Economical enough to be disposable. Strong enough to be reusable. Durable enough to last. What do we really value and why?
Recently a friend introduced me to a project he's been working on and a product he is excited enough about to put his time and energy behind--a product that put these choices into sharp focus.
The product is made from Fairly Traded rubber. You’ve heard about Fair Trade coffee and chocolate. Let me share with you-- FAIR TRADE RUBBER!
History and the Current Reality
The history of rubber is another story of extraction and brutal exploitation of the natural resources and the people who work the land. Global market prices for natural rubber are volatile and have been falling for years.
Current prices do not allow small-scale rubber producers or rubber plantations to cover their costs of production, much less make a living. Small landowners are pushed into poverty and it is difficult for plantation holders to provide decent working conditions and pay for their workers.
Some plantations have been cutting down rubber trees, in favor of more profitable crops, like palm oil. This is bad news for the environment because rubber trees capture and store more carbon than most other tree crops, helping to slow climate change.
Paying a fair price for natural rubber combats these destructive forces and enables producers to focus on opportunities. There is an urgent need for more responsible sourcing and buying practices by the rubber industry-- and the Fair Rubber Association is part of the solution.
Enter Fair Trade Rubber
The Fair Rubber Association offers the rubber tappers, who cut the bark to get the raw material flowing, a fair trade premium. The producers decide how to utilize the Fair Trade premium—what their most crucial needs and priorities are. So far they have used the premiums to finance clean drinking water, electricity, schools, a training center, medical needs, housing and repairs, and a pension funds for retirement.
Let Me Introduce You…
Back to the product that started this whole discussion about natural rubber and fair prices—ANNOUNCING-- planting trays made of Fairly Traded natural rubber! Finally—the sustainable ALTERNATIVE TO PLASTIC planting trays!
Plastic trays are made from petroleum and are designed for the ‘cheap enough to be disposable’ culture. And they contribute to our plastic crisis.
These Fair Trade natural rubber plant trays are not only ‘strong enough to be reusable’ but they are ‘durable enough to last!’ We are honored to be working with Dr. Martin Kuntz and his Plastic Free Gardening project, the Fair Rubber Association and the Forest Stewardship Council to offer these trays to you, our customers!
Choose What Suits
Available in three convenient shapes to accommodate the diversity of things you grow! We give you the choice of the 30-Module seed tray, the 6-Module seed tray, and the innovative 2x4-Module RootCoachTMsystem.
Together we can shed our plastic addiction and join forces for ‘plastic-free gardening,’ while bettering the lives of producers of natural rubber in Sri Lanka, keeping rubber trees productive, and capturing and storing carbon. A win, win, win, win for all of us!