Tree to Instrument
tree to instrument
There was a time when wood was bought and sold based on price and quality, but little questions were made about its origin, where the tree was harvested, how it was cut, how the forest was managed, is it managed in a responsible manner, what the working conditions of the labor involved were, if local taxes were paid, if it was shipped in an exportable format, in one words, if the wood was legal and sustainable.
However, with the amendment of the Lacey Act in 2008 and similar regulations that followed like the EUTR these questions started to matter more, or at least as much, as the price and quality. The increasing awareness about the importance of preserving the natural resources of the world for future generations has also put the focus on the way wood is harvested, adding another important factor apart from price and quality.
From the first day that Nicholas started his operations, he focused more on the forests than the trees, making sure the origin was both legal and sustainable. He spent several years traveling the globe, focusing specially on Africa, establishing partnerships and chains of custody for the most demanded species by musical instrument manufacturers. A key factor was always FSC® certification and today Nicholas is proud to be the first Tonewood producer to have 100% of the species he offers available as FSC 100% or FSC Controlled Wood.
Since we don’t deal with intermediaries, we have the full chain of custody information from the beginning to the end, from when the wood is still in tree format until it is a blank that is usable by an instrument maker. This enables us to control the legality and make sure the wood is harvested in a responsible manner, and at the same time offer quality tonewoods at a competitive price.
Responsible Forest Management, Legality and Traceability
Ever since Nicholas started his own tonewood business, his quest was to move the music industry towards the use of wood originating from responsibly managed forests. Today FSC® offers the most rigorous standards of all third party verification systems that certify that a forest is being managed in a responsible manner. Under their slogan FORESTS FOR ALL FOREVER, not only do they verify that a forestry operation is environmentally appropriate by protecting and maintaining natural communities and high conservation value forests, they also make sure they are socially beneficial, respecting the rights of workers, communities and indigenous people.
A key factor of FSC certification is that a third party audits a forest management unit and everybody within the chain of custody every year. Legality is a prerequisite for certification and traceability is an important part of the annual controls where each input and output are verified. This is not an individual claiming that “all my wood is legal”, there is a whole system behind FSC that can prove it actually is.
As with everything there are critics about FSC, but wood is a true renewable source and giving forests their proper value by managing them responsibly while respecting forest dependent communities, is what will help preserve them for the generations to come.
Since 2016 Nicholas Weber and his company Tonewoods S.L. are proud to deal only with FSC material, there is no other type of wood in the supply chain. These are all traditional tonewoods like Ebony, Mahogany, Maple, Spruce, Cedar or Rosewood, not alternative or substitute species.
One benefit of dealing only with FSC species is that the due diligence requirements for the Lacey Act and EUTR are made easier. Additionally, we offer full transparency about our supply chain and are open to customer visits to our operations or those of our raw material suppliers.