Honduras is the only country in the world counting with production of Styrax gum from Liquidambar Styraciflua trees.
Producers mostly harvest trees on state lands, or concessions, where tree density per hectare is very low. They produce the crude gum, which they sell most of the time to local independent collectors which purify it.
This value chain presents many sustainability issues:
– No traceability
– Low price generating lack of interest for young generations
– Lack of producers’ organizations
We developed strong ties with local cooperatives. We trace the product to each producer, and in many case have georeferenced their producing parcels.
Main problem comes from the lack of visibility on selling their production. To address this concern, we commit to purchase 100% of the production of our harvesters, and pre-finance the crop, so they can be paid upfront and have an income during the “pica” phase.
Furthermore, thanks to the NRSC initiative, we established a minimum price for traceable chains, guaranteeing them a minimum profitable income.
We provide technical assistance to help producers strengthen their associations as we believe they are a good vector to develop business for them. As an example, we use them as a platform to distribute prefinancing.
On that project, we strive to follow NRSC specifications, as a guideline to sustainable Styrax.