TEMPO.CO, Pasuruan - The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) has partnered with the Wooden Furniture and Handicraft Producer Association of Jepara (APKJ) in Indonesia to assist micro and small enterprises in Jepara and Pasuruan regencies in Central Java to abide by the legality requirements set out in the Indonesian Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS) or Sistem Verifikasi Legalitas Kayu (SVLK).
This is a mandatory system established and enforced by the Government of Indonesia based on the legality requirements set out in the Voluntary Partnership Agreement.
This system was signed by the European Union (EU) and Government of Indonesia as part of the EU’s Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Action Plan. The SVLK verifies that all wood products have been produced in compliance with national laws.
Based on the successful rollout of the SVLK system, Indonesia was the first country in the world to issue FLEGT licences in 2016.
The project will be led by the APKJ in partnership with the Center for International Forestry Research to assess the level of SVLK compliance of micro and small furniture producers in Jepara and Pasuruan.
“We are working to assist traditional furniture makers in Indonesia by ensuring that more SMEs businesses are able to meet the SVLK requirements and so access both domestic and international markets,” said Stephen Rudgard, FAO Representative of Indonesia at his opening remarks during the inception workshop to increase capacity of SME’s in Jepara and Pasuruan to access global market in Jepara today (21/10)
The project will add to the support already provided by the Indonesian government to help SMEs to lower some of the costs associated with SVLK including providing subsidies for certification audits, including options for self-declaration and working in groups.
"I would like to reiterate president Jokowi's message in his inauguration speech where he stressed the importance of furniture trade and focus will be put on increasing capacity of wood workers and performance of SMEs in order to access international markets," said Yoga Prayoga, the head of Certification under the Forest Product Processing and Marketing Directorate Ministry of Environment and Forestry.
Jepara’s furniture industry is dominated by micro and small businesses, which make up the largest center of woodcarving and furniture making in Indonesia with exports worth USD 150 million a year, constituting approximately 10 percent of Indonesia’s total export)
"Thirty percent of Jepara revenue comes from the furniture sector, we need to make sure that we preserve our natural resources and use it sustainably," said Achmad Zainudin chairman of APKJ.
Based on the identified gaps and needs, the project will deliver trainings to equip the enterprises with knowledge of SVLK standards and certification system, together with good practices in business management.
The project will run for one year and is embedded within the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme, which is a global demand-driven initiative that provides technical support and resources for activities that further the goals of the FLEGT Action Plan.
The Programme is funded by the European Union, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom. For more information, visit the FAO-EU FLEGT Programme website.