Kuala Lumpur – The upcoming annual meeting of the Association of Natural Rubber Producing Countries (ANRPC) is set to discuss sustainability and its costs for natural rubber (NR) smallholders.
To be held 7 October in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, the event will investigate the “limitations” of the sector in adopting the sustainability norms mainly initiated by the tire industry, said ANRPC in a statement 16 July.
The additional costs to adopt the prescribed practices and maintain standards, and "the abnormally high" fee for the certification, make it difficult for smallholders "to be on board" the sustainability drive, said the association.
Stating that around 90% of NR world supply is produced by smallholders, the ANRPC stressed the importance of including smallholders in the sustainable development of the value-chain.
The inclusiveness, added ANRPC, can be possible only if the prescribed standards as well as the certification system are “adaptable” to the smallholders.
The conference in October, themed “adaptive and inclusive path to sustainable value chain”, will attempt to identify the standards and norms which are suitable for the smallholdings while acceptable to other segments of the industry’s value-chain.