On the banks of the Tapajós River, in Pará, Cooperativa Mista da FLONA Tapajós (COOMFLONA) is a community forestry project that works with sustainable timber extraction in the Amazon. Since 2003, the initiative has been operating in the region and today employs 150 “managers” – as workers in this segment are known. The yearly production is around 42,000 m³ of timber, which could be fully commercialised if not for the competition with illegal timber products.
“Often we have to reduce the value of our products to compete with clandestine timber products. But we have a high cost in all the stages of extraction of this wood. Unfortunately there is a culture in the region that creates an unfair competition”, explains Aloísio Patrocínio, one of the coordinators of the project.
In order to help the Cooperativa Mista da FLONA Tapajós to sell its production and fight against illegality, BVRio’s Responsible Timber Exchange is now selling timber products from the project. The main objective of the initiative is to promote wood of legal and sustainable origin – in the case of COOMFLONA, all production has FSC® certification since 2014.
“We hope the exchange will help to spread the products of legal origin and find consumers for our surplus,” says Patrocínio. He further explains that one of the goals of COOMFLONA for the future is to start processing their own wood, as today they are sold as logs. In this initial phase, BVRio Responsible Timber Exchange will negotiate a batch of logs from the COOMFLONA project.