How it all started
The origin of today's TIMBERFARM Trading GmbH goes back almost 45 years. It all started with the activities of the Breidenstein family in the tire business. Within the family, there were early considerations to enter the rubber business after travels and contacts to Malaysia and Singapore, but this was not realized at first. After the foundation of TIMBERFARM GmbH and a renewed analysis of the market in June 2010 as well as the intensifying of existing and the gaining of new contacts, the topic "rubber" picked up pace again. In the following two years, it was not only found out, which conditions had to be created, how and where rubber plantations could best be operated and rubber trees planted, but also how the financial realization of this project could be implemented. It quickly became clear that, in addition to a suitable local partner company, both the subsequent processing and the distribution of the processed rubber would be of great importance for long-lasting and sustainable success. With the cultivation of the rubber and their sale in processed form as industrial intermediate goods, the entire value chain up to production would be encompassed. Industrial intermediate goods include all raw materials, consumables and supplies that go into production at a company. This means that the processed rubber is sold directly to the rubber processing industry, such as tire production, in order to manufacture the corresponding end products from it.
In 2012, it was thus clear that in order to implement the planned entry into the rubber business, appropriate rubber plantations would have to be procured and managed. In addition, a factory was needed in Panama to process the rubber obtained from the plantations.
The first rubber tree populations were planted in Panama in 2012. This and the sale of these rubber tree populations to finance further plantation expansion as well as the subleasing of the associated plantation area was, until the start of the rubber trade, the main activity of TIMBERFARM GmbH. For the management and utilization of the sold rubber tree stocks by TIMBERFARM GmbH, TIMBERFARM GmbH has concluded contracts with the rubber plantation owners for the management and utilization of these and for this purpose has entrusted TIMBERFARM SA in Panama with the execution of these tasks.
Since 2012, additional rubber plantations have been and are being successively established, which will enter harvesting after five to six years and from then on can be harvested continuously, on a weekly basis.
In mid-2018, TIMBERFARM GloReg - Global and Regional Sourcing & Trading was established to better utilize the TIMBERFARM rubber factory GRAN PIEDRA with additional imported natural rubber in the first years of operation. The trading picked up pace. However, although rubber production at TIMBERFARM rubber plantations in Panama is steadily increasing year by year, it will not be possible to fully utilize the maximum GRAN PIEDRA processing capacity until the coming years. In order to close this foreseeable gap, raw rubber is imported by the GloReg department from other countries for processing in the GRAN PIEDRA rubber factory in Panama.
After only a short start-up phase, TIMBERFARM Managing Director Maximilian Breidenstein realized that, as with many agricultural commodities, processing and refining does not necessarily take place in the growing regions, and the same is true for rubber. Many factories, especially in Asia, cannot cover their needs with the locally available natural rubber and are therefore dependent on the import of raw rubber. The situation in Africa is different. Here, there are only a few rubber factories that can process the raw rubber harvested there into standard industrial products.
TIMBERFARM has quickly taken advantage of this fact and now supplies not only raw rubber to its own GRAN PIEDRA rubber factory, but also to several large rubber factories in Asia and Latin America. In order to participate in this market in the best possible way, TIMBERFARM is expanding its GloReg trading business step by step in terms of quantity and quality.
TIMBERFARM Trading GmbH started its trading in April 2020 with a new responsible manager, who had previously worked for 15 years in an international commodity group and was most recently responsible for trading in agricultural goods in one of the largest German agricultural companies. With him the company was aligned for professional trading.