Brazilian furniture producers from the Rolim de Moura Furniture Producer Association, in Rondônia, in the Brazilian Amazon, felt the reflexes of the global crisis when they stopped receiving foreign orders last year. Now they plan to return to exports.
According to João Roberto Chagas, the coordinator of the export group, they produce garden benches, chaise longues, tables and stools, as well as tool handles with the off cuts from the sawmills,
“We have a great variety of options and conditions to adapt products to the requirements of importers,” he guarantees.
Up to now, the main contacts with the foreign market took place at fairs like Fenavam, a furniture fair in São Paulo, and Móvel-Sul, in Bento Gonçalves, in Rio Grande do Sul. “Participation in these events is fundamental for company growth.”
The furniture sector has played an important part in the history of the state of Rondônia, and is one of the main attractions of the region, as well as generating many work posts. According to Chagas, the seven companies in the association generate 400 direct jobs.
Today, the activity requires sustainability of raw material, social responsibility and environmental preservation.
It has, however, not always been like that. Between 1960 and 1980, Rondônia attracted thousands of immigrants, mainly from the south of Brazil, stimulated by distribution of land by the Federal Government aiming at occupation of the region.
The settlement process caused negative environmental impacts, due to disorganized occupation and indiscriminate exploration of forestry resources. Such a model of exploration has resulted in the establishment of many sawmills, producing and trading wood.
The activity, developed without control over several years, resulted in a dearth of certain hardwoods, causing inspection by the government and environmental protection agencies.
“There are currently true concerns regarding operation of the wood sector in a sustainable manner. Our buyers want to know the origin of the wood and to guarantee that extraction was legal,” said Chagas.
On the domestic market, apart from supplying shops in the state, companies in the association also sell to the states of Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo.
They would also like to get clients in the Middle East: “One of our agents made several contacts with Arab importers last year. The Middle East is one of the new markets in which we plan to place our products,” said Chagas.
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