I. After the 14years of civil war in my country Liberia West Africa; we lost of family, friends and love ones. I was blessed to be counted among the living once and privilege enough to live a normal life after the civil crisis. My parents got jobs with the largest natural company in the world “Firestone Rubber Plantation”. In 1926, the Then Firestone Tire and Company leased 1,600 square mile of jungle on Liberia West Africa with the goal of producing its own natural. Liberia was selected because of the location, soil and our good climatic condition. The company was name after the founder Harvey Firestone.
II. The rubber product we see today came away from the grown. Washington Waka the general manager of the factory said; that growing and producing rubber is a lot harder than having and raising Children. From planting the rubber, tapping and collecting and finally processing and shipping it out.
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A. Taping the trees start before the dawn of day and ends sometime after lunch.
* The trees are ready to be taped after five to seven years after planting.
* A skillful tapper use a specially design knife to make a spiral cut into the back of the tree deep enough to get a great flow of latex.
* The latex flows down the spiral cut through the spout tapped into the tree and finally into the collection cup
* The latex is then collected within an hour of the tapping
a) If the latex is not collected within an hour it will turn into a soft rubber called “cuplump”
b) It will then be process as block rubber for tires and other things.
There is a lot of time and effort that goes into collecting and processing the natural rubble to ensure a pure and non-contaminated product.
Collecting and processing the latex and the most important part of the entire process
* The cup of latex is pour into a bucket that is then transported to a collection site where it is store until tanker truck picks it up and takes it to the factory complex for processing.
* At the factory, excess water is spun out of the latex.
a) Latex meeting strict control specifications is then fed into a battery of centrifuges.
b) Ammonia and/or other preservatives are added, and the latex is again tested to ensure product quality.
* The latex is again tested and then transported to the Port of Monrovia where it is shipped to customers
* The Block rubber is shipped to northern America to become one of the principle ingredients of the world- class Bridgestone firestone tire.
To conclude, even though we sometimes say; that Firestone Company is exploiting the Liberian people, paying us less for hard labor jobs. We are the home to largest rubber company in the world but yet we do not produce a single thing like balloon or even rubber plate and cups the must use items in Liberia, but we are grateful to have such an amazing company to provide not only job for its employees but also great benefits such as free housing with current, free medical, school and sometimes free food. Thanks firestone!!!!!