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Rattan

Van der Sar Import first company in the world with certified rattan production process

As far as is known, Van der Sar Import is the first company to successfully certify the production process for rattan products. We have been supplying sustainably produced rattan baskets for years under the brand name Terima Kasih. The certification process took five years. We harvest the rattan responsibly in Indonesia. The tropical climbing plants are then processed into baskets in our own factory on the island of Java.

Customers placing increasing demands about the origin of products have inspired owner Gerard van der Sar to work towards certification. Director, Gerard van der Sar was strongly committed to obtaining certification for the rattan production process. ‘Tropical rainforests are under pressure partly due to the large-scale harvest of the climbing rattan plant. Workers need to harvest a certain amount of rattan per day to have sufficient income. As a result, rattan is disappearing much faster than it can grow.’

Deforestation of virgin forest

The disappearance of rattan from forest plots eventually leads to the deforestation of virgin forest, as Gerard van der Sar knows. We have spent five years working to achieve a responsible production process with guidance from an official certification body. ‘The certification process has been tried before, but no one has ever succeeded.’ Workers on islands such as Sulawesi and Kalimantan now harvest the rattan based on a restricted number of plots in the jungle. Young cuttings of the climbing plant are now protected.

Fair pay and health insurance

Under the certified process, a piece rate worker can harvest fewer kilos of rattan. In return, we pay a better kilo price and guarantee them year-round employment. The certification also includes a socially responsible personnel policy. Employees in Indonesia receive a fair wage and two meals a day. Employees are also insured against medical expenses. Child labour and discrimination do not take place at our company's certified production sites. Gerard van der Sar: ‘Every piece of rattan is now fully traceable, from harvesting to the arrival of products in De Lier. Every transaction is recorded.’

Other certifications in the pipeline

We supply the rattan baskets under the brand name Terima Kasih; Indonesian for ‘thank you’. Products are mainly sold outside the Netherlands, with the most important markets being Scandinavia, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Major customers are growers, garden centres, florist wholesalers and plant exporters. We also supply products made from sea grass, jute and recycled cotton. We want to certify the process for these raw materials too.

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Certification 

The certification was carried out by the NTFP foundation. This organisation strives for the preservation of tropical rainforest and the wellbeing of its inhabitants.   

For information on rainforest protection click here.

For the explanation of the certification process click here