Why buy certified?
Why buy local?
Much of the bulk-produced wood furniture (think Ikea) sold in the United States is manufactured in China. However, the wood to make these products comes from countries such as Russia Far East, Burma, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and many small countries in the Amazon. In these third world countries illegal harvesting is rampant. Forgery, bribery and negligence allow very high percentages of illegal wood to make it into the wood products the United States imports from China.
Much of the wood for the Chinese products comes from Russia Far East. The Russian Forest Service is allowing harvesting in protected areas by issuing sanitation logging permits. Very large volumes are being shipped from Russia to China under this pretext but there is little likelihood that a true sanitation cut could produce such volumes. China rarely challenges the imports of wood from Russia and other countries. And an increase in the investigation of where wood comes from or inspection of logging sites would make products (such as Ikea’s) more expensive.
Illegal harvesting and deforestation in these areas leaves local communities with big problems. People living in these areas have little control over the harvesting of the forests but they are left to deal with the consequences such as flooding, fires, drought, and depletion of food sources. The lack of native habitat reduces the game species and ecologically important wildlife species. In regions where species diversity is the greatest, there is nothing but stumps and bare ground left.
But this issue is not all their fault: demand from Western countries (such as the U.S.) drives China’s manufacturing market which in turn drives the market of illegal timber harvesting. Therefore it is up to the consumer to question why we choose to import so much. Why not choose locally grown wood? Regulation and quality assurance are much easier within the United States’ borders—TFP is not dealing internationally, we are working with landowners, foresters, loggers and wood product industries in your community, in your backyard.
Where can you find TFP products?
As we grow and you can expect to see more of your local wood products from The Forest Partnership. Ask for locally grown and certified products and find out where your wood is coming from.
What are you looking for?
The Forest Partnership is proud to present to you our logo. If you see our logo it is a guarantee that the wood is FSC-certified and locally grown by landowners in Vermont and its surrounding states.
Food for thought
There is a big difference between choosing responsibly harvested and produced wood products and swearing off all wood. It’s not reasonable or necessary to stop using wood products (paper, wood furniture, cutting boards, firewood, building material, cabinets, fencing, flooring, toilet paper, ect.). The alternative to many traditionally wood-based products are petroleum based and you will run into many of the same issues such as natural resource devastation, infringement of landowner and local communities’ property rights, mass production in overseas factories, and a general disconnectedness with the entire manufacturing process. Make the choice to buy wood products from locally grown, sustainably harvested forests and know that your business is helping your community.
Questions? Contact us.