Tokyo – Japanese trading company Itochu Corp. has launched a proof of concept (PoC) with the aim of developing a block-chain traceability system for natural rubber.
The move will ensure stable procurement and supply of raw material for Itochu’s partners and improve traceability of distribution, said the company 1 Feb.
The PoC will be rolled out for the natural rubber supply chain of Indonesia headquartered Pt. Aneka Bumi Pratama (ABP), an Itochu-owned NR processing company.
The scheme aims to use a smartphone app that allows buyers and sellers to conduct mutual authentication and to record transaction details in the blockchain.
Such data include date, time and location, according to the Japanese trading firm.
In addition, Itochu is planning to provide an “incentive system” to encourage suppliers to provide accurate data-recording.
Itochu expects the process to improve the transparency of the natural rubber supply chain – from production to processing.
The blockchain development will also target sustainability issues surrounding the production natural rubber.
“It is critical to assure that our business activities demonstrate a strong respect for the environment and human rights,” the company stressed.
Issues such as deforestation and local residents’ rights have been cited by the Japanese company as points of concern.
Itochu is a founding member of the recently-formed Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR).
GPSNR has been set up by NR stakeholders, including many major tire makers, to achieve higher sustainability through supply-chain collaboration.