Asia Pacific is not only home to some of the world’s largest producers and manufacturers of wood, paper and agricultural products, but also of some of the world’s largest consumer markets.
WHY IT MATTERS
To date, the majority of demand for legality and sustainability has been concentrated in markets outside of the region, with a number of markets in the region remaining largely open to illegally and unsustainably sourced products. As consumption of forest products within regional and domestic markets continues to grow, there is also a need to better understand the different roles these markets play in driving deforestation and forest degradation and exploring new measures to target them.
WHAT RAFT IS DOING
The huge quantities of illegally logged timber that enter global supply chains from the Asia Pacific region can be reduced significantly by working to strengthen both the supply of and demand of transparently and legally sourced timber.
RAFT recognizes the importance of making the connection between better practices in furniture factories and paper mills, and better practices in the forest. Working with wood and paper products manufacturers and factories in Asia, RAFT has introduced nearly 1000 wood manufacturers to the new legality requirements in Australia, the United States and the EU. The Program has also helped 78 manufacturers improve their wood and fiber sourcing, with 20 factories now FSC CoC certified, including the first two FSC CoC certificates in Lao PDR.
The decision to implement a responsible sourcing policy is often influenced by market demand. New policies in major wood and paper consuming countries and growing demand for certified sustainable products are beginning to change the industry standard in many of Asia’s wood manufacturing hubs. Companies are paying attention and are genuinely concerned about what they must do to stay competitive.