Singapore — Natural rubber company Halcyon Agri Corp. Ltd has launched an initiative to drive industry and consumer change for "an equitable, sustainable natural rubber industry."
Called Bounce the scheme is a call-to-action for suppliers, manufacturers and stakeholders to develop and adopt a set of sustainability standards for natural rubber production, Halcyon Agri said 16 Dec.
Another goal is to increase consumer awareness of how natural rubber is made, and to encourage them to demand a sustainable option when purchasing rubber goods.
According to Halcyon, the NR industry is beset by "an outdated pricing system, severe pay inequality and under-invested, uneducated farming practices" which leave smallholders facing financial ruin."
These practices caused severe deforestation when NR prices rose excessively a few years ago, the company press release continued.
Bounce proposes to address these issues through six key industry changes anchored by a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), the company said.
These changes are:
• Paying farmers at least the domestic minimum wage in their countries.
• Factoring production costs into the price of NR.
• Investing in innovation and digitization.
• Supporting a transparent and sustainable supply chain.
• Giving farmers incentives to fight climate change.
• Encouraging sustainable farming practices.
"The end goal for Bounce is to be a hallmark for sustainable rubber produced in a fair and equitable manner to all supply chain participants," Halcyon Agri CEO Robert Meyer said.
The tool enables producers of NR-containing products to carry the Bounce trademark, which will in turn allow consumers to make "an educated choice."