Timber is a vital resource that is all around us. It is the house that shelters us, the furniture we relax in, the books we read, the paper we print, the disposable diapers for our babies, and the boxes that contain our cereal, detergent, and new appliances. The way we produce and consume timber, however, is changing. With international timber companies and big box discount retailers increasingly controlling through global commodity chains where and how much timber is traded, the world's remaining old-growth forests, particularly in the developing world, are under threat of disappearing - all for the price of a consumer bargain.
This trailblazing book is the first to expose what's happening inside corporate commodity chains with conclusions that fundamentally challenge our understanding of how and why deforestation persists. Authors Peter Dauvergne and Jane Lister reveal how timber now moves through long and complex supply chains from the forests of the global South through the factories of emerging economies like China to the big box retail shelves of Europe and North America. Well-off consumers are getting unprecedented deals. But the social and environmental costs are extraordinarily high as corporations mine the world's poorest regions and most vulnerable ecosystems.
The growing power of big retail within these commodity chains is further increasing South-North inequities and unsustainable global consumption. Yet, as this book's highly original analysis uncovers, it is also creating some intriguing opportunities to promote more responsible business practices and better global forest governance.