Active rubber plantation in Southern Thailand

This step is the first of a long series as the company works to substantially increase the certification of its supply chain for latex and rubber.

It all started when Weber & Schaer took the decision to develop their commitment to sustainability in Autumn 2018. For them, FSC certification was the logical way to get one step further into their sustainable strategy. It represented the most reliable certification scheme as it is accepted worldwide, and as the annual monitoring and audits it requires are transparent and therefore prove the commitment of Weber & Schaer to sustainability is real. Shortly after, the company took the first steps towards their certification and finally obtained it last July.

Weber & Schaer, a family-owned company, was founded in 1844. The trading house provides natural rubber and latex to their customers for a whole series of products: medical gloves, shoes soles or even matrasses and conveyor belts. They also supply natural rubber to the automobile industry for different parts of cars – including tyres. Natural rubber belongs to the non-timber forest products that FSC certifies, together with nuts, maple syrup or fibres – such as bamboo or rattans.

Young, still not tapped rubber trees in a plantation planned for FSC FM certification

Weber & Schaer is now supporting its Thai business partner, Phattalung Paratex, to get their own plantations and manufacturing plant certified as well. The aim is to eventually have their whole supply chain for latex and rubber FSC certified. Three plantations of Phattalung Paratex are currently going through their first audit while the factory should be audited soon.

The trading house hopes this first certificate will enable them to offer a small monthly quantity of sustainable latex as a start. Then, they want to help Thai smallholders obtain FSC group certification to expand their supplies. To do so, Weber & Schaer is currently organizing workshops in the Thai language for the participating farmers, in cooperation with their certification body, GFA Certification GmbH. They hope to keep increasing the number of smallholders involved in that project as time goes by.

“We at W&S are convinced that a significantly more sustainable treatment of the nature accompanied by improved living standards in the agro-industry are evident for our common future. With the support of the FSC-Standards we work to advance today’s conditions in the Natural Rubber Production considerably. The awareness of the FSC-Label will help us a lot to get Sustainable Rubber marketed,” declared Weber & Schaer Managing Director, Mr. René Marc Weber.