Action research approach to strengthening small-scale furniture producers in Indonesia through policy development

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Imbalanced value added distribution among actors participating in furniture value chains weaken the industry. Regional policies such as the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asia Nations)-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) can worsen the situation of small-scale producers, if they are not strengthened. Power imbalance among actors participating in teak furniture value chains jeopardizes the sustainability of the furniture industry. Jepara furniture industry absorbs 0.9 million cubic meters of wood annually. From 2008 to now, we have been carrying out a participatory action research (PAR) on teak and mahogany furniture value chains in Jepara aiming at developing furniture industry policy and strategic plan or roadmap. The roadmap can strengthen small-scale producers' bargaining position, connect them to wider markets, improve trust from government bodies, and sustain the furniture industry for the benefit of small-scale producers. By having a clear roadmap and its supporting institution, small-scale producers strengthen their bargaining position, improve the commons institution and improve trust from government. The use of PAR in the forest product business to improve fairness can be implemented in other parts of the world.

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