Strength in numbers: Java's furniture makers go green and increase incomes

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About 120,000 small-scale producers earn a living by making furniture from local hardwoods in Jepara district of central Java, Indonesia. But many of them face serious constraints that threaten their livelihoods, such as short supplies of high-quality teak and mahogany, poor cash flow, and lack of access to markets. To address these challenges, the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) helped to form a producers' association, strengthen production practices and improve market access for these small businessmen and women. By forming a collective and receiving training, association members have increased their output, sales and timber use efficiency, and gained access to overseas markets for 'green' certified furniture. As a result, poverty rates have declined, natural resource management and gender equity have improved, and carbon storage has increased.
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