HANOVER, Germany—Continental A.G. is extending its digital tracing system to support the sustainable sourcing and supply of natural rubber in the Indonesian province of West Kalimantan in Borneo.
The initiative, launched by Conti and the German federal ministry for economic cooperation and development (BMZ) in 2018, aims to cover 4,000 NR smallholders by 2024, compared to the previous 450, Conti said April 30.
The project encompasses all stages from the cultivation of natural rubber and further processing to tire production, Conti added.
As part of the initiative, small farmers are trained to grow "high-quality raw materials in compliance with clearly defined sustainability criteria." The higher quality will then increase the smallholders' income.
The move is part of the group's goal to achieve 100-percent sustainable supply chains by 2050, said Claus Petschick, Conti's head of sustainability for tire business.
"The valuable experience we are gaining in this project allows us to progressively increase the transparency of our natural rubber supply chains," he said.
Education and digitalization will be important contributors. The digital tracing system allows the production and supply chain of the rubber to be evaluated in detail, the tire maker said.
Production areas are mapped by GPS and raw-rubber deliveries and sales prices achieved are recorded directly on delivery in the warehouse.
In addition, the system checks the raw rubber quantity delivered with regard to the production area, Continental said.
For the further processing of the raw rubber produced in the project, and in the implementation of the traceability, the project partners work in particular with the natural rubber suppliers Southland Global and Halcyon Agri Corp.