• Nna/kyodo


Japanese trading house Itochu Corp. will aim to promote sustainable trade in natural rubber under a capital tie-up with a Singaporean market platform operator.

Itochu acquired a 19 percent stake in HeveaConnect Pte. Ltd. for $2.2 million earlier this month through private share placement, Itochu spokesman Kenji Katsumoto said Wednesday.

HeveaConnect is a digital marketplace operation established by Singapore’s global natural rubber firm Halcyon Agri Corp. last August.

The online marketplace operator issues HeveaPro certifications — standards based on the screening of more than 1,200 items such as quality assurance, environment and health and safety, Itochu said in a recent statement.

HeveaConnect’s service is currently being operated on a trial basis and will be fully launched next month, Katsumoto added.

PT. Aneka Bumi Pratama, Itochu’s wholly-owned natural rubber processer in Indonesia, will obtain HeveaPro certification and join the platform, the statement said.

Itochu is a founding member of a global platform for sustainable natural rubber that was established last October to improve the socioeconomic and environmental impact of the natural rubber value chain.

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