Ecolabel Certificate to Boost Furniture’s Marketability

Wood cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is now one of the main require­ments for fur­ni­ture export. Com­mu­nity for­est in Wono­giri, Cen­tral Java and Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta is now capa­ble of pro­duc­ing one of the cer­ti­fied raw materials.

Com­mu­ni­ties resid­ing in the areas have prac­ticed sus­tain­able for­est man­aga­ment, and they pro­duce cer­ti­fied wood.

Dur­ing a visit by BBC, Siman – Head of Farm­ers Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Forum in Selop­uro Vil­lage, Batuwarno Sub­dis­trict, Wono­giri Dis­trict, Cen­tral Java – mea­sures the teak tree grown on the land owned by Sutantini.

The 30 years old teak tree has a diam­e­ter of around 140 cen­time­ters. It is one of the 30–50 years old teak trees planted by her late father, Sugio. Hun­dreds of teak seedlings also grow on the area.

Sutan­tini admits that she treats the trees as a sav­ing for her familiy.

Depends on what we need, the trees are just for urgent needs. If it is only for pay­ing school fee, we can still use the money from other sources. If we need to spend money for some­thing very impor­tant, then we will cut down the tree,” she said.

The tra­di­tional joglo house where she lives is also build from teak trees grown on her land. Sev­eral peo­ple also seen to walk down the vil­lage road car­ry­ing wood, woooden win­dow and door frames. They were mov­ing a tra­di­tional joglo house to a new loca­tion. Sigit Riyanto of Selop­uro Vil­lage Farm­ers Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Forum said that the habit of mov­ing one house to another loca­tion can decrease the log­ging activ­i­ties in the village’s com­mu­nity forest.

The com­mu­nity for­est in Selop­uro cov­ers an area of 262.77 hectares, rang­ing from field, yard and plan­ta­tion. Trees started to be planted in 1972 on vil­lagers’ yard and then all the way down to their field.

Eco­la­bel Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion
Teak trees are grown among the scat­tered rocks are found in Selop­uro vil­lage. The com­mu­nity for­est man­age­ment then received eco­la­bel cer­tifi­cate from PT Mutu Agung Lestari.

Accord­ing to Siman – Head of Cer­ti­fied Farm­ers Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Forum, the Indone­sian Eco­la­bel­ing Insti­tute cer­ti­fi­ca­tion scheme was devel­oped in Indone­sia with a sys­tem and stan­dard to cer­tify nat­ural for­est, plan­ta­tion for­est and community-based for­est management.

The com­mu­nity for­est in Selop­uro vil­lage and its neigh­bor­ing vil­lage Sum­ber Rejo obtained the cer­tifi­cate in 2004. The total for­est size cov­ers an area of 549.68 hectares.

One thing that we observe is the water source. Before the for­est was fully grown, we had to walk 1.5 km to fetch water. We no longer have to do it now. There­fore, empty land should be planted with trees,” said Siman.

After obtain­ing eco­la­bel certificate,the teak wood gen­er­ated com­mu­nity the for­est can reach higher mar­ket price and in the form of fur­ni­ture it can be exported to Euro­pean and USA markets.

Nev­er­the­less, there is no over­ex­ploita­tion. As explained by Sur­tan­tini, farm­ers are required to plant new trees to replace the cut down tree.

To main­tain for­est sus­tain­abil­ity, when­ever a tree is felled, ten new trees must be planted,” she said. Apart from main­tain­ing for­est sus­tain­abil­ity, around 8 vil­lagers are also trained to pro­duce fur­ni­ture made of cer­ti­fied wood.

LEI’s chain of cus­tody cer­ti­fi­ca­tion will ensure that the wood and non-wood mate­ri­als are legally extracted only from sus­tain­able com­mu­nity forests.

The direc­tor of PT Furni Jawa Lestari, Jajag Sury­op­u­tro explained the rea­son behind the use of wood prod­ucts from cer­ti­fied com­mu­nity forests.

Speak­ing of cer­ti­fied prod­ucts made of cer­ti­fied wood, it should not be based on mar­ket drive. It should be pro­moted by wood sup­pli­ers because we are try­ing to save or main­tain the sus­tain­abil­ity of nat­ural resources. The goal is to give an exam­ple to com­mu­nity mem­bers so that they do not per­form ran­dom felling. There are con­se­quences for every taken acts,” explained Jajag.

Fur­ni­ture pro­duced by PT. Furni Jawa Lestari is mainly exported to Euro­pean coun­tries. LEI-CoC iden­ti­fi­ca­tion is attached to the pro­ducs and their pack­ages. Jajag said that to be able to use the logo, both the man­u­fac­turer and source of wood raw mate­ri­als need to be certified.

Many peo­ple take a short­cut by cer­ti­fy­ing only the man­u­fac­turer with­out think­ing where the raw mate­ri­als orig­i­nated from. Our com­pany is dif­fer­ent. We believe that, even­though eco­la­bel is still unknown in the mar­ket, it is a form of integrity per­formed by the Indone­sian peo­ple,” said Jajag.

We are open to audit. Any­one who buys our prod­ucts are wel­come to con­tact us. And by using the code attached to the prod­ucts, buy­ers can trace the source of the wood mate­ri­als,” he added.

Apart from Selop­uro vil­lage, PT Furni Jawa Lestari also obtained cer­ti­fied wood from Wonosari, Gunung Kidul dis­trict, Yogyakarta Spe­cial Region, that is in Den­gok Vil­lage, Playen Subdistrict.

Euro­pean Mar­ket
Mean­while, Chair­man of Wana Manung­gal Lestari Coop­er­a­tive, Sug­eng Suy­ono said that to facil­i­tate the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process , they per­form an inven­tory activ­ity by putting num­bers on teak trees found in the com­mu­nity forest.

He said the com­mu­nity still expe­ri­enced dif­fi­cul­ties in mar­ket­ing cer­ti­fied wood prod­uct because they had to sell to cer­ti­fied manufacturers.

Sug­eng hopes the gov­ern­ment can pro­vide sup­port the eco­la­bel cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and assist the com­mu­ni­ties man­ag­ing the com­mu­nity forests.

Eco­nomic added value is one of the require­ments for sus­tain­able for­est, as explained by Taryanto Wijaya of PERSEPSI — Asso­ci­a­tion for Eco­nomic and Social Study and Devel­op­ment (Per­him­punan untuk Studi dan Pengem­ban­gan Ekonomi dan Sosial PERSEPSI).

Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion can also serves as an invest­ment to increase prod­uct com­pet­i­tive­ness in global mar­kets that demand for cer­ti­fied wood,” stated Taryanto.

The NGO assist the com­mu­ni­ties in Selop­uro and Sum­ber­rejo vil­lages dur­ing the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion process. In 2006, EU imported around 30 mil­lions m3 of wood and related prod­ucts extracted from ille­gal sources. Almost up to one fifth of wood imported to the EU in 2006 was alleged to be extracted from ille­gal sources, with Rusia, Indone­sia and China being the main suppliers.

Taryanto said, cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of wood extrected from com­mu­nity for­est was very essen­tial for the indus­try despite the fact that the gov­ern­ment has not pro­vided any sup­ports yet.

Com­mu­nity forests are rel­a­tively neglected. The Min­istry of Forestry only deals with large forests. There­fore, we ini­ti­ated real field recog­ni­tion and efforts,” he said.

Government’s sup­port for the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of com­mu­nity forests are required to bring an added value for the com­mu­nity for the fact that the total area of com­mu­nity forests is more than 1.5 mil­lion hectares. [bbc]

Source: BBC

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LEI’s Certified Forests

Untitled Document

2.388.775,35 Ha Plan­ta­tion Forests
36.917,080 Ha Com­mu­nity Forests
5 Chain of Cus­tody

Total 2.425.020,43 Ha

(2017, Jan­u­ary)