IKEA looking to source bamboo, indigenous wood species from India

Bindu D Menon Mumbai | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on April 28, 2017

IKEA   -  Reuters

Plans to expand its portfolio of sustainable products

Furniture retailer IKEA is looking to source bamboo and other sustainable indigenous wood species from the India for its global operations as it looks to expand its portfolio of such products.

The Swedish flat-pack company is already in talks with Central and State governments particularly North Eastern States to identify local species of wood which can be sourced from here.

Additionally, the company is also in talks with Forestry Department under the Ministry of Environment and host of other such institutes to identify species of locally grown wood such as rubber wood, mango wood and neem wood which could be sourced from various parts of the country.

“We are constantly looking for new materials including wood and natural fibres such as bamboo, seagrass, water hyacinth, jute and bagasse etc as our focus is to find renewable material. Currently, we are mapping various species of bamboo and other locally grown wood which could possibly be sourced from India for our global requirements. India has a potential to be a global sourcing hub for wood and grass products,”Sandeep Sanan, Head of Business Development, IKEA South Asia told Business Line.

Sanan said 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 incentivise the cultivation of such renewable wood products .

He said the company is open to a public-private partnership model to expand its base. It has already identified dozen odd suppliers for bamboo from States such asviz. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.

Sanan said that the company will start sourcing from a supplier by 2018.

The supplier is readying a facility to make particle board out of bamboo. “We are handholding some suppliers to ramp up to our global standards,” he added.

IKEA is known globally for its DIY designs largely in wood.

Currently, most of its bamboo wood requirements are being met from China, Vietnam and Indonesia. Furniture products made out bamboo currently account for less than one per cent of IKEA’s global sales.

IKEA is setting up it first store in India at Hyderabad later this year. It has also announced that it will soon start work on its second store in Mumbai.

In 2016, IKEA had sourced goods worth €318 million. Textile accounted for over 65-70 per cent of the good sourced. IKEA has been sourcing from India since last 32 years.

In 2013, it got a nod from the government to start its single brand retail venture. The company plans to invest ₹10,500 crore in opening 25 stores.

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Published on April 28, 2017
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