Yokohama Rubber has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with PT Kirana Megatara Tbk, a major natural rubber supplier in Indonesia, to cooperate in efforts to provide economic support for Indonesian natural rubber farmers and to improve traceability to ensure transparency and soundness of the natural rubber supply chain, it adds.
In conjunction with the signing of the MOU, the two companies held a seminar event targeted at improving the quality and productivity of natural rubber in Indonesia. The event, attended by about 50 small-scale farmers affiliated with Kirana Megatara and local government officials, featured a tapping contest and a quiz on agricultural technology. The farmers attending the event received a complementary supply of fertiliser and natural rubber coagulants.
Demand for tyres and consequently natural rubber—the core raw material used in tyre production— has been expanding steadily as the world’s population grows and mobility technologies become more advanced. However, this growth in demand has raised concerns about a host of problems, including unlawful deforestation, land exploitation, human rights violations, and adverse effects on biodiversity, in countries and regions where natural rubber is produced.
To help resolve these problems, Yokohama Rubber has been participating since 2017 in the Sustainable Natural Rubber Initiative (SNR-i) advocated by Singapore-based International Rubber Study Group. In addition, the company has been an active founding member of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) since its launch in 2018 and has been strengthening its collaborations with GPSNR activities since revising its “Procurement Policy for Sustainable Natural Rubber” in 2021.
Yokohama Rubber previously signed a similar MOU with the Rubber Authority of Thailand (RAOT), and the two partners continue to work together to support natural rubber farmers in Thailand.