At a time where our focus has never before been so channelled to preserving our planet – especially for all of us with a special interest and affection for parrot-like birds, we at Sky Pet Products thought it important to give a little insight to how, where and why Java wood plays a part in this story.
We have a long standing relationship with our partner in Java, Indonesia who established their business 18 years ago using a surplus product and making it into a usable ecologically friendly bird accessory. The product in question is coffee tree, a tough long growing coffee bean producer. Many years before the Government for Java cleared the forest to plant coffee tree, something we look on sometimes with anger and frustration, consider the Javan economy is poor and needing many forms of local produce to export from the resource to hand. The island of Java still has rainforest, but only estimated to be about 5% intact. In parts a rugged region with many volcanic mountains and with the fringe of the Island most inhabited especially around Jakarta, the Islands and regions capital. The regions population is spread across 4 islands, however 50% of the total population is located on Java. Many animal and bird species have gone from the Island due to mans impact and the speed to development on this Indonesian island seems to gather pace, displacing more and more animal and birdlife.
So buying a coffee tree product for your pet bird is a good thing? A product that has been grown in the place of a forest tree? A complicated question to consider. The coffee tree used to make the Java tree in our home is sustainable wood, proven to be taken from a plantation that has re planted more coffee trees after removing older less productive trees. A coffee plantation is not rainforest, it does not offer the same habitat to birds and animals however it does offer a habitat of kind, something that birds and animals can adapt to and around the fringes, much like the fringes of fields we see in the UK, provides a more natural place for wildlife to thrive. In the past the coffee tree would have been burned in the plantation adding pollution to the atmosphere, instead the trees are now sold to our java tree producer who can turn them into bird stands and toys. Our partner can employ 125 people to transform the raw tree into a Java tree, perch or toy.
From a raw tree the local worked strip the tree bark using water harvested from the roof of the buildings and stored underground, then recycled through a drainage system in the floor after each use. The tree is then baked in a wood fired over – the size of a triple car garage for 20 days. The ovens are powered in the main part by off cut surplus tree wood and broken pallets destined for burning. Once finished the tree offers a great natural wooden perch ideal for keeping bird’s feet and nails in good order – as close to nature as we can achieve.
So, in buying a Java product we are supporting a community – a country, giving the people a chance for employment and export. We are using a product that takes the place of a forest tree taken from a living rainforest in another part of the world. Hardwearing, the Java tree will usually keep our pet Parrot happy, engaged and healthy for a very long time.
Up close. Our colleague Lee Gardiner has visited the island a number of times to see plantation, transport, production and shipment. We believe it important to see the process for real and not just read about it, we have a responsibility to ensure we are sourcing the right product from the right people.