Major obstacles encountered by small-scale furniture manufacturers in Jepara include obtaining raw materials, ensuring product quality, marketing products and sustaining business capital. These four problems are very much interconnected and need to be addressed simultaneously.
Fluctuations in timber prices make it difficult for small-scale manufacturers to purchase good-quality timber, which affects product quality. Many producers opt for cheaper, low-quality timber from younger trees, which compromises the sustainability of timber sources (FVC Team 2011e).
Furthermore, most small-scale manufacturers market their products not to end consumers but mainly to middlemen, wholesalers, big furniture companies or exporters. With no set standards for product...