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"INDIAN NATURAL RUBBER" branded rubber from India

India’s stands fourth place in the production of natural rubber and second place in world consumption. Even though the total consumption in the country exceeds production, India manages to export natural rubber as and when there is a price gap between international market and the domestic market. This is been promoted with an objective of stabilizing domestic market prices in comparison with international market. Erstwhile, the marketing of natural rubber (NR) was undertaken as an unbranded product. The underlying reason behind this was the scope of differentiation of natural rubber from India with the competitors market offerings were limited. Branding was never the issue for thought. With the advent of globalisation and its influence in the international business environment, the scope of exports of rubber from the country has increased tremendously. So the country has to necessarily reframe its strategies to penetrate in the export market and make a space of its own. This necessitates not only improvement in quality, but also other accompaniments like competitive pricing, aggressive marketing policies and adherence to delivery commitments.

The erstwhile performance of NR in the international market has acclaimed a commendable position and has been recognised for its high quality by many importing countries. Retaining our credentials as suppliers of quality rubber in accordance with the international specifications is essential to retain and widen the market. The Board has meticulously framed schemes suited to the diverse needs of the rubber plantation and industry, right from the supply of planting materials to group processing activities and export promotion with an objective of producing quality NR in the country.

Even though India’s presence in the international market is negligible, it is highly essential to differentiate our product quality to retain the market share. An important step in this direction is done by branding of natural rubber for export. Branding is essential to create an identity for rubber and to distinguish Indian natural rubber in the world market. Further it is an endorsement by the Board on the quality of the product marketed under the brand. Thus the Board took the initiative of branding rubber and christened “INDIAN NATURAL RUBBER” as an umbrella brand for rubber produced and marketed as per specifications defined. This would help to increase the marketability of natural rubber from the country and position it as a world class product at par with International competitor’s offerings. In order to mark the branded product, a new logo for natural rubber has been unveiled. The logo symbolizes a seal of trust for Indian NR with a quality assurance from the Board.

The INR logo : The usage of INR logo exporters is purely voluntary . The users are bound to conform the compliance criteria as defined by the Board to ensure quality of NR marketed. The compliance criteria is defined on grading, packing and labeling of the product to be branded. The quality specifications for the branded products are as per Green Book/ IS specifications . NR processors and exporters who have a genuine commitment on quality will be allowed to register with the Board for use of INR logo on their products for export.

Exporters of Ribbed Smoked Sheet (RSS) shall grade, pack natural rubber for export in conformation with the specifications laid down in International Green Book standards. For CENEX (Centrifuged latex – 60% dry rubber content) and ISNR grade block rubber, the produce proposed for use of INR logo should be qualified as per BIS standards. A fool proof system of quality assurance should be employed at all stages of processing – from raw material selection to final shipping. The users of INR logo are also expected to fulfill predefined packaging specifications and possess necessary competence in ensuring consistency and reliability. Stratified random sampling technique will be employed by the Board in drawing 10% sample for quality testing. Testing of the samples will be done at the Central Laboratory of the Rubber Board and based on the results brand certificate will be awarded. Thus the Rubber Board ensures quality of the product certified with INR logo and the brand certificate will indeed eases the concern on the product attributes at the point of purchase itself. This enhances confidence on the sourced from India , which will in turn pave the way for international acceptance of Indian NR and creates a special “Indian brand image.”

Branding process : All NR exporters who are having valid Registration Cum Membership Certificate to export rubber from India can register with the Board for using the brand “Indian Natural Rubber” . The exporter shall pay a registration fee of Rs. 1000/- (one time) for using Indian Natural Rubber Logo on their products viz., RSS, ISNR and latex grades. Apart from this exporter will have to execute an MoU with the Board on the terms of logo usage. This will cover all the technical aspects, an export shall have to bear while using the brand. Besides this Board will levy a logo usage fee for each kilogram of natural rubber exported using logo.

The exporter has to inform Deputy Director Marketing, Market Promotion Department , Rubber Board Kottayam by fax (0481 2353790 or email to ddmarketing@rubberboard.org.in or exportpromotion@rubberboard.org.in on the export order and remit logo usage charges @ Rs. 0.10/kg as demand draft drawn in favour of Rubber Board payable at Kottayam and collect logo stickers form the Market Promotion Department of the Board. The logo user (exporter) has to grade, sort and pack the rubber as per Green Book/BIS specifications and seal individual bale/bundle/barrel/flexi tank with logo sticker and to inform “Export Ready status “ for inspection. Rubber Board will arrange inspection and draw samples for quality testing. To ensure quality of branded natural rubber grades for export, Board introduced a fool proof sampling and inspection process. This will bring confidence among the buyers about the quality of the product contracted from India At least 10% of the export ready rubber will be inspected by the Board’s technical officer. For RSS grads visual observation of the drawn sample will be done by the technical officer .The sample taken from the ISNR and concentrated latex will be tested in the Board’s laboratory and based on the results the rubber will be branded for export.

Packing : Packing specifications of RSS grades are in 50 or 111.1 kg bales, block rubber in 25 or 50 kg bales, Concentrated latex forms in 194 kg barrels or flexi tanks or as agreed to between purchaser and supplier.

    Packing material specifications defined for different grades of rubber are
  • RSS 1x, 1, 2,3,4,5 may be packed in LDP cover and RSS 3,4,5 may be wrapped with sheet rubber of equal or higher quality and painted with one coat of official bale coating solution as specifies in IS 15361 : 2003.
  • ISNR 3CV in LDP cover with light green colour code.
  • ISNR 3L in LDP cover with white colour code
  • ISNR 5 in LDP cover with green colour code
  • ISNR 10 in LDP cover with brown colour code
  • ISNR 20 in LDP cover with red colour code
  • ISNR 50 in LDP cover with light green colour code ( colour code as defined in IS 4588 : 1986)
  • Cenex in MS barrels with inside paint coated with ammonia resistant bitumen paint or in flexi tanks.

Promotional assistance to INR logo users : Export of branded rubber from India is promoted with a view to uphold the quality attributes and there by position India as a potential destination for quality rubber. The exporters are provided with promotional and financial assistance to achieve this objective. Branded rubber exporters are permitted to participate in international trade fairs along with the Board to promote the brand in those markets. Assistance for participation and travel grand will be provided to the registered exporters subject to the rules. Also, Board provides financial assistance to offset the additional expenses incurred in grading, packing of products for each kilogram of natural rubber for export. Besides this, free listing of registered exporters in the website (www.indiannaturalrubber.com) and free listing in the catalogue “Exporters of Indian Natural Rubber” will be offered to the exporters to enhance their brand identity.

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