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More certified sustainable wood in Bolivia

The Rainforest Alliance Joins with ForestWorld to Maximize Availability of FSC-Certified Wood to Use in Production of Furniture, Flooring and Decking in Bolivia

June 08, 2007 — By the Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance has signed a SmartSource agreement with SumaPacha Industrial S.A., a Bolivia-based wood product manufacturer, to help maximize the availability of wood that comes from responsibly managed forestlands certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for the company's use in the production of furniture, flooring and decking. SumaPacha is a subsidiary of ForestWorld LLC, a Greensboro, North Carolina-based manufacturer of FSC-certified wood products made from Latin American tropical hardwoods.

SumaPacha is the first company in South America to sign a SmartSource agreement, which is an initiative of the Rainforest Alliance's forestry program that aims to help businesses improve their forest product purchasing policies and practices and increase their access to FSC-certified wood by strengthening relationships throughout their supply chains. The agreement will help the company meet its growth targets and fulfill the increasing market demand for home products that come from responsibly managed forestlands.

"The Rainforest Alliance promotes collaboration among private industry, producers and consumers as a tool for truly integrating responsible practices throughout a supply chain," said Daphne Hewitt, senior project manager with the Rainforest Alliance. "ForestWorld and SumaPacha have demonstrated their commitment to responsible production by continually seeking to increase the volume of FSC-certified wood that is purchased for their manufacturing facility in Bolivia and have become leaders in their industry. The Rainforest Alliance is pleased to work with SumaPacha to ensure continued success with FSC certification."

Goals of this agreement include getting more than 400,000 new hectares (988,400 acres) of forestland in Bolivia and Peru to meet the FSC's environmental and social standards and providing market incentives for community and indigenous suppliers to participate in a sustainable forest product market chain with SumaPacha.

"ForestWorld is excited to work with the Rainforest Alliance on increasing the area of FSC-certified forestlands in Bolivia and Peru," said Chris Anderson, CEO of ForestWorld. "This joint effort will help in our mission of protecting tropical forest areas through responsible forest management. By including a goal to certify indigenous community areas, this endeavor will also help us ensure that local residents benefit from the natural resources from which our products are made."

SumaPacha manufactures high-end outdoor furniture, flooring and decking, using traditional and non-traditional tropical hardwood species from Bolivia and Peru and specializes in offering socially and environmentally responsible products. The company owns a 300,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in La Paz, Bolivia and supplies leading retailers in the United States and Europe.

With growing market demand for certified products, SumaPacha called on the Rainforest Alliance to help reach out to concession holders and indigenous communities to certify their areas and thus increase the volume of available FSC-certified wood that meets the company's specifications.

The Rainforest Alliance will design training for SumaPacha's priority suppliers to enable them to meet the company's specifications, including enhanced business and processing skills, and explore the potential for additional new suppliers to become FSC-certified in the near future.
This agreement builds on Bolivia's leadership role in FSC-certified tropical forestland. With nearly 2 million hectares (nearly 5 million acres) of tropical forest certified in Bolivia, the country is second only to Brazil with the largest area of FSC-certified tropical forest in the world.
The Rainforest Alliance's SmartSource initiative helps manufacturers, retailers and consumers develop responsible purchasing plans and supply chains for forest products such as lumber, paper and packaging. As part of SmartSource, Rainforest Alliance experts review and outline steps to improve supply chains, offer workshops and training related to forest product supply chains and responsible forest management, and provide guidance in developing a purchasing policy, among other things.

The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. For more information, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org

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