Michelin moves to keep rubber in EU Deforestation Regulation

Sydney Jones

Press Secretary

[email protected]

Carole Mitchell

Sr. Director Communications

[email protected]

Michelin today became the first major company to publicly express support for the inclusion of natural rubber under the forthcoming European Union Deforestation Regulation, which is entering the crucial final week of negotiations.  

The draft Regulation, which will prohibit the sale of agricultural products linked to deforestation in the EU, does not currently include rubber amongst the list of commodities covered. However, the European Parliament is pushing for rubber to be included, whilst individual member states are divided on the issue; leading to a stalemate in the negotiations. 

Crucial to swaying country positions is the opinion of companies that buy and sell rubber products, particularly tire companies, which are by far the largest users of natural rubber. To date, the industry has been lukewarm, with trade association ETRMA (European Tire and Rubber Manufacturers Association) failing to offer a clear position either way. 

Today’s announcement by Michelin represents a breakthrough. In their statement, the company writes: 

“Michelin confirm that it supports the inclusion of natural rubber in the list of commodities affected by the regulation on imported deforestation, provided that the traceability’s requirements are adapted to the natural rubber supply chain, which is particularly complex and fragmented”. 

The company prefers a district-level approach to traceability, rather than individual farm plot level. 

Responding to the statement, Mighty Earth Senior Director, Dr Julian Oram, commented: 

“Michelin has shown much-needed leadership by calling for the inclusion of natural rubber within the EU Deforestation Regulation. Other European tire companies like #Pirelli and #Contintental need to do the same and tell EU policymakers that the industry is ready to make legal commitments on zero-deforestation natural rubber supply chains.” 

The final Trialogue discussions between EU member states, the Parliament, and the European Commission are due to take place on Monday December 5, 2022. 

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