Van der Sar Import has certified its rattan production process

As far as is known, Van der Sar Import is the first company in the world to successfully certify the production process for rattan products. Under the brand name Terima Kasih, the Dutch company from De Lier has been supplying sustainably produced rattan baskets for years. The certification process took four years. Van der Sar Import harvests the rattan in a responsible way in Indonesia. The tropical climbing plants are then processed into baskets in Van der Sar’s own factory on the island of Java.

Customers are demanding more information about the origin of products, and this inspired owner Gerard van der Sar to work towards certification. Director, Gerard van der Sar was strongly committed to obtaining certification for the rattan production process. ‘Tropical rainforests are under pressure partly due to the large-scale harvest of the climbing rattan plant. Workers need to harvest a certain amount of rattan per day to have sufficient income. As a result, rattan is disappearing much faster than it can grow.’

Gerard van der Sar shows logo of sustainable brand Terima Kasih

Rattan, just harvested in the rainforest

Deforestation of virgin forest
The disappearance of rattan from forest plots eventually leads to the deforestation of virgin forest, as Gerard van der Sar knows. Van der Sar spent four years working to achieve a responsible production process with guidance from an official certification body. ‘The certification process has been tried before, but no one has ever succeeded.’ Workers on islands such as Sulawesi and Kalimantan now harvest the rattan based on a restricted number of plots in the jungle. Young cuttings of the climbing plant are now protected.

Transporting bundles of rattan from the jungle to the processor

Fair pay and health insurance
Under the certified process, a piece-rate worker can harvest fewer kilos of rattan. In return, Van der Sar Import pays a better kilo price and guarantees them year-round employment. The certification also includes a socially responsible personnel policy. Employees in Indonesia receive a fair wage and two meals a day. Employees are also insured against medical expenses. Child labor and discrimination do not take place at the company's certified production sites. Gerard van der Sar: ‘Every piece of rattan is now fully traceable, from harvesting to the arrival of products in De Lier. Every transaction is recorded.’

Training on how to register batches of rattan for traceability purposes.

Ladies do the final inspection and minor repairs of baskets before shipment.

Other certifications in the pipeline
Van der Sar Import supplies the rattan baskets under the brand name Terima Kasih, Indonesian for ‘thank you’. Products are mainly sold outside the Netherlands, with the most important markets being Scandinavia, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Van der Sar’s key customers are growers, garden centres, wholesalers for florists and plant exporters. The company also supplies products made from sea grass, jute and recycled cotton. Van der Sar Import aims to certify the process for these raw materials too.

Production of baskets in the factory of Van der Sar Import

For more information:
Van der Sar
Gerard van der Sar
Leemolen 70
2678 MH De Lier, Netherlands
+31 6 53 25 69 14 


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