IT TAKES PIONEERS TO CHANGE THE GAME. GROWING RUBBER IN A HOLISTIC WAY.
Where does the rubber in our condoms come from?
It comes directly from Southern Thailand where a group of pioneer farmers are growing rubber in a regenerative way - in agroforestry systems by supporting biodiversity and using natural resources responsibly without agrochemicals and middlemen involved.
OUR SUPPLY CHAIN
Before you can hold a condom in your hand (or on your penis) - it's travelled a long way. Together with our partners in Thailand and Malaysia, we have set up a fully transparent value chain working together on establishing an agroforestry rubber criteria, learning from and with each other and developing a fair pricing system.
WHO MAKES IT POSSIBLE?
Farmers are the heart and soul of the agroforestry supply chain
Around 35 farmers are growing rubber in agroforestry systems instead of monocultures. Their principle: Give something back to nature and care for future generations. They have organized themselves into a collective. Everyone works their own farm, but they all strive for a common purpose: To grow sustainable latex and to be part of a fair, transparent rubber supply chain.
They exchange seedlings, best practices, and their knowledge with each other. The farmers strive to preserve their ecosystems and recognize the value of biodiversity. Together, they set the criteria for sustainable rubber with a Participatory Guarantee System (PGS) with the help of two consultants Pakamrt Tongkam and Michael B. Commons. Some criterias are e.g. how many and what kind of other plants have to be intercropped.
Pakamart Tongkam, local consultant
between the different stakeholders
in Southern Thailand about PGS:
“The farmers’ agree amongst themselves on how they want their agroforestry farms have to be. Most of the criteria are organic style.”
THE FARMERS ARE ORGANIZING THEMSELVES INTO 3 GROUPS
The farmers’ most important criteria is to grow rubber trees regeneratively within forest gardens and to use careful doses of fertilizers when necessary. They have organized themselves to make sure they all meet their common goals:
One group is responsible for visiting the different farms and checking that the PGS criteria are being met.
Another group oversees the three latex collection points - thus no more middlemen are involved. They manage the quality and together with the latex processor ensure that the farmers receive their payment and premium price for the latex.
The third group collects data on the plant and animal species found on the agroforestry rubber plantations.
THE DRIVING FORCE: PHATTHALUNG PARATEX AND ITS MARKETING MANAGER AND DIRECTOR MS. SUDTHIDA THANTANON
A latex processing plant collecting the latex from the farmers. They make sure that there is no latex from monoculture in the mix. At the processing factory the latex is centrifuged, thus dirt and extra water is removed and the latex is preserved.
“Agroforestry fits us and helps nature. It also means supporting each other. That's why I am really interested in this project.”
THE SCIENTIFIC BACKBONE: DR. SARA BUMRUNGSRI
A natural scientist at Prince of Songkla University observing the ecosystems in the agroforestry garden, giving advice, and collecting data.
“The challenge is making all of the trees grow together in a healthy, productive way. You have to know where to grow and when to plant and harvest. This is all based on information and knowledge.”
THE MAKER AND SHAPER: RICHTER RUBBER
Klaus Richter (in the middle) is the founder of RRT in Malaysia where he set up the condom manufacturing more than 25 years ago. Together with his his business partner Jorge (left) and managing director Fabian (right) RRT is cooperating closely with Phatthalung Paratex and using their sustainable latex to produce the condoms we sell.
OUR JOB AS CONDOM MERCHANTS WITHIN THE SUPPLY CHAIN
It all started with einhorn products - a condom Start-Up in Germany which wanted to produce sustainable condoms and found a partner in crime with Richter Rubber Technology (rrt). From the very beginning einhorn reinvested 50% of profits into fairstainability. Thus, setting up the transparent and traceable value chain as a proof of concept which is now expanded to other condom brands. Today, rrt is manufacturing condoms with sustainable rubber not only for einhorn, but increasing the actual sustainability impact, also for other brands like releaf, XO!, onsize and Primeros. Making it possible to pay fair prices and providing purchase guarantees to the farmers. Explore here how it all began.
WHAT'S HAPPENING AT THE MOMENT? WHAT ARE WE WORKING TOWARDS?
The infrastructure, processes and structures of this project are still under construction. We are currently working on different aspects, we want to improve: