The furniture industry is one of the 'big four' Indonesian pillars for export (along with rubber, palm oil, and footwear). The industry relies heavily on timber as its raw material, with an annual requirement of up to 7.5 million cubic metres. Wood species used as raw material for furniture (mainly teak and mahogany) come from natural forest and plantation/community forests.
Jepara in Java is particularly known for its crafted wooden furniture, and the industry there involves 15,000 companies, mostly small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs). But the furniture manufacturing processes in Jepara, as in other regions of Indonesia, are characterised by poor production management and lack of optimisation in production systems - affecting production efficiency, timber recovery rates, and quality of products while creating a significant amount of timber waste. These SMEs would capture higher value if they adopted better drying, treatment and finishing processes.
This project aimed to support the Indonesian furniture industry by enhancing value-adding from plantation timber production. The project's main objectives were to increase timber recoveries and furniture quality through the improvement of processing and manufacturing methods for teak and mahogany timbers, and to explore new manufacturing technologies for new products and designs that would be competitive on international markets. As well, the project increased Indonesian timber processing research and training capacity, and also monitored and analysed economic impact of improvements and innovations introduced to SMEs during the project.