From certification outcomes to certification processes: Demand, supply and adoption of eco‑certification along the natural rubber supply chain

In recent years, issues associated
with rubber production have gained visibility and a number of industry
stakeholders across a range of rubber submarkets have started to adopt forms of
eco-certification and labeling in response to a growing market for certified
rubber products. While encouraging, the disparate nature of rubber
certification efforts across an already highly fragmented industry makes it
difficult to determine the alignment between claims to address environmental
and social concerns and actual performance. This thesis contrasts the
environmental and social impacts of natural rubber production with the range of
emerging natural rubber certification efforts to assess the alignment between
certification needs and certification outcomes. In addition, this thesis seeks
to understand the processes that give rise to particular forms of
eco-certification that may or may not serve to address actual issues associated
with current production practices. By examining the nature and contexts of the
relationships between certification stakeholders along the rubber commodity
chain, this paper illuminates the ecological and social processes that have
given rise to the demand, supply and adoption of natural rubber
eco-certification as a particular form of private environmental regulation.