Thai rubber industry has 2 years to meet international standards
Rubber produced in Thailand may be rejected by foreign buyers if plantations do not meet international management standards in the next two years.
Nakorn Takwiraphat, governor of the Rubber Authority of Thailand (RAOT), said on Tuesday that French tyre manufacturer Michelin raised this issue recently with Agriculture Minister Chalermchai Sreeon.
“There is a risk that many international companies like Michelin and Swedish-Dutch furniture conglomerate Ikea, will not buy our rubber if the plantations do not meet international standards in two years,” Nakorn said.
He added that Michelin’s warning came after the United Nations and the international rubber industry decided that all plantations should follow sustainable principles and be transparent in their management.
Exporters failing to meet these standards will face the risk of their products being rejected, he added.
"Hence, RAOT will urge rubber farmers to make changes so they can command high prices in the international market," he said.
International standards in the rubber industry include certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), he added.
"Rubber farmers who meet these standards will be able to sell their products at prices up to 40% more than normal,” he said.
Some 100,000 rai (16,000 hectares) of about 20 million rai of rubber plantations in Thailand have already met FSC standards.
He added that RAOT has summoned rubber farmers, institutions and exporters to discuss global demands and new regulations.
He added that RAOT aims to ensure at least 50% of Thai rubber plantations meet FSC standards to ensure the country can meet international demands.