Wood Purchasing News


Feature Story


Sylvio Coutinho, vice president, Floresteca; Sonia Chiang, sales manager, Asia; Jim Summerlin, senior vice president, Robinson Lumber Company; Sylvio Coutinho Neto, president, Floresteca; and Rubens Coutinho, industrial director, Floresteca, during the signing of the sales agreement between the two companies.

New Orleans, Louisiana– Robinson Lumber Co., based here, has signed an exclusive Sales Representative Agreement with Floresteca S.A., Sao Paulo, Brazil, to market Floresteca’s FSC Plantation Teak products in China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. Initially these products will be mostly logs and squares developed from the thinning operations of Floresteca’s 28,000 hectare plantations in the State of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Larger harvested logs will be available in coming years. Later this year, lumber will also be offered followed by more value-added items.

Floresteca began planting these carefully located plantations in 1994, using seeds of the “Tennasserim” type from Myanmar (Burma) that were brought by British foresters to Trinidad in the early 1900s. The areas of planting were selected based on general soil characteristics, environmental variables required for productive Teak plantations (temperature, humidity and rainfall), satisfactory topographical characteristics, as well as the existence of a transportation infra-structure plus the availability of a dependable power supply and work force. Floresteca has its own laboratory to experiment with cloning the best of Teak trees worldwide to provide the finest of this Tectona grandis

Sylvio Coutinho Neto, president of Floresteca, inspects Class 2 and 3 Teak logs.
Every year about 6,000 hectares are added to the existing plantations including new areas in Brazil. These areas were in most cases previous cattle grazing lands, now they are beautiful stands of Teak trees. Fragments of native vegetation located close to the Teak plantations will remain untouched making it easier for fauna to move within the plantations. The development of these plantations has had a considerable impact on the social and economic conditions of the regions where they are established. The relationship of Floresteca with the local communities is a very important component providing more than 1,200 direct jobs, which increase every year.

Teak is one of the most tradable and well-known species in the world, with centuries of international trading history. Today, plantation Teak is well-accepted by all markets and seen as a very positive step in providing this valuable species in a responsible and sustainable way. A target of 40,000m3 of Teak round logs is set for 2009, which will increase substantially in the coming years. In addition, lumber will soon come out of Floresteca’s new state-of-the- art sawmill which includes a log optimizer. A second sawmill plus additional kilns will be built in 2009.

Two plantation workers measure and apply bar codes to Teak logs.
Robinson Lumber Company and its marketing partner, APP Timber, based in Malaysia, are proud to have joined Floresteca in marketing this valuable species from well-managed plantations that will provide consumers with a continual flow of high quality FSC Teak products legally grown in a responsible manner. Over the past 115 years Robinson has supplied temperate/ tropical softwoods and hardwoods, therefore the addition of FSC plantation Teak follows the modern trend to encourage replacement of overcut, high demand species, providing quality wood that is grown on previously non-productive areas.

Teak products add appropriately to the current Robinson product line of North, Central and South American hardwood and softwood lumber, decking, flooring and other value added items from their manufacturing facilities in the United States, Honduras and Brazil in addition to extensive inventories in the U.S. and Europe. The fourth generation of Robinsons, who now manage the company, are fully committed to the future growth of our industry in a responsible, sustainable fashion as are the owners and managers of APP Timber and Floresteca.

For further information regarding this project, please e-mail Jim Summerlin at jsummerlin@roblumco.com.
Jim Summerlin, senior vice president, Robinson Lumber Company, in a Floresteca log yard.

Floresteca’s new state-of-the-art sawmill cuts Teak squares.

Sylvio Coutinho, vice president, Floresteca and Sonia Chiang, Asia sales manager, Robinson Lumber Company Asia, stand in a Teak plantation that is 8 to10 years old.

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