FAO empowers furniture producers in Jepara and Pasuruan to access global market


The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations 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 the Central Java Province to comply with 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, signed between 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.  

However, not all industry actors have been able to fulfill the system requirements and therefore receive the resulting SVLK certification. Uptake is particularly slow among Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), where the cost of certification and lack of understanding of its requirements are the biggest obstacles to compliance.

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 Mr Stephen Rudgard, FAO Representative to Indonesia.

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.

Jepara and Pasuruan Furniture for the world

Jepara’s furniture industry is dominated by micro and small businesses who 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).

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. It is expected that sharing lessons learnt and successes from Jepara and Pasuruan will inspire furniture makers in other parts of the country to pursue SVLK certification.

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 European Union's 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.