The global trade in natural rubber is beset by poor working conditions and unsustainable practices, according to a number of recent reports. Most rubber continues to be harvested by small, locally owned plantations. The rubber tappers that work them are paid by quota, in the absence of modern labour codes like minimum wages or worker safety protections. The work is dangerous, as tappers are subjected to injury, ranging from machete wounds and snakebites to acid burns received during processing.
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