Sri Lanka rubber estate hopes for eco-friendly premium

July 28, 2010 (LBO) – A Sri Lankan rubber estate said it was expecting premium prices for a specialist rubber it was making after being certified for environmental growing and production standards. Horana Plantations, a unit of Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Theatres group, said its rubber and timber plantations had been certified for good forest management practices by the Forest Stewardship Council, an European organization helping guide ‘fair trade’ buyers.

The firm’s rubber estates have been awarded Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP) Certification by the FSC, the first for a Sri Lankan firm, it said.

“This certification has enabled the Company to obtain premium prices for the export of
crepe and sole crepe rubber under the Fair Deal Trading agreement.” Chief executive officer Rajiv Casie Chitty told shareholders in the annual report.

“This recognition has further encouraged HP-PLC (Horana Planations PLC) to continue our efforts to make plantation sustainable and eco-friendly.”

Sri Lanka’s is a niche producer of ‘crepe’ rubber which commands high prices in world markets.

The firm’s timber and forestry cultivation has also been certified by the FSC.

The certification