From 12 to 13th of June, an event was staged in Jakarta, Indonesia, to promote the trade in FSC wood products. The objective was to create new market contacts for new market entrants. In total, more than 200 participants from 61 companies and 7 countries participated, representing local timber producers, national processing industries and overseas buyers. Products on offer included plywood, mouldings, flooring, decking and furniture. In total around 250 market contacts were facilitated. Responses were very positive - new contacts were made and this should give a significant boost to the trade in sustainable wood products in the region.

The event was organised by the Indonesian Association of Forest Concessionaires (APHI) jointly with The Borneo initiative, a non-profit foundation based in The Netherlands and with a mission to halt forest loss and forest degradation in the tropics via the promotion of responsible forest management based on the principles and criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which supported the conference.

Before The Borneo Initiative became operational, around 1.1 million ha were FSC certified in Indonesia - or about 2% of its total production forest area. Since TBI’s start in 2010, support contracts have been signed with 26 forest concessions which manage 2.6 million ha. During the event, another 5 agreements were signed with forest concessions managing 609,470 ha of forest, bringing the total portfolio of TBI to 31 forest concessions with 3.2 million ha under their management. Of this group of forest concessions, already 6 achieved FSC certification while another 3 are expected to follow this second semester. FSC certification is now really getting traction in Indonesia, so it is timely that the timber producers are offered some support in finding new market outlets for their FSC wood products. At the end of the day, these forest companies need to see a compensation for their due diligence in the market, so the involvement of the market is key for the success of the initiative.

This event helped to get the attention of the European market for Indonesian wood producers, which was also emphasized by Julian Nierentz, Key Account Manager at FSC at the conference: “The Jakarta Business Encounter helped FSC certified timber producers to get connected to a number of important international buyers. With this event TBI and APHI created the link to the market, which is crucial to reward responsible forestry”
TBI hopes to start some awareness raising activities in the USA as well later this year so that this FSC business encounter can be repeated on a bigger, global scale in one or two years from now.

Mark Saunders from Marks & Spencer on the Jakarta Business encounter:
“The TBI/FSC Business Encounter in Jakarta was interesting and worthwhile attending. The opportunity to meet with certified forest concessionary holders and manufacturers who spoke openly about the costs and challenges of FSC certification and meeting market demands was particularly engaging. Such events, that aid improved transparency and understanding of FSC certification and the associated challenges and opportunities, deserve the support of all who, like Marks and Spencer, are working towards making timber from responsibly managed sources the market norm.”