A journey that begins at the rubber tree and ends with the production of a tyre, passing through a description of the farmers’ lives and their cultivation techniques, fundamental phases of natural rubber’s production and supply cycle. Aiming to build awareness of this precious primary material, contribute to the preservation of forests and biodiversity, and support the development of the community and local economy, Pirelli has launched “Being Fast Takes Time” the digital platform you can access at https://naturalrubber.pirelli.com/en-ww/. There you will find a feature length report by the photographer and writer Alessandro Scotti carried out between Indonesia and Thailand, two of the major producers of latex extracted from rubber trees.
The project seeks to help appreciate the precious equilibriums of nature and follows the path Pirelli embarked on in 2017 with its Sustainable Natural Rubber Policy, born of the ongoing multi-stakeholder dialogue conducted by the company to govern the sustainable and responsible supply of natural rubber along the whole value chain.
“Being Fast Takes Time” documents meticulous and slow process through which latex is extracted (taking three hours to fill half a coconut shell) and the long wait for its solidification, in harmony and respect of nature’s times and rhythms, through to the final product, the tyre, a key element r of the fast world of competitive motorsports. These two distant but connected realities recounted to illustrate the phases that separate the work and rhythms of the farmers from those of the technological world, fast and complex, and industrial production.
The platform consists of seven sections: the project, the journey, natural rubber, the community, nature and fauna, our commitment, from white to black. It is the story – told through 30 black and white images, videos and other elements, including a logbook kept by Alessandro Scotti – of his journey through Indonesia, the island of Java, Sumatra and the plantations in the province of Chonburi in Thailand. The reportage documents the role of women, the life of the farmers, whose sustenance depends on these precious trees, the complex “tapping” technique, the incisions made to extract the latex, the wildness of nature, where people live alongside elephants, orangutans and crocodiles. Far from our own, it is a world punctuated by the sounds of nature, with a harmonious and balanced ecosystem that must be protected. It Takes Time to Go Fast helps us to understand how fragile and precious this natural balance is and the importance of sustainable management of the natural rubber supply chain, in Pirelli’s case governed by its Sustainable Natural Rubber Policy. A long process, as said, ‘from white to black’, from the white of latex to the black of the tyre.
Pirelli, which does not have its own rubber plantations, launched its Sustainable Natural Rubber Policy in 2017, subsequently enhancing it with an implementation manual. Developed through consultations with international NGOs, Pirelli’s main natural rubber suppliers and all stakeholders, the policy’s aim is to promote and develop a sustainable and responsible natural rubber supply chain involving farmers, traders, processors, sellers and producers. It aims to protect the rights of workers and indigenous populations, and includes “no deforestation” to preserve environmental capital, biodiversity, and to permit the responsible and long-term development of the local communities and economies. In addition, Pirelli has a strict requirement for suppliers to avoid using fires to clear spaces to prepare new plantations, not to grow in peat bogs and to adhere strictly to the internationally recognized High Conservation Value (HCV) and High Carbon Stock (HCS) guidelines for the conservation of the ecosystem. At the centre of the Sustainable Natural Rubber Policy are health, safety and the well-being of all the people involved in the entire natural rubber supply chain and aims to avoid any type of discrimination and support the development of local communities and economies.