Yokohama Rubber cooperates with Thai gov’t to support natural rubber farmers

17, Mar. 2020

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BANGKOK, NNA – Major Japanese tire maker Yokohama Rubber Co. is cooperating with the Thai government in sustainable natural rubber procurement, aiming to enhance the traceability of a core tire material in the world’s largest rubber-producing nation.

The company said in a statement on Monday it signed a memorandum of understanding on Jan. 21 with the Rubber Authority of Thailand under the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives.

Last June, Y.T. Rubber Co., a local natural rubber processing arm of the Japanese tire maker, began conducting research on 70 natural rubber farmers in the southern province of Surat Thani to gain an understanding of their problems in natural rubber plantations, the statement said.

Thailand is the top global natural rubber producer, along with Indonesia, with the two nations making up 59 percent of the total output in 2019, according to the International Rubber Study Group.

Yokohama Rubber plans to survey up to 500 Thai farmers by the end of 2021 as part of its effort to respond to growing concerns over unlawful deforestation, land exploitation, human rights abuses and adverse effects on biodiversity, according to the statement.

Yokohama Rubber is participating in the Sustainable Natural Rubber Initiative advocated by the International Rubber Study Group. The firm is a founding member of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber, which was launched in October 2018, the statement said.

MOU signing ceremony at the Rubber Authority of Thailand (Photo courtesy of Yokohama Rubber)
MOU signing ceremony at the Rubber Authority of Thailand (Photo courtesy of Yokohama Rubber)