubber Authority of Thailand seeks to strengthen the natural rubber supply chain.
The partnership will provide economic support to natural rubber farmers in Thailand, and also improve the traceability, transparency and strength of the rubber supply chain. The agreement is part of Yokohama’s Procurement Policy for Sustainable Natural Rubber, which will be following up on surveys conducted last June by rubber processing subsidiary, Y.T Rubber Co., on natural rubber plantations in Surat Thani, Thailand.
The subsidiary has so far interviewed 70 natural rubber farmers and aims to survey 500 farmers by the end of 2021. The results will be used by the company to analyze the issues faced by natural rubber plantations, in turn enabling the brand to better contribute toward sustainable natural rubber operations and improve the product’s traceability. Alongside this, the brand has been conducting joint research with universities in Thailand into natural rubber since 2013.
Problems typically associated with natural rubber production include unlawful deforestation, land exploitation, human rights violations and adverse effects on biodiversity in the areas where natural rubber is produced.
The brand is currently involved in the Sustainable Natural Rubber Initiative (SNR-i) and is also a founding member of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) which launched in October 2018.