7 December 2016

Study addresses illegality in Malaysian timber supply chains

A new study into the Malaysian timber trade offers recommendations to prevent illegal timber from entering supply chains. The study, carried out by NEPCon and the Malaysian Wood Industries Association (MWIA) on behalf of WWF Malaysia, maps supply chains related to the Malaysian timber trade. Preserving the sustainability and integrity of timber supply chains is of great importance to the Asian nation.

The study found that furniture and board producers generally have limited supply chain traceability, as they use low value plantation, such as rubber wood. This wood is traded in high volume by small traders, making it difficult to trace back to the point of harvest. The timber is then mixed with other unknown species, and it is here that the potential for illegal practices is high. The study concludes that increased assurances for products with opaque supply chains are needed.

Through providing detailed supply chain information, the study aims to enable stakeholders to adapt their practices to minimise the risk of illegality in supply chains. 11 Malaysian companies, such as paper mills and furniture producers, participated in the study.

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