In addition to providing stylish wood furniture pieces for your home or office, the solid wood furniture industry is a key part of the State of Vermont's economy. Vermont is 75% forests and the plentiful timber supports an important wood furniture industry by providing material for solidwood furniture pieces, such as tables, desks, stands and bookcases. The solid wooden furniture industry in Vermont began in the early 1800s and has been a legacy industry in the State ever since. During this time, solid wood furnitures manufacturing techniques have been passed down through generations, while Vermont wood and wood furniture have gained widespread respect for the furniture's quality and craftsmanship.
During 2006, Vermont's solid wood furniture industy provided over 13,000 jobs and produced almost $2 billion worth of solidwood products. However, even though the solid wood furnitures industry is large, Vermont wood furniture manufacturers are still faced with many challenges. The recent economic slump has hurt sales of solid wood tables, bookshelfs, desks and bookcases. Since the wood and furniture market usually follows the housing market, some smaller solid wooden furniture manufacturers have been unable to maintain the sales volume of their wood furniture products.
Chinese woods furniture manufactures have also hurt the sales of Vermont solid wooden furniture companies. Wood cabinet, table and bookcase and bookshelf factories in China can knock-off wooden furniture products in 6-8 weeks and they sell their wooden furniture cheap. Prices for Chinese-made wood in furniture cannot be explained soley by the country's low labor costs and some of them appear to benefit from significant subsidies from the Chinese government. American trade groups, acting on behalf of U.S. solid wooden furniture makers have had some success vis a vis obtaining increased import duties on Chinese wood furniture products that are illegally dumped on the American market; however, these duties are not necessarily foolproof and some Chinese wood furniture manufacturies have been able to secure exemptions.
The importance of supporting local, Vermont solidwood furniture manufactures goes beyond the jobs they create and the value of the wood furniture that they make; solid wooden furniture manufactures also support local loggers and forests who practice sustainable forestry as well as local wood mills. Vermont's wood forests are a significant renewable resource and require attentive management and stewardship in order to safegaurd their future.
Vermont solid wood furniture makers work with local foresters and landowners to sustainably manage the future of the State's forests and wood resources. Wood furniture products from Vermont are made from wood harvested out of local, responsibly managed forests. By buying a solid wood accent table, desk, cabinet or bookcase made in Vermont, you are supporting the State's working landscape and economy as well as the economy of the greater USA. Next time you are choosing between a solid furniture piece made in the USA and wood furniture from China, please keep these things in mind!