The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. together with Rubber Authority of Thailand (RAOT) Surat Thani*, recently held a seminar event to help Thai natural rubber farmers improve the quality and productivity of their natural rubber. Fifty farmers from the Surat Thani area participated in the event and each received a complimentary 500kg of fertilizer developed using RAOT’s specialist knowledge. The fertilizer contribution was warmly received and greatly appreciated by all participants.
In January 2020, Yokohama Rubber signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the RAOT to cooperate in efforts to provide economic support and improve traceability to ensure transparency and soundness of the natural rubber supply chain. The MOU is a concrete action based on Yokohama Rubber’s “Procurement Policy for Sustainable Natural Rubber.” The seminar event is the latest action to support natural rubber farmers under the MOU. Another action under the MOU is a program of onsite surveys that seeks to analyse the issues faced by natural rubber farmers in Surat Thani area, home to Yokohama Rubber’s Thai natural rubber processing company Y.T. Rubber Co., Ltd. (YTRC). The survey continues an effort started by Yokohama Rubber and YTRC back in June 2019, and it is hoped that the farmers who received fertilizer at this event will cooperate in follow-up surveys on its effect on the physical properties and productivity of natural rubber.
In addition to being a founding member of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR), the Yokohama Rubber Group is actively promoting various initiatives under its own “Procurement Policy for Sustainable Natural Rubber” in collaboration with stakeholders, including those in the supply chain. The Group is also endeavoring to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations. As part of these efforts, the Group is promoting the procurement of sustainable raw materials, including natural rubber, by holding meetings to exchange information with natural rubber suppliers. In Thailand, where YTRC operates a natural rubber processing plant, the Yokohama Rubber Group has been conducting joint research with local universities aimed at improving the quality and productivity of natural rubber, while also promoting the widespread use of agroforestry to enable natural rubber farmers to secure more stable income.
* A state enterprise under the jurisdiction of Thailand’s Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MOAC).