IKEA plans to source bamboo and other sustainable indigenous wood species directly from India for its global operations. The Swedish furniture retailer also wants to expand its portfolio of such products.
Thus, IKEA is in talks with Central and State governments particularly North Eastern States as to determine local species of wood which can be sourced from here. Also, the company discusses with the Forestry Department under the Ministry of Environment to determine the 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 said.
As reported by the Hindu Business Online, 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 also said that 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 added that IKEA 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 said.
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, the Hindu Business Online reported.
IKEA sets up it first store in India at Hyderabad later in 2017 and the company 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.
IKEA plans to invest ₹10,500 crore in opening 25 stores in India.