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tv   Close up  Deutsche Welle  September 17, 2019 2:30pm-3:01pm CEST

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how did the romantic master come up with such places. the secrets of symphonic magic. drums code starts october 11th w. . summertime is vacation time here in germany most car owners still prefer to drive even to distant holiday destinations when it comes to road safety tires are of course of paramount importance more than $50000000.00 are sold each year in germany alone it's a multi-billion dollar business but where do these tires come from and under what
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conditions are they produced. the tires of my family car well past their prime they're getting older and are a bit brittle and they need to replace them ahead of a family vacation has got me thinking about the origin and sustainability of tires on the market right. now a family run business is one of the biggest independent dealers in western germany . i'd like to buy a set of new summer tires and want some advice the store stocks the standard brands they're all good quality but i have a different question on my mind. i just can i tell where a tire was produced is that possible to just get us yes. made in china japan the czech republic. tires are clearly produced all around the world into us here are
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customers interested under what conditions the tires are produced we have. very few to be honest. the customers aren't interested in sustainability how the tires are produced for us it is of course an important factor but very few customers are interested to be honest. but the sales advisor is convinced that his products meet sustainability standards. as much so i could buy any of these with a clear conscience. big name manufacturers place a lot of importance on sustainability so i think it would be better to stick with them because you can be sure that they are aware of environmental issues. and so i think you can buy tires with a clear conscience. we want to make our own assessment so we head off for southeast asia. thailand is
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the world's biggest producer of natural rubber. more than $4000000.00 tons of it are harvested on its plantations each year over the last 30 years production here is grown by 300 percent. and. bangkok is the center of the rubber trade. we're meeting journalist to meet into cool was written extensively about the industry. even from the car it's clear what a big role the tire industry plays in thailand. after all it's not just natural rubber that is produced here but many tires are too. there then shipped around the world in containers but it's not easy to get a glimpse inside the business here. well as.
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industries play played the impulsion role tool tycho to me so. i think the people in this industry might want to keep some secret with them states quite a bit difficult to get information from from them. our 1st stop is in col come our district southeast of bangkok. large amounts of rubber are growing here. thanks to these contacts we gain access to one of the plantations. the owner inherited the plantation from his parents might actually have. this had they gone and got the mammoth the past this area was rain forest my parents cleared the whole area and started cultivating it 1st they planted rice and sugar cane but later they switched
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to rubber and. the plantation begins right behind his house for the 1st time we see how rubber is harvested. the rubber latex strips out of an incision in the bark of a tree it can be harvested in a liquid state or through the addition of vinegar as they're doing here to get the rubber to solidifying and harvested in solid pieces. boss a product employs more than 50 workers on his plantation later we will discover what kind of conditions they live in. boston ponte has just planted new rubber trees despite a glut on the market that's driven a steady drop in the price per kilo. so we used to earn good money with our rubber. the happy department. when matt but
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5 years ago the price suddenly plummet it now we have to say where we can a to get by give the plantation owner himself is feeling the pinch what about is workers you on the edge of the plantation we find their decrepit hides the workers are all come from neighboring cambodia they're willing to work for a lower wages on times in me you as well as prod amount to phone him lie work 12 hours a day 5 days a week sometimes mall how other poll steve it's night has fallen on by was who pots plantation it's the best time to harvest robber and that the cambodians are getting ready to go to work there
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night shift starts at 8 pm and ends at about 5 in the morning with just had torches for a light base flies deeper and deeper grooves into the tree trunks to keep the milky late tax flowing no i was been working on the plantation with her family for the past 7 years between and 3 year old can't redo arm right all if i earn very little here between 400-5000 baht a month the i thought by the of hold be a lot of people in the monkey much for that i have to work every day and at least for now nights. hard night shifts for a mere $140.00 euros
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a month that's around half of the minimum wage in thailand which is itself hardly generous. the family always gathers at 5 in the morning to eat but sometimes they have to go without. in the rainy season we can't work and don't get paid then we often don't have anything to eat and have to go hungry. when it gets light as daughter heads off to school she only gets to see your mother briefly and the rest of the family is going to bed. they own just 2 mattresses shared between 8 family members.
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outside is not his brother. his job today spring herbicide. he's using the extremely toxic product paraquat long outlawed in europe. and dar feel safe wearing a mask. for the 25 year old doesn't realize is that paraquat can also be absorbed through the skin and can lead to severe kidney liver and heart damage says he should by no means be working without protective clothing in shorts but no one has told him to. think on day one before the harvest we have to kill the grass with poisonous chemicals otherwise snakes could hide in the grass between the trees and bite us. and this is what it looks like before the herbicide is used and this is what it looks like afterwards. the chemicals remained in the ground for months not
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a single worker here is wearing protective gloves. after the harvest boss of bought sells his rubber to the woman who controls the trade in the area a broker she dictates the price as tradition has it he has no right to negotiate. with i you know from here we send the latex to our partner factory for processing it would be. sent on to many well known for such as a good year for example. yeah. we ask what factory she supplies. she calls to ask whether she can disclose their name but the company prefers to
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remain anonymous. undeterred we decide to follow a truck we want to know who processes the rubber. our journey ends outside the gates of the tire while the young rubber factory which is mainly in chinese hands. we ask for permission to film. but we are immediately turned away and told in no uncertain terms that a written request is also pointless. from above it's possible to get an idea of the scale of the factory that supplies the processed commodity to manufacturers worldwide. they're not expected li we do get a chance to look around a rubber factory although it's considerably smaller. the owner shows us around.
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her company also supplies thai who are young robert among others and mainly processes liquid latex. the workers here are thai not cambodian we ask whether they get the minimum wage of $9000.00 baht around $260.00 euros. iron $5000.00 baht a month but when the price of rubber goes up again i might earn $20000.00. they carry on hoping for better times. the minimum wage is $9000.00. these people commit $1000.00 of them so now because you didn't pay like ideally you'd be off the. beach like say 5050 what they bought me think because they'll like it because they'll like 2000 to get one of them to get 1000 at all and. so the employees are not employee used but get a share of the profits and it's that easy to undercut thailand scanty minimum wage
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. behind the factory is the factories own rubber plantation amid the trees a ramshackle hot. not far away we meet an elderly couple collecting rubber. and. the like the. i mean i'm over 18 and i've been working here for 50 years. my back then the old gentleman was the boss. and the plantation was high up in the mouse. cursor will be. clinched. and his wife live in grinding poverty while the tire industry boasts
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worldwide sales of more than 1200000000 gardai so. we decided to confront the big name tire manufacturers based in taiwan but japanese multinational bridgestone the world's biggest tire producer declines our request for an interview. none of the manufacturers are willing to reveal their suppliers we try the german firm continental which has recently opened a new production plant close to the city of rye on. we contacted them several times before our arrival asking for an interview but most requests went unanswered just like this one. continental which is based in hanover is the world's 4th biggest tire producer and so it has a particular responsibility when it comes to determining working conditions in the
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sector. we hear that the living conditions of people on rubber plantations in neighboring cambodia are even worse than in thailand. so we decided to head there. from the capital phnom penh and we travel north. like in thailand there are rubber plantations as far as the eye can see. with the help of our interpreter we try to arrange a visit to a rubber processing plant. we made several written requests for permission to film and while we don't get that we are allowed to watch production. and we do film using a hidden camera. here
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to the natural rubber is delivered in either solid or liquid form. the people running the factory tell us they supply their product to all parts of the globe. a little more. in the season we have to work from 6 in the morning to 10 at night. sometimes when there's nothing to do. and they know. the workers are housed on the other side of the street. from the mothers fathers and their older children work together in the factory or on the firm's own plantation. it's a tough life. factory workers are usually better off than plantation workers. here they even have their
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own bathroom. and a kitchen of sorts. we normal workers usually earn around $150.00 a month in the factory for a 7 day week on top of that we get this accommodation free electricity and 20 kilos of rice a month. in the high season we sometimes earn $250.00 a month. we travel on to the ratana kiri province in north east cambodia. here many indigenous communities live together in villages and farm the land. one of these villages is cock by the ton leeson river. until recently the people here worked their fields and lived modestly but well in
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accordance with their own traditions. but those times are over their fertile fields were practically stolen from them. big international companies bought the land from the government land that had been in the communities hands for generations. amid the global hunger for natural rubber the villagers fields were plowed up to plant rubber trees. call a day to day in their community has lost almost all its land. when they rolled onto our fields with bulldozers we stood up against them. but we didn't have a chance. to help. from there they've taken everything from us many families have nothing to eat.
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in the village chief and 65 year old poor young show us their land. here where their crops one screw we find a lunar landscape ready for planting new rubber trees. the company took our fields and graves and now they've even stripped bare our sacred mountain. the people of concrete fused to work for these new masters on their own fields. like many other villages they're demanding the return of their land but they don't have much hope in the meantime new settlements have sprung up on their fields they house women and men who have moved to the area to work on the rubber plantations. they to live in desperate
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conditions. every year the rubber harvest in cambodia grows by 6 to 7 percent and to this growth is not in sight. on the edge of the plantation the next field is being burned off to clear the vegetation and make space for even more rubber trees for even more rubber for car tires. we've seen enough and fly back to germany to confront the tire industry with our findings. we try our luck again at continental headquarters in hanover. in 2018 the automotive supplier had a turnover of 44400000000 euros. no one here wants to be interviewed but they do at least give a written reply to some of our questions. continental uses natural commodities
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conscientiously and develops it promotes and implements sustainable and responsible sourcing of natural rubber across the value chain. the statement continues continental is aware of its responsibility and aims to make an active and responsible contribution to promoting sustainably produced natural rubber continental also refers to its code of conduct since 2011 all our suppliers have had to agree to abide by our business partner code of conduct. we continue on to frankfurt to the german rubber manufacturers association the w d k. many tire mine. factures are among its members kids headquartered in a villa in the city center. manas d.s.w. de kaser managing director the lobby group also has a code of conduct it sounds good at 1st. the w. d. k. and its members recognize their social responsibility to their own company to
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customers and suppliers to the environment and to society the actions of the companies are guided in particular by the values of integrity and fairness. and code of conduct this code of conduct has existed for some time now it provided the basis for this sustainability charter that stipulates that we are responsible for the people who are employed across this robert value chain. but we can't influence everything right down to the farmer so far as how can that be it's possible but if we simply tried paying more for example yeah then it would reach the 1st echelon of traders but there are 7 other traders beneath them so you never reach the farmer and effect. we show dollars and that aren't our footage from the rubber plantations. so this is a city that shocking it's definitely shocking i can't find any excuse or explanation
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for that we now definitely have to look to the future. like continental the other market leaders bridgestone and michelin also don't want to give us an interview we try our luck in hand on air frankfurt where the world's 3rd biggest tire manufacturers based goodyear but we have no success here goodyear's simply responds with their written statement goodyear doesn't buy natural rubber from cambodia we source less than 5 percent of our global requirements for natural rubber from thailand. he goes on we're committed. the responsible sourcing of raw materials including natural rubber. and the statement continues. we offer a retread tires for commercial vehicles and aircraft reducing the use of natural rubber. but why does goodyear retread the tires of commercial vehicles and planes
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and not the tires of private cars which make up the vast majority of vehicles we visit germany's only big retread are for automobiles hyphenating us here worn down transit tires are peeled off and replaced with new ones. i was taught so. if we look at this tire here we can see only its surface is worn so essentially the product is disposed when only about 20 percent of it is worn. that's absurd. in germany there is no legal obligation to recycle tires or because you will use sounds to source most of the old tires that he needs from france or spain. what happens to used tires in germany as a class which is there are various disposal methods but usually the tires are shredded and supplied to cement works which are in the tires for fuel rods that's
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the classic method but now because we have a surplus of old tires some cement works have stopped taking them instead of paying for them they get paid to use them as fuel. in germany some 200000 tons of old tires go up in smoke each year while more and more rubber plantations are being established in southeast asia to satisfy the hunger for rubber of course the retreading process also requires fresh rubber but about 70 to 80 percent less than is needed to produce new tires does the sets look that's a tire that has been produced in exactly the same way as a new tires the production steps were identical we have to fulfill identical legal requirements we conform to international standards we have the same speed ratings these tires have to match up to new ones in every way. tire retreads have. image problem as well because you had us knows all too well. seconds also by
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the local authority issued a call for tenders for equipping police vehicles with winter tires and this call categorically ruled out retreads. and that's even though the government always maintains that it places importance on sustainability. so i just and no one has been able to explain to me to this day what data or facts this decision was based upon. by shootouts i think he's entitled to. we would also be interested in finding out why police in the city of crackling hauls and decided against a retread tires. and here to our request for an interview was declined instead they issue a written statement on emergency call outs our vehicles face extreme situations police cars have to be able to cope with greater strains the normal vehicles on the road. but wrecking i was in police don't say why a retread wouldn't be up to the job.
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we travel to the northern german state dime to one of germany's few independent tire testing laboratories we have an appointment with an expert. on. the police in wrecking halls and say they can't use retreads because they don't meet their eyes specifications can that be true kindness i. just know we've been testing new tires for decades now. if every trade is produced from a high quality worn taia then it will match the performance of a new tire. with all that included and the police on the public in general should consider the environmental and financial arguments in favor of retreads it's all different he said well get out. of the council does it. nowadays we can different. they say that modern retread plants in europe so advanced that their products come
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compete with new tires since a lot of does doesn't it just involves i. want to be can. i decide to go for retreads this time and i wonder how my workshop will respond 1st of all the tires out to be balanced. by 3030 what does that mean as does this book that basically they can be easily balanced new because there are some of the big name brands that are not that good much money. i'm curious to see how they perform on the road. this time i've opted for sustainability i'm also confident they're safe too and with peace of mind i set off on my family vacation.
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player. play. this is d w news live from berlin and taliban suicide bombers target an election rally by the afghan president at least 24 people are killed and dozens more injured the president is reported to be unharmed also coming up the stakes are high and israel as the country holds its 2nd election this year benjamin netanyahu is hoping to stay in power despite the threat of corruption charges but he faces
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