Halcyon Agri’s subsidiary Corrie MacColl has tied up with local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to strengthen sustainable rubber production at its Cameroon plantations, the rubber supply chain manager said in a filing to SGX Thursday.
After a long-running consultation, global environmental NGO Mighty Earth and Cameroonian national civil society, Community Forests Platform (PFC), which represents more than 50 local NGOs, will join the Cameroon Sustainability Council, the filing said.
The council was established last year as an independent body and it guides Halcyon Agri’s environmental and socio-economic development in Cameroon, the filing said.
The collaboration will emphasize local input to ensure indigenous and local communities have a voice in all council decisions, Halcyon Agri said.
The agreements are aimed at establishing dispute-resolution mechanisms, providing clear and accessible public information on operations and strengthening policies on conservation and workers’ rights, the statement said.
“We have made it our priority that the production of sustainable natural rubber includes, involves and is driven by those impacted most by it – local farmers, communities and tribes. This is a huge step toward doing that,” Robert Meyer, CEO of Halcyon Agri, said in the statement.
“92 percent of the world’s rubber comes from smallholder farmers across Asia and Africa. Ensuring that rubber production is not only sustainable, but that it positively benefits producers and their communities is critical to us – not just in Cameroon, but everywhere,” he added.
Etelle Higonnet, senior campaign director at Mighty Earth, said this marked a much-needed step to include Cameroonian civil society groups on the council, and could spur industry-wide transformation in the country’s rubber sector.
“Halcyon’s leadership in driving this is commendable, and we very much hope others will soon step up to the plate. It will be key for companies directly or indirectly buying rubber from Cameroon to follow Halcyon’s lead to embrace zero deforestation Cameroonian rubber produced with strong human rights commitments,” Higonnet said in the statement.