Ikea sourcing bamboo, Indian wood next

Global furniture retailer Ikea is looking to source bamboo and other sustainable indigenous wood species from India for its global operations as it looks to expand its portfolio of such products, The Hindu Business Line has reported.

The Swedish company is already in talks with Central and state governments, particularly in the North-East, to identify local species of wood which can be sourced from India.

The company is also in talks with the Union Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, along with a host of forestry institutes, to identify species of locally grown rubber wood, mango wood and neem, which could be sourced from various parts of the country.

Mr. Sandeep Sanan, Head of Business Development (South Asia) for Ikea, was quotted as saying that the company is working on identifying how long-term sustainable farming of these wood and grass species can be undertaken with various state governments and to incentivise the cultivation of such renewable wood products.

“We are constantly looking for new materials, including wood and natural fibres such as bamboo, sea grass, water hyacinth, jute and bagasse. Our focus is to find renewable material. Currently, we are mapping various species of bamboo which could possibly be sourced from India for our global requirements. India has the potential to be a global sourcing hub for wood and grass products,” he said.

Ikea is open to a public-private partnership model to expand its base and has already identified a dozen-odd suppliers for bamboo from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. The company will start sourcing from a supplier by 2018.

Currently, most of Ikea’s bamboo wood requirements are being met from China, Vietnam and Indonesia. Furniture products made out bamboo currently account for less than 1% of Ikea’s global sales.

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