Did you know that creating natural latex from an organic rubber tree is one of the most natural and sustainable manufacturing processes on the planet?
Rubber tree farms can be found in India and Asia as well as tropical areas of West Africa and Central and South America. These trees are of major economical importance to the local landowners, as the milky sap which is extracted from the tree’s bark can be harvested and used to create natural latex products.
A typical holding for an organic rubber tree farm is around 20 acres. Young trees are left alone to flourish and grow robust for the first seven years of their life and at the end of a tree’s producing years, are harvested to make furniture for the local community. Farmers replant new seedlings every year in order to maintain and rebuild their farm. A single rubber tree can produce for up to 30 years.
Treated with Care and Respect
The rubber trees are treated with a great deal of respect and care from the farmers throughout the tree's entire lifespan. There are three delicate layers of bark (similar to skin) that will only be cut by the most skilled farmers. These gentle cuts are made only deep enough to create a flow of sap, without harming the bark nor affecting the tree’s growth. Sap runs from the tree and is collected into buckets, known as rubber tapping (similar to Canadian maple trees). The sap or serum is collected in steel buckets then combined into drums and air sealed before being moved to the factory. The drums are then emptied into giant mixers and tested in preparation to be filled into molds. The sap is then whipped and poured into molds, then steam baked. The final layers are then washed and inspected once finished. The hardened “latex” pieces are now ready to ship and be used.
Bedding Products with Latex
Some of the most popular uses for organic rubber latex is in natural latex mattresses, pillows and toppers. When shopping for your next mattress consider looking for products made from this amazingly durable and supportive material (always look for the proper certifications). Purchasing certified organic latex products is a great way to keep our home and our planet both clean and green.