The German Rubber Manufacturers Association sets an example for fair trade in global natural rubber supply chains
The German Rubber Manufactures Association (wdk) has been campaigning for responsible procurement of raw materials and services in the industry for many years. Now the industry association has set another example of its commitment to fair trade in global natural rubber supply chains. On 1 September 2023, the wdk joined the Fair Rubber e.V. initiative as a supporting member.
Boris Engelhardt. Source: wdk
"As a trade association, we represent the interests and aims of the German rubber industry. Together with our member companies, we look at the entire value chain from raw material to recycling in order to make a positive contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Joining Fair Rubber fits in with our association's commitment to fairness and transparency in the natural rubber trade business," explains wdk Managing Director Boris Engelhardt.
Natural rubber covers about one third of the annual demand for rubber in Germany.
Dr Veronika Beer. Source: wdk
At the beginning of the supply chain for this forestry product are mostly small-scale producers in developing and emerging countries, followed by complex intermediary structures at the global level.
Dr Veronika Beer, Head of Sustainable Development at wdk, says: "There is no simple single solution to improve the living conditions of the people at the beginning of this value chain. Fair Rubber takes an approach that takes into account the diversity of people's needs in rubber cultivation and enables companies to directly support small and micro enterprises producing natural rubber. This is a commitment that we believe is worthy of support."
Stefan Hörmann. Source: Fair Rubber
Stefan Hörmann, Chief Operations Officer of the Fair Rubber Association, welcomes wdk's membership: "Since 2012, Fair Rubber e.V. has been working to improve working and environmental conditions in the cultivation of natural rubber. Companies and representatives of civil society are involved in our multi-stakeholder initiative to expand fair trade in rubber. We are delighted to welcome the first industry association, wdk, as a supporting member. We will work together to achieve global sustainability goals in the rubber industry."
The aim of Fair Rubber is to help improve the working and living conditions of primary rubber producers by applying the principles of Fair Trade and to support the environmentally friendly production of natural rubber. The most important instrument for this is the awarding of a seal of quality for such products that meet the criteria of fair trade in natural rubber, the Fair Rubber logo.