Wood craftsmanship: Indonesia
This special report is a guide to importers in search of wooden furniture, crafts and home decor from the Indonesia. It features the advantages, challenges and current designs of the industry well known for its craftsmanship.
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Wood craftsmanship: Indonesia
Here’s a preview of the special report on wood from the Indonesia.
Wood craftsmanship: Indonesia The Indonesia advantage
Abundance, variety of wood
The abundance and variety of wood available in Indonesia is a key advantage of the country’s woodworking industry. Wooden crafts, including furniture, are mostly made of timber from local forests.
Indonesia ranked sixth in production of industrial roundwood in 2016, accounting for 4 percent of total global production, based on the latest Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Statistics
The country has about 91 million hectares of forest land maintained by the government, which are categorized into conservation, protected and production forests. Production forests were estimated at 56 million hectares by the Ministry of Forestry.
Production forests refer to areas with the main function of yielding timber products to support socioeconomic development.
Teak and mahogany are the main types of timber used in craft gifts, home decor and furniture. Pine, ruwao and rain tree wood(samanea) are other kinds used by suppliers featured in this report.
These raw materials are sourced from the areas of Klaten, Jepara, Semarang and Yogyakarta in Central Java, and Bojonegoro Regency and Ngawi Regency in East Java.Certified forests
As of March 2018, Indonesia had 41 entities whose operations and processes have been certified compliant with the principles of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a global nonprofit, nongovernmental organization NGO) that promotes responsible forest management. These entities represented a total of nearly 3.2 million hectares. To obtain FSC forest management (FM) certification, which is awarded to forest owners and managers, the area must be managed in a way that preserves the natural ecosystem, benefits the lives of the local people and workers, and is economically viable. Certification is carried out by independent organizations accredited by the FSC.
Over 260 companies that manufacture or sell forest products, meanwhile, have FSC chain of custody (CoC) certificates. A CoC certification means that FSC-compliant material is handled and tracked correctly throughout the entire supply chain./p>
The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), the world’s largest forest certification system, lists Indonesia as having about 3.7 million hectares of PEFC-certified area as of December 2017. The number of PEFC CoC certificates was 32.
Timber legality verification system
Amid environmental concerns and the stringent regulations governing the use of various resources, having a timber legality verification system – the Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK) – is a key advantage of the Indonesia’s woodworking industry because it assures buyers that the wood used in products imported from Indonesia was harvested legally.
For dyes, makers turn to plant-based sources such as leaves, roots, seeds and bark to keep with the environment-friendly theme. Among the 100 plant-based sources of dyes that the Indonesia Textile Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (PTRI-DOST) has identified are the following: indigo leaves for blue dye; mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) bark for reddish brown, coconut husk for red to maroon; annatto seeds for bright orange; and coffee pulp for light pink.
In 2016, Indonesia became the first country to issue Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licenses under the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU. The SVLK formed the basis of the VPA. For products covered by the VPA, the FLEGT license will replace the V-legal Document for exports to the EU.
An FLEGT-licensed product means it automatically complies with the requirements of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR), which prohibits illegally harvested timber and products from illegal timber from being placed on the market.
Importers of FLEGT-licensed products in EU member states can place these items on the market without the need to conduct further due diligence. From October 2015 to November 2016, Indonesia issued 35,897 FLEGT licenses for the export of certified timber products, worth over €1.1 billion ($1.2 billion), according to the December 2017 issue of the European Timber Trade Federation’s newsletter.
During the same period, over 190,000 V-legal documents were issued.
The art of woodwork in Indonesia dates back centuries. The skills that were passed down in families from generation to generation continue to be used in the production of home décor, craft gifts and furniture.
Wooden craftsmanship is an essential part of Indonesian religion and culture. Intricate carvings and statues of gods are typical design components of Balinese temples, while wooden masks are used by performers in traditional plays and dances. Intricate carvings such as lion heads, water buffaloes and serpent carvings are also seen in traditional houses.
Artisans are based in woodworking centers spread throughout the country: Yogyakarta, Bali, Kalimantan in Borneo, North Sumatera, Sumedang in West Java, Jepara in Central Java, Malang, Surabaya and Mokojerto in East Java, Toraja and Kendari in South Sulawesi, and Lombok in West Nusta Tenggara.
Each production hub offers unique designs and products. Yogyakarta is known for its wooden batik designs in wooden tableware, statues and wall décor, while Bali specializes in carving deities and mythical creatures.
Jepara is considered the oldest wood working hub in the country. Located in Central Java, it was a port of entry for Chinese and Dutch travelers, who brought in the first wooden artifacts into the country.
Designer focus: Barata Sena
Barata Sena in 2008 launched CV Jalan Kayu, his brand of wooden furniture, home decor and crafts. Taking inspiration from objects in his daily life and surroundings, Sena is known for his intricately carved furniture made of local wood such as suar, tamarind and mango.
He applies special techniques to give his pieces a distinct look. He buries pieces into the ground to burn the surface and give the furniture black and grayish patterns. He also uses partially damaged wood and previously termite-infested timber to create unique textures.
Sena, based in Central Java, is a design graduate from the Indonesian Arts Institute.
Wood craftsmanship: Indonesia Supplier spotlight
This section features eight wood producers interviewed for this report that offer handicrafts, furniture and home decor. Download the report to get the complete information on the companies and their products.
Click “Inquire Now” to send inquiries to featured suppliers.
CV Jalan Kayu
Model: Bar Chair
Descriptions: Samanea wood; gray stone effect; 110x45x40cm
Delivery time: Within 75 days
CV Palem Craft
Model: Wooden Table
Descriptions: Teak; 60x60x40cm or 80x80x40cm
FOB: $55 and $76.50, respectively
Delivery time: 45 days
CV Spoleno Artspace
Model: Mimi Mintuno Salt-and -Pepper Shakers
Descriptions: Pine or rosewood; water-based finish; 12x5x14cm
FOB: $30 per pair
Delivery time: 30 days
CV Surya Java Furnindo
Model: Eclectic Chair
Descriptions: Ruwao wood; SVLK certification
Delivery time: 45 days for 5 pieces
Model: GT 97J3 Coffee Table
Descriptions: Mahogany; mosaic surface design; 110x110x50cm
FOB price: $90
Delivery time: 30 days for 5 pieces
Model: Wooden Stool Box
Descriptions: Pine wood; 35x35x50cm
MOQ: 90 pieces
Delivery time: 4 days for 2 pieces
Model: Matilda Buffet
Descriptions: Teak, mahogany or mindi wood; 80x151x46cm
FOB:Price depends on wood used
Delivery time: 30 to 40 days
PT Dekor Asia Jayakarya
Model: Fruit Bowl
Descriptions: Teak and copper; 20x16cm
Delivery time: 45 days for 10 pieces
Wood craftsmanship: Indonesia Moving forward
A major challenge for many Indonesia wooden craft producers is how to keep prices competitive with those offered by other Asian neighbors amid the additional cost of obtaining certification.
Certification & licenses
Among the documentation that the Indonesia government requires from all suppliers of timber and timber products is to have Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) licenses or V-legal documents for exports. Acquiring these and other certificates is generally costly and time-consuming, especially for small companies with limited funds and access to financing.
Depending on the company’s business category, applying for a Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK) certification can cost between $3,000 and $6,000. After three years, the license must be renewed by any of the 25 independent certification bodies accredited by the National Accreditation Committee and mandated by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
Products must have SVLK certification to apply for an FLEGT license. An FLEGT license is valid for four months after issuance and costs between $1,130 and $1,500.
To assist companies in getting SVLK certification, some regional governments have allowed SMEs to form cooperatives to share the cost. Initial rates for a group license start at $3,600 depending on the company’s business type.
Acquiring SVLK as a group requires all member companies to perform consistently to ensure that audits run smoothly.
Labor costs & prices
Besides certification costs, Indonesia manufacturers are at a disadvantage when it comes to price competition due to the labor-intensive nature of the production process. Suppliers in Yogyakarta or Semarang, for instance, produce wooden crafts entirely or mostly by hand. Products feature intricate details that are labor-intensive to create, according to featured supplier CV Spoleno Artspace in Yogyakarta.
The labor-intensive nature of production makes it hard for makers to compete with suppliers in China that offer mass-produced wooden products, which can be manufactured more quickly and at lower costs.
“The challenge is that our products can’t compete with mass production exporters like China,” said Bambang Indriatmo, secretary for the Department of Trade and Industry in Semarang. “Many industries in Semarang, [and] also to a larger extent, Jepara, another Central Java city, have closed due to fierce competition.”
Lack of online marketing skills
For a number of suppliers, online marketing can also be a challenge. According to Yuyun Yunastuti Daud, the head of the Yogyakarta Chamber of Commerce and Industry International Relations Committee, SMEs that have been in the business for years generally have difficulty promoting their products online. These companies are usually unfamiliar with online business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) platforms and often require assistance to use these sites or build their own.
The Center for Export-Import and Training (Pendidikan dan Pelatihan Ekspor Indonesia or PPEI) under the Directorate General for National Export Development (DGTEN) offers training on e-commerce as well as multimedia for export promotion to help companies create marketing materials and use online platforms in showcasing their products and boosting exports
Outlook and support initiatives
Suppliers and government agencies are also optimistic that the industry’s advantage of offering creative and finely crafted designs will help domestic producers reach more international markets.
Barata Sena, owner and designer of CV Jalan Kayu, said in an interview with the Hinrich Foundation that design ingenuity – not mass production – will push the industry forward. Sena, himself, offers raining to anyone interested in woodwork to ensure that his designs are made through “creation method” and not by copying other designs.
Bambang Indriatmo, secretary of the Department of Industry and Trade – Semarang, emphasized that the uniqueness and craftsmanship of Indonesia designs are what make the country stand out among its competitors.Financial & technology support
The industry and the government are working together to increase the competitiveness of the sector, which has been a significant contributor to export earnings. Efforts include providing microcredit programs and bank financing.
The Ministry of Industry assists furniture handicraft producers in obtaining SVLK certification through regional development banks, microcredit program and bank and export financing.
Under the Product Development Training program of PPEI, a course on “Technique and Process Control for Furniture Products and Finished Wood Product for Export” is offered to companies looking to improve their production processes. The course on kiln drying of sawn timber, meanwhile, is available to companies looking for new and better techniques in drying wood and acquiring affordable yet high quality equipment.
The DGTEN also offers training programs on promotion and export communication. Courses covered aside from e-commerce and multimedia for export promotion are negotiation techniques, expert trade contracts and export promotion strategies for print, broadcast and online media. A course on joining trade exhibitions is also offered. To ensure the continued supply of raw materials, the trade ministry will be establishing a raw material center along with state-owned companies PT Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia and PT Sarinah, according to an April 2017 report by Tempo.
To ensure the availability of skilled workers in the furniture sector, the government is setting up the Furniture Industry Polytechnic (Politeknik Industri Furnitur) in Kendal, Central Java. The institution will offer courses free of charge. Subjects offered will include those on furniture production technique, design and business management, Tempo reported October 2017.
With these initiatives, the Ministry of Industry expects employment in the furniture industry to increase to 202,692 in 2018, which is the double the employment in 2016.