The Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) called on the government to revise
regulations on rattan exports, saying it imposed burdens on rattan suppliers.
KPPU commissioner Ahmad Ramadhan Siregar said Thursday that the Trade Ministry’s 2009 regulation that restricted rattan exports hurt rattan suppliers because the domestic market alone was not large enough to cater to the supply.
The Indonesian Rattan Businessmen Association (APRI) said domestic rattan consumption was only 40,000 tons per year, while producers grouped with the association could potentially produce 696,000 tons of natural rattan each year.
“The local rattan industry has weakened in recent years due to declining production of finished rattan products. But decreased production should not be a reason to curb exports,” Ramadhan said at a press conference at the KPPU offices.
He added that the drop in production could be attributed to lower demand in 2008 and pressure from competing rattan products from China.
The Industry Ministry confirmed that there was a gradual decrease in the production of local processed rattan in recent years.
In 2009, local producers processed 174,386 tons of rattan, a 23 percent decrease from the 227,437 tons in 2008. In 2006 and 2007, the industry produced 373,880 tons and 372,761 tons respectively.
Last year, Indonesia’s total rattan exports stood at US$138.07 million, a 21.5 percent decrease from $167.75 million in 2009.
The 2009 regulation on rattan exports, implemented since Aug. 11, 2009, bans the export of several kinds of rattan and allows for the annual exports of only 35,000 tons of semi-finished rattan.
It also stipulates that farmers who want to export semi-finished rattan need a letter from the local rattan industry stating that the farmer provided sufficient supplies for the industry.
Ramadhan said the government needed to revise the rattan quota that could be exported so the inability of local firms to produce rattan-based furniture did not the affect exports of semi-finished products.
He added that the issuance of letters also made suppliers highly dependent on local furniture producers.
“Such authority could potentially result in abuse of power. Rattan suppliers who do not receive a letter cannot export their rattan,” he said.
“It is the government who should be in charge of issuing such letters instead of the local industry.”
In the event that domestic consumption of rattan decreased, the government should ensure that suppliers could sell their rattan in the global market, he said.
Indonesia, with around 300 rattan species growing throughout the country — notably in Kalimantan and Sulawesi — is the world’s largest rattan producer with 82 percent of the world’s total output. (lnd)
Frankfurt, Germany: Natural rattan belongs to the design classics and it is making a comeback in design circles. Unfortunately, conventional forestry practices may damage tropical forests when the rattan is harvested.
To avoid this forest destruction, WWF has set up a European Union funded programme for sustainable production and processing of rattan in the Mekong region. An innovative collection for rattan home accessories is being showcased this week at the international design fair Ambiente in Frankfurt/Main.
WWF is working with Swedish designers, graduates from Lund University, in cooperation with local companies, to develop rattan products that are suitable for the international market. These products range from doormats made of rattan waste to foldable baskets, and a unique rattan lounge chair.
An analysis of global trade in rattan
In addition, the WWF has analysed the worldwide trade flows of rattan. The key points of a scientific study launched today include: between 2006 and 2008, global trade declined by 26% due to dwindling rattan resources and forest loss. Indonesia is the most important exporting country in the world, with a market share of 80%.
The major buyers are the EU and China. Vietnam plays an essential role for the EU market, exporting mainly to Germany and France. Vietnam is also a major importing country – the suppliers are Laos, India, Cambodia, and the Philippines.
What is rattan?
Rattan species are members of the palm family and grow climbing and winding themselves around other vegetation and some varieties can grow to lengths of more than one hundred metres.
“Forests with such a wide variety of flora and fauna, which have disappeared in other regions of the world, still exist in the Mekong region”, said Thibault Ledecq, WWF Sustainable Rattan Project Manager.
“More than 1,000 new animal and plant species have been discovered in the Mekong region in the last ten years alone”. But many of these rattan resources are being overexploited, leading to a decline of many rattan species, prompting WWF to create the Sustainable Rattan Programme in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam five years ago.
About the rattan project
The objectives of the programme are to manage the tropical forests containing rattan in accordance with the Principles and Criteria of the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council), and to promote and implement the United Nations’ principles of “Cleaner Production”. These include the optimisation of material and energy flows, minimising waste and water contamination, and reducing emissions.
“Sustainable rattan only has a chance if there is a market for it and if the forests where the rattan grows are still standing”, explained Ledecq. He is convinced: “With credible forest management, responsible trade, and consumer awareness we can ensure that this fascinating natural raw material has a future”.
BEIJING: The commercial value of China’s forestry products is expected to hit 2.4 trillion yuan (USD 364.74 billion) in 2011, according to China’s State Forestry Administration .
The value of forestry industry output stood at two trillion yuan last year.
Rosin, rattan and bamboo furniture, wooden floor boards, fried fruits and flowers contributed noticeably to the value of commercial forestry, Xinhua quoted official reports as saying.
China will further boost its output in herbal medicines, mushrooms, vegetables and animal husbandry in forest regions, according to the administration.
China invested 297.9 billion yuan in forestry during the 11th Five-Year period (2006-2010), an increase of 80 percent from the previous five-year period.
In China, forests are defined as woods covering an area of more than 1 mu (0.07 hectares) with a crown density – the amount of sunlight blocked by plant materials – at or above 20 percent.
Rattan home accessories made in Cambodia are being showcased this week at a leading home furnishings trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany.
Baskets, lamp stands, trays and flower pots have been made by the Rattan Association of Cambodia with support from WWF.
The collection of clean and green products conform to European-quality standards and is a major push by Cambodian producers to seek new markets for their wares at the Ambiente international trade fair.
“With support from WWF’s rattan project, we achieved many creative and attractive product designs that we bring to the attention of international visitors at the fair, which provides a great opportunity for Cambodia rattan producers to learn more about international market requirements and trends, as well as marketing,” says Khun Than, vice chairman of the Rattan Association of Cambodia.
Meeting potential buyers from Europe is part of the agenda and will be aided by WWF members. The group of Cambodian exhibitors will meet representatives of the Swiss Import Promotion Program to promote their product designs.
Ou Ratanak, WWF’s rattan project manager, says Cambodian rattan producers are now able to tell buyers about their commitment to green production practices and meet demand.
“Rattan companies are ready to provide to the market environmentally friendly goods with diversified product designs,” he says.
WWF’s Sustainable Rattan Project aims at managing the tropical forests containing rattan and promoting cleaner production. These include the optimisation of material and energy flows, minimising waste and water contamination, and reducing carbon emissions.