SINGAPORE — Natural rubber giant Halcyon Agri Corp. Ltd. has launched Bounce, which it said is a movement to drive industry and consumer change for an equitable, sustainable natural rubber industry.
"Bounce 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 in a Dec. 16 news release.
"The movement also aims to increase consumer awareness of how natural rubber is made, and to encourage them to demand a sustainable option when purchasing rubber goods," the company said.
The natural rubber industry is beset by an outdated pricing system, severe pay inequality and underinvested, uneducated farming practices which leaves smallholders facing financial ruin, according to Halcyon Agri.
These practices caused severe deforestation when NR prices rose excessively a few years ago, it said.
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. "This will allow the producers of products that contain natural rubber to carry the Bounce trademark all the way through to the final consumer, who can, in turn, make an educated choice.
"Change needs to happen now — before the supply side is damaged irreparably," he said.
As a first step, Halcyon Agri is calling for stakeholders to make pledges of support for Bounce. They can make that pledge at demandsustainablerubber.org.