Tokyo — The Yokohama Rubber Co. (YRC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Rubber Authority of Thailand (ROAT) to advance its natural rubber (NR) sustainability efforts.
The move will aim to provide economic support for Thai farmers and to improve traceability for supply chain transparency, Yokohama said in a 16 March statement.
The agreement is part of the company’s policy to procure sustainable natural rubber and is in line with an ongoing survey conducted by Yokohama’s local NR processing subsidiary, YT Rubber Co. (YTRC).
As part of this, the subsidiary has interviewed 70 farmers in Surat Thani and plans to continue the study with the goal of surveying 500 farmers by the end of 2021.
The results will help Yokohama analyse the issues facing NR plantations and to better contribute to sustainable NR operations, the Japanese tire & rubber company said.
According to Yokohama, a recent increase in demand for natural rubber has led to growing concerns over a number problems such as unlawful deforestation, land exploitation and human rights violations in NR producing countries.
To address the issue, Yokohama said it was participating in the Sustainable Natural Rubber Initiative (SNR-i), advocated by the International Rubber Study Group.
The company also is active as a founding member of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) launched in October 2018.