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July 01, 2014


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Being Aware Of Conflict Teak

With the world becoming increasingly aware of the impact of “conflict Teak”, teak suppliers have had to deal with the evolving nature of the law, and the Myanmar governments changing philosophies. With the worlds thirst for Burmese Teak intensifying, the Myanmar government has had different bans on timber exports at different times, with the aim to lessen the impact of deforestation. The amount of forested land throughout Myanmar has decreased by 33% over the past 50 years.

With the United States having an embargo on the importation of Burmese Teak, ship builders and furniture makers have been going to extraordinary lengths to ensure they are able to get their hands on this premium material. The practice of teak importation through a variety of methodologies has become all too common throughout the United States. With the issues surrounding Myanmar and their exportation of Teak worldwide, the American government has put a blanket embargo on Teak, whether it is legally or illegally sourced.

The main issue with differentiation between the legal and illegal versions of the wood is the fact that it is almost impossible to understand exactly where it has been sourced. In 2005, the huge illegal Teak farming and smuggling operations across the Chinese border showed the harsh underbelly of the illegal Teak trade. Wood that had been sourced directly from the Myanmar forests through unsustainable practices was being taken across the border, cut into smaller pieces, re-branded and then on sold for significant profits. It is these sorts of rackets and activities that have seen the world become far more aware of the illegal Teak trade. Laws around the globe put the responsibility onto the importer to ensure that the products they were importing were legal and legitimately sourced.

Whist many countries still have sanctions against Myanmar, the EU has recently lifted is ban on Teak importation, allowing for the importation of the Burmese wood. The Myanmar government has also recently passed a law that sees a 50% tax on all Teak logs as well as sawn lumber. These taxes will see significantly increases in the prices of Teak worldwide.

The reason for such a massive need for Teak, is that it is the ultimate hardwood. Its one of a kind structure ensures that there is no competition for other hardwoods for outdoor furniture, particularly in harsher conditions. Whilst Burmese Teak has long been known as the highest quality kind of the material in the world, Indonesia is also a large-scale Teak producer. Indonesian teak is sourced with absolute sustainability in mind, which is a key responsibility of outdoor furniture manufacturers in Australia.

Some of the benefits of Teak outdoor furniture include that it is extremely durable, it is very easy to clean and maintain, it will offer you consistent and reliable strength, it looks great, it is eco-friendly and of course, it is weatherproof. These factors make it the perfect material for any outdoor furniture setting, and show why it is in such constant high demand around the world. At Bali Republic Outdoor Furniture, we use only responsibly sourced Teakwood from accredited plantations in Java, Indonesia.