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Continental Tire uses blockchain to assure sustainable rubber sourcing
Continental Tire Japan will use the Project Tree blockchain initiative to ensure it uses responsibly sourced natural rubber for its s AllSeasonContact tires.
Project Tree is a collaboration between ITOCHU, a Japanese conglomerate with a rubber processing plant in Sumatra, Indonesia, and Kwik Fit, a major tire fitter and car maintenance network in the United Kingdom.
Project Tree tires sell at a premium with the proceeds returned to farm smallholders through farm tools, fertilizer, and training.
During the procurement process, the Indonesian rubber company uses blockchain to record where the rubber was sourced to track which tires use Project Tree rubber and trace it from raw material to retail sale.
Thailand and Indonesia produce nearly 60 percent of the world's rubber. According to Continental, 70 percent of the world's natural rubber is used for tire production, with plantation agriculture accounting for 85 percent of rubber sources.
Kwik Fit began with a four-month trial of Pirelli tires before expanding to Continental and South Korean tire manufacturer Hankook.
Customers were informed of a small price increase for the Project Tree initiative, and sales exceeded Kwik Fit's expectations. This year, it now expects to sell 150,000 Project Tree tires.