International Wood International Wood 2005 - Page 39

JAGWOOD+ A MARKET-BASED APPROACH TO STRENGTHENING THE CENTRAL AMERICAN WOOD PRODUCTS INDUSTRY I n 1995, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) established the Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) to reduce poverty, forest conversion and illegal logging by providing tangible incentives to companies committed to responsible forest management and trade. The GFTN operates in 30 countries with almost 400 companies that generate a combined annual sales turnover in wood products of almost $30 billion and roundwood production approaching 30 million m3. Jagwood+ was legally established in Nicaragua as the Central American FTN to link committed wood buyers with responsible forest producers. Jagwood+´s Director, Noemi Perez, applies her international wood industry and sales background to analyze manufacturing capacity, species requirements and supply opportunities to help members identify stable wood suppliers to meet demand. Managed by an independent board of industry representatives, Jagwood+ is a non-profit business association (and IWPA member) fi- nanced by member fees, professional service fees, and donors including USAID, WWF, World Bank, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Jagwood+ provides the following services: SUPPLY CHAINS: On-the-ground support to increase revenues and employment for forest producers, and stable supplies for buyers en- gaged in long-term relationships. In Nicaragua, Jagwood+ built joint- ventures between manufacturers Hermanos Ubeda (lumber), PRADA (plywood) and Exchange (furniture), and various indigenous com- munity businesses. LESSER KNOWN SPECIES: With the Oregon-based Northwest Wood Producers Association, Jagwood+ facilitated the experimental processing of Santa María ( Callophylum brasiliense ) from Central America by U.S. manufacturers to determine its suitability as a mahogany substitute. RESPONSIBLE PURCHASING POLICIES: Jagwood+ has established 25 Responsible Purchasing Policies whereby architectural and consumer companies commit to incorporating increasing amounts of wood from verified legal, improved, or independently certified sources. These companies range from the Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Managua to Galvez and Volio, Costa Rica´s largest construction firm. APPLIED POLICY: The incipient linkage of 5 communities man- aging 27,000 ha of forest with JDS Hardwoods (a manufacturer with Responsible Purchasing Policies) has helped create a political climate conducive to modifying national legislation to allow for the long-term management of large forest areas. MARKET INFORMATION: Jagwood+ represents members in events such as the IWPA Annual Meeting, Certified Brazil, and Guatemala´s EXPOMUEBLE to understand market trends and make new business contacts. Jagwood+ recently facilitated a Buyers Mission to Nicaragua with industry representatives from 5 countries, worked with Oregon State University to research market opportunities in the U.S. and Caribbean for certified plywood, and provides relevant information via its web-page (www.jagwood.org). SUPPLY CHAIN TOOLS: A wood-tracking system was developed for Nicaraguan and Peruvian manufacturers to show interested buyers that their wood products are indeed derived from legal, well-managed sources. Jagwood+ also develops custom-made Chain-of-Custody systems with manufacturers to facilitate supply chain certification. IMPROVED CORPORATE IMAGE: Jagwood+ promotes members that have taken substantive steps toward responsible forest management by facilitating press trips to forests and mills, developing consumer edu- cation campaigns, and distributing quality promotional materials. Information contained in this editorial was provided by Steve Gretzinger, Latin American Coordinator for the Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN), and Noemi Perez, Director Jagwood+. Direct inquiries to: Phone 506-234-8434, noemi@wwfca.org, www.jagwood.org IMPORTED WOOD 39