The legality of logging and lumber has great significance to wholesale lumber dealers, like J. Gibson McIlvain. The repercussions that could come from a single breach in the supply chain could be devastating for our company and – worse – for the environment. Both our business-savvy and our penchant for being responsible citizens make us constantly work to heighten our awareness of the issues facing today’s wholesale lumber industry.
If it’s in anyone’s best interest to preserve forests across the globe and purchase legally milled and traded lumber, it is ours. Without prioritizing such concerns, we would be out of business.
One major improvement in ensuring the legality of logging and lumber-trading was the Lacey Act. This 100-year-old law underwent a revision in 2008, to include the lumber industry under its umbrella of protection. Prohibiting the sale, trade, and transport of both plants and animals illegally obtained, this act holds anyone along the supply chain responsible for the legality of all of those involved in the product. Putting the onus of investigation on everyone from shippers to consumers, this act is far-reaching in its ability to help stop the illegal harvesting, trade, and sale of lumber.
Checking for documentation is no longer enough; certifications can be falsified, so their validity must be carefully researched. Confirming lumber suppliers’ claims of authenticity can be time-consuming and difficult. Finding trustworthy loggers, exporters, importers, distributers, and dealers may take time and effort, but in the end, you’ll be relieved to be above-board in your business as well as your environmental and social responsibility. When everyone does their job to research lumber all the way back to the source, the black market for lumber is handicapped. When it becomes no longer worthwhile for these thugs to run their illegal enterprises, the local economies will increasingly flourish, as will the legal lumber trade.
Wholesale lumber dealers like J. Gibson McIlvain are required to carefully investigate their sources, or their future business is at stake. Currently, over 50% of our lumber business relies on imported exotic hardwoods. In order for that trend to continue, we need sources that are concerned with environmental sustainability, as well as harvested legally. We knew this before 2008, but the Lacey Act’s recent revisions have brought the increased incentives.
In order to ensure our compliance with these regulations, we have local agents in South America, Africa, and Agents, who perform on-site visits and are in continuous communication with sawmills and other aspects of the supply chain.
Because J. Gibson McIlvain values its reputation of trust gained over 200 years of company history, we’re not willing to compromise for questionable integrity of lumber in foreign markets. For more information about how you can research the supply chain on your own, our experts will be happy to help you get started.