Fairwood refers to wood and wood products that take into consideration the forest environment and local communities where logging is taking place. Fairwood Partners believe that providing information that enables users to make sustainable choices will help change logging behavior and protect the world’s forests.
Japan imports 75% of the timber it consumes from overseas, and like China, USA and the EU, it is one of the world’s top importers of timber. Unfortunately 10-15% of imported timber comes from illegal logging.
What about domestic timber? Unfortunately, the use of domestic timber has not grown due to high logging and management costs, so there are concerns that with a lack of proper management, Japan’s forests may degrade into wasteland. Forests are the cornerstones of environmental change however, so the kind of trees we choose is very important.
Fairwood Partners select fairwood, or legal, sustainable, traceable timber for companies and promote fairwood distribution, and encourage consumers to choose fairwood products. Fairwood Partners believe that to bring change to the market, efforts are necessary from both the supply and demand sides.
It was typically said that, people don’t care about where timber comes from or don’t believe that illegal timber is being distributed in the market. With this understanding in mind, Fairwood Partners referenced stringent standards applied to foods, and are encouraging socially responsible timber selection. They have also opened a Fairwood Cafe to provide a platform for more frank and frequent discussions on timber, and on the web, they introduce timber producing regions, and the passions of people who design wood products. They also introduce and sell a wide range of fairwood products online. Moreover, Fairwood Partners have booths at outdoor events to give people an opportunity to feel, smell, and experience the texture of these products firsthand, and to purchase these products.
After the Great East Japan Earthquake, Fairwood Partners also began focusing on rejuvenation of the timber industry and forest products industry in the afflicted regions. They have been working together with producers in Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima Prefectures and opened a special corner, “Let’s live with trees from Tohoku” in the Fairwood Cafe. People may live in town, but by coming in contact with products actually made of wood, they can still feel connected to the forests. Fairwood Partners are proposing “a life with forests” by promoting and introducing fairwood.