Singapore - The Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) second annual general assembly has voted for further the inclusion of smallholders in the natural rubber value-chain platform.
In a virtual event held 23 Sept, members approved the creation of a new standalone category for smallholders to enable them to play an equal role in GPSNR’s decision making process, the Singapore-based organisation announced.
The approval will see the addition of three seats on the executive committee of the platform, comprising elected representatives from 28 smallholder members who joined GPSNR earlier this year.
The platform has four other membership categories: producers, processors, and traders; tire manufacturers and other NR makers/buyers; car manufacturers, other downstream users and financial institutions; as well as civil society.
Introducing a “shared responsibility working group”, the platform is also aiming to identify how the responsibilities and costs of implementation can be equitably distributed across all stakeholder categories.
The working group, said GPSNR, will take into account that smallholders, contributing 85% of global NR supply, should not carry the burden of a higher cost to implement sustainability activities.
“Smallholders are a crucial link in the natural rubber value chain, and they have a key role to play in driving awareness on-the-ground and setting the global agenda for sustainable natural rubber” said platform director Stefano Savi.
In addition to the vote on smallholder inclusion, a new policy framework was approved during the online event.
The policy framework is intended to help GPSNR member companies, who account for almost 50% of global NR volume, to establish or update supply chain sustainability commitments through their NR purchasing policies.
It sets out eight overarching themes that include commitments to legal compliance, community livelihoods, healthy, functioning ecosystems (including no deforestation), and respecting all human rights, according to GPSNR.
“In just under two years, GPSNR members developed and approved concrete policy commitments for companies to integrate into their sustainable natural rubber policies,” said Savi.
GPSNR members, he said, have shown their commitment to “achieving a fair, equitable and environmentally sound future.”