The Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) will work to have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifications for all of its rubber forests as part of the sustainable development programme for 2019-2024 tenure.
Under the programme, which was announced in Ho Chi Minh City on May 29, the group will enhance corporate responsibility, promote economic efficiency, and ensure benefits for relevant parties.
The VRG also plans to zone off 5,000 ha of forest land in its rubber project area for regeneration, boost cooperation with Swedish furniture retail giant IKEA to provide sustainable rubber and timber products, and encourage its members to apply clean production and sustainable management measures to further develop the VRG brand.
In the last seven months of 2019, the group will update its regulations on social and environmental responsibility and recruitment policies, and approach the FSC standards.
According to VRG Chairman Tran Ngoc Thuan, the sustainable development programme is a must in the context of global integration as most of the importers require products to have clear origins and FSC certification, which ensures products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social, and economic benefits.
Standing Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Cong Tuan spoke highly of the VRG’s action plan, saying that besides ensuring quality, competitive prices, and prestigious business, rubber companies must be liable for the community and the environment.
Tuan said that the VRG should further its work to achieve FSC certification in the next one to two years, as well as fully realise local and global sustainable forest standards.
The same day, the VRG inked a cooperation deal with several agencies under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Oxfam, and PanNature.
The VRG is now managing more than 400,000 ha of rubber plantation across the country, as well as in Laos and Cambodia.