WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT
Extending Our Reach
The tropical timber market is typical of those of other commodities produced often by small providers. Oftentimes the forest owners and log producers receive a small fraction of the final end price as mills, exporters, distributors, overseas manufacturers and retailers capture a far greater collective margin. We see this in the cocoa and coffee markets, for example. IWC is a multinational company by design, using vertical integration and strategic alliances to extend its reach as far beyond forests and local borders as possible. This, of course, requires access to technology, marketing presence and finance. This is important in allowing forest owners to be fairly compensated and incentivized to keep they’re forests protected and healthy. It also allows for the development of a skilled local workforce paid good wages for their craft.
IWC is the importer of record, that is, the owner of the lumber as into comes into the country. Buying from the importer of record means you can’t buy any closer to forests without going to the country of origin. This reduces the number of actors involved in the supply chain, increasing traceability and reducing mark-up. Many lumber yards may have supply chains spanning over a dozen intermediaries, making it nearly impossible to verify the chain of custody.
Knowing where the origin of your lumber is critical in complying with legislation banning illegally sourced wood products, be it the US Lacey Act, the EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan, the Australian Illegal Logging Prohibition Act or comparable legislation in your jurisdiction. Buying from the importer of record permits the end user to verify that their lumber was harvested legally and ethically.
We strive to reach our products’ end user, whether they be builders, carpenters or industrial manufacturers. We believe our company’s mission will resonate with users of fine wood products, whether they own a beautifully crafted piece of furniture, unique wood toy, elegant wood floor, or deck made with our lumber. Wood products can last generations and it’s important to many that their origin be “forest positive” (and not simply deforestation free). We value this shared vision and understand that it’s built on trust and transparency. In that spirit, we welcome visits to our farms and operations and actively seek ambassadors willing to advocate for a new model of sustainable tropical forestry. Likewise, we welcome and encourage dialogue with the communities in which we operate to ensure every operation is a net benefit for people and trees.