The most important part of the natural latex foam manufacturing process is the rubber tree. Rubber trees are native to South America, but in the early 1800’s, people started attempting to cultivate them in larger areas. Rubber trees are so economically valuable that they ended up spreading quite far, from South America to just about every other tropical area in the world including Sri Lanka. It was found that Sri Lanka has an ideal climate for rubber tree cultivation and subsequently Sri Lanka became a major natural latex producer. A large natural latex foam industry in Sri Lanka has developed around the availability of latex on the island.
Rubber tree plantations have far less of a negative impact on the land than other crops, and they encourage much more biological diversity than other monoculture crops. It takes about ten years of growth before the rubber tree starts producing sufficient amounts of latex. This waiting period ensures that new rubber trees are being planted continuously.