Sustainable rubber: full traceability – from the tree to the tyre

Development partnership with Continental supports sustainable rubber cultivation in Indonesia thanks to a digital tracing system and improved cultivation methods.

Development partners Continental and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH have created the first fully traceable global rubber supply chain, from cultivation in Indonesia and further processing through to tyre production in Germany. 

The project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as part of a development partnership in the develoPPP.de programme, can document all the steps in the supply chain by a digital tracing system. This facilitates sustainable rubber cultivation, protects the forest and improves incomes for the local population. The 450 smallholders who have so far joined the project receive ten to fifteen per cent more money, on average, for the sustainable natural rubber they produce.

Training and the digital system assure quality and safeguard incomes

The technology company Continental and GIZ have been cooperating since 2018 in the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan on Borneo. GIZ is training local farmers on how to farm sustainably so that they can keep earning a living and also protect the forest in the long term. The improvements in cultivation produce better-quality natural rubber and farmers receive higher prices. 

In addition to the training courses, an innovative tracing system assures the quality of production. Using the app, production areas mapped by GPS, deliveries of raw rubber and selling prices obtained can be documented and visualised in the system straight away upon delivery to the warehouse. The comparison with the usual selling prices on the market provides concrete information on increases in income. Furthermore, the system monitors whether the quantities of raw rubber delivered are plausible in relation to the production area. If the quantity delivered exceeds the expected production volumes, the system flags this up and employees follow it up locally. This prevents rubber from areas that are not registered, such as regions where the forest has been cleared illegally, from accessing the supply chain.

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