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Rainforest Alliance to Host a Seminar on Responsible Wood Purchasing at the High Point Market

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Attendees at the High Point Market, can learn more about the trend towards sustainability in home furnishings at an educational seminar and luncheon on October 3 titled, “Responsible Wood Purchasing: How Your Choices Can Make a Difference to the Planet.” Daphne Hewitt, senior projects manager for the Rainforest Alliance’s Training Research Extension Education System (TREES) program will speak at the Century Courtyard at Market Square, 317 W. High Ave., High Point, NC 27260 on Wednesday, October 3 from 12 – 1:30 p.m. At the educational seminar, attendees will be briefed on the meaning of responsible sourcing, the significance of conscientious wood purchasing – for the planet and for companies – and the associated challenges of finding (and verifying) sustainable products. Hewitt will discuss the role of third-party certification in providing assurance to buyers and consumers, as well as the increased awareness of and demand for sustainable wood products. Attendees will learn the importance of responsible sourcing and acquire the necessary tools to seek out sustainable wood materials. BACKGROUND: Consumers and buyers alike have begun expressing a desire for furniture that is both attractive and environmentally sound. This increased demand was likely spurred, in part, by the creation of the Sustainable Furniture Council at the High Point Market in October, 2006. Representatives from the Rainforest Alliance, a non-profit international conservation organization, actively participate in this innovative new group, which brings together members of the home furnishings industry and organizations that are committed to responsible business practices and promoting furniture that is produced in an environmentally and socially responsible way. “The home furnishings industry uses one of the earth’s most beautiful resources, wood, to create products that range from simple and functional pieces to real works of art,” said Daphne Hewitt. “By encouraging manufacturers, retailers and suppliers in the industry to adopt sustainable practices, the council is ensuring that this beauty is reflected in the entire process, from the responsibly managed forests where the wood originates through final production.” Buying sustainable furniture is one way environmentally and socially conscious consumers can express their values through the products they choose to put in their homes. The council’s members are hoping to increase consumer awareness and demand for “green” (sustainable) home products. The Rainforest Alliance also offers many other tools to help companies find sustainable solutions in the marketplace. We are the world’s leading certifier of forestlands to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards. We verify the legality of timber, analyze supply chains for risk, and help design and implement procurement policies. We work with businesses of all sizes to make more responsible choices by using market forces to protect our natural resources and support workers and local communities. The Rainforest Alliance works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. For more information, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org. Daphne Hewitt and Rick Hilton, green building specialist for the Rainforest Alliance’s TREES program, will be manning a booth at the High Point Market. Located in Suite I 473 at Market Square, the booth will be staffed daily from Monday, October 1 to Saturday, October 6. Hewitt and Hilton will be available for questions and interviews.

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