Identifier

etd-03282006-101408

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Renewable Natural Resources

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Tropical forests, which contain 50 percent of the planet's biodiversity, are threatened by deforestation and illegal logging. Forest certification was initiated initially as a s certification: forest management practices and chain of custody (CoC). The United States is the largest market for secondary, or value-added, tropical hardwood products (STHP) which influences forest management practices in supplier countries. In 2004, this study was conducted to measure the demand for certified products in the U.S. The objectives of the study were to identify characteristics of U.S. demand for secondary (value-added) tropical hardwood products and to understand market perceptions regarding certification of secondary tropical hardwood products. Two sectors were surveyed: importers / brokers / manufacturers / wholesalers / retailers (Supply Chain) and builders and architects (B&A). Response rates were 19 percent for Supply Chain and 12 percent for B&A. For both groups, brokers and wholesalers are the dominant purchase channels for tropical hardwoods. More than 50 percent of TSHP originates from South America with Brazil being the primary export country. The main TSHP imported are doors, flooring, cabinets, and millwork. The most important criteria for respondents when selecting tropical hardwoods are quality, availability, and performance. Consistent supply is the greatest barrier to purchasing TSHP. With regard to certified tropical value-added hardwoods, generally respondents do not pay premiums relative to non-certified alternatives. Certification is not an important product selection attribute relative to price and quality. The B&A respondent group experienced more unexpected costs relative to Supply Chain members while Supply Chain members are more likely to promote certified product to their customers. Overall, in order to target the U.S. market tropical hardwood suppliers, particularly those that are engaged in certification, need to improve consistency of their supply and ensure that product quality standards remain at or above non-certified alternatives.

Date

2006

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Richard Vlosky

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