The rubber tree, originated from the Amazon River basin in South America, is called “tree of tears” by local Indians. In Thailand, the rubber tree becomes a “gift” to the government and people, and the rubber industry has been hailed as “golden agriculture.”
In 1991, Thailand surpassed Malaysia to become the largest natural rubber producer in the world. Today, thanks to the full support and encouragement of Thai government, Thailand continues to be the dominator in rubber production. Rubber wood is a by-product of the rubber plantation industry with up to 16 million metric tons produced annually.
Since the 1930s, the Thai government has been levying a cess on rubber exports and implemented a permit system for the establishment of new rubber plantations. The funds derived from this cess are used to support rubber planters at the time of replanting. This support known as the Rubber Replanting Aid Fund covers the entire cost of replanting by smallholders and has been a decisive factor in the development of the rubber industry in Thailand.
In 1960 the Thai government established the Office of Rubber Replanting Aid Fund (ORRAF, now incorporated into the Rubber Authority of Thailand) under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture primarily to support rubber planters at the time of replanting. The entire cost of replanting by smallholders is met by the fund and a range of services is provided including technical training for rubber planters, rubber quality testing, and guaranteed procurement price. A series of relevant policies propelled the rapid development of the rubber industry in Thailand.
Rubber plantations have been a major economic crop in Thailand for the production of latex. At the end of its economic life of 25 years when latex yield falls off, the rubber trees are felled, providing a valuable resource of wood for downstream industries. Green River is positioned at the heart of the rubber plantations in southern Thailand and utilizes this valuable source of raw material for the production of solid wood and particleboard.
According to the data of Thai Rubber Association, around 3.2 million hectares of land in Thailand were planted under rubber in 2018, and more than 60% of this area was in southern Thailand. Green River, locating at the heart of this resource-rich area of southern Thailand, enjoys endless resources, and every board is made of fresh wood.
SETN, a Taiwanese professional news channel, came all the way to southern Thailand to witness how Green River leveraged its advantages of raw materials by transforming rubber wood into high-value solid wood and particleboard.