Dipantara's story shows how retailers can help bring about real transformation in the communities supplying them.
As of January 2019, The Forest Trust has become Earthworm Foundation.
Farmers in the Dipantara Community Trading Initiative in Java, Indonesia, are celebrating after achieving FSC certification for eight of their member villages. Dipantara’s story shows how retailers can help to bring about real transformation in the communities supplying them, ultimately leading to better practices and increased revenue for farmers.
Dipantara works by partnering with famers’ groups in villages to sell their wood to international markets. In the five years since the initiative was established, Dipantara has become a viable wood trading business helping Indonesia’s farmers manage and sell their teak and mahogany.
This is thanks in large part to TFT members including French homeware retailer Maisons Du Monde, French home improvement chain Leroy Merlin and US homeware retailer Crate & Barrel, who have supported Dipantara farmers through orders for their stores and have funded more villages to join the initiative.
Before the trading initiative was set up, Dipantara was a small business with just 10 farmers’ groups. TFT became involved to help develop a successful business model based on community collaboration and environmental awareness. TFT member involvement meant Dipantara was able to guarantee ongoing orders early on. Today Dipantara has partnerships with 96 farmers’ groups in 22 villages. In total, over 6,164 farmers and their families have registered with the business.
Dipantara now has greater access to new markets, selling to 12 different factories in 2011. Its members make on average 20% more for their teak by selling to Dipantara instead of local timber middlemen. Members also have access to thousands of free high quality seedlings to plant in their agroforests.
The eight certified farmers’ groups will be able to immediately begin selling 275 m3 of teak as FSC certified wood. An additional twelve groups will be added before the next certification audit.
Dipantara is TFT’s third community forests project in Indonesia to achieve FSC certification, following KHJL and Kostajasa. Much of TFT’s work has focused on training to improve the farmers’ environmental and business knowledge and performance to help Dipantara become self-sufficient.
We would like to thank ICCO, which funded farmers’ training and Dipantara’s FSC certification costs.