SmartWood Rocks the Rainforest

Certified "fair trade" lumber is modeled after fair-trade coffee, where growers are paid above market price for following sustainable practices, in this case practices audited through arrangement of the Rainforest Alliance. US furnituremakers, Home Depot, and now Gibson Guitar Corp., which is set to buy 100 percent certified wood this month, are increasingly using "FT" lumber.According to a recent Christian Science Monitor story, in the past three months, international wood brokers have placed orders, just in Guatemala, for more than 1.5 million board feet, the largest single order since certification began.

The wood harvested is monitored and then certified by the Rainforest Alliance's independent auditing agency called SmartWood. Over 32 million acres of forest have been certified against Smartwood standards.

Earthsource Forest Products, provides some 300,000 board-feet a year of FT lumber to interior designers, furniture makers and so on each year.

Wonder how many of the lovely flat-pack home and furniture plywood designs featured in TreeHugger already make an effort to buy Smartwood certified stock at a premium? Hmmm.

By: John Laumer