Principles

“Sustainability” has become a widespread term and is often used as an expression of contemporary social, ecological and economic management of the available resources. Unfortunately, the term is also found in the modern alibi vocabulary of many companies. You may sound us out also in this regard!

What does this mean for Arbofino? In simple terms, all our products and services should generate a clearly recognizable and measurable added value in the environmental or social field. As a family business, we also want to make an important contribution to the United Nations’ goals for sustainable development. This includes a general focus on  fair production and sustainable consumption (Goal 12). A global change in the way we produce and consume goods is more urgent than ever.

 

Without straining the win-win concept – we are convinced that nobody has to be on the losing side. We are satisfied, when we obtain a good selling price for the wood on behalf of the tree owners, when we make the world more livable for the local population and when we can contribute to the preservation of our planet with our natural reforestation projects. It should be fair for all! Still skeptical? Contact us and get to know us.

Quality

Mucho mejor si es hecho en Ecuador! We gladly take this Ecuadorian promise to heart and build on the existing ideal resources. We owe it to our credo that with Swiss zeal we also include in our understanding of quality a special appreciation of ecology and sustainability.

Plantations:

5

The right choice of location for plantations - this always includes soil samples analyzed by a laboratory

5

Excellent seedlings with certified proof of origin

5

Professional management of the plantations supervised by experts

5

Permanent monitoring of the finca by an employee living on site

Reforestation:

5

Healthy seedlings from nurseries in the region

5

Professional planting and maintenance

5

Permanent monitoring of the natural reserve

5

Biodiversity monitoring under scientific leadership

Corporate management:

5

Direct and personal contact with customers

5

Open and transparent communication

5

Healthy finances and sensible planning

5

Standing up for the central Stakeholders: Tree owners, team and local population, environment and last, not least, Arbofino

Nachhaltigkeit:

5

High social standards for employees

5

Personal exchange with the locals

5

Conservation and reforestation of natural forests to absorb CO2 and promote biodiversity

5

Animal-friendly and appropriate keeping of farm animals

Ecology

We plant trees, it couldn’t be more ecological! Well, it is not that simple. Our natural reforestation projects are all about nature conservation, but our Impact Investment concept is about combining commercial interests with nature conservation in such a way that in the end there is added value for everyone. Exciting, but also challenging. But what we certainly do not want is greenwashing, there is already enough of that. We want to communicate transparently, ask ourselves critical questions and, together with partners, achieve continuous improvement in all ecological issues.

For the commercial projects of our investors we plant mainly teak. This species is not native to the American continent and from an ecological point of view, native trees should always be preferred to other species. Our decision to plant teak therefore has purely economic reasons. However, the prerequisite was that teak is non-invasive and therefore does not pose a threat to the local environment. More about the advantages of teak can be found under Teak Investment.

The concept of monoculture, which is currently still used by the majority, can also be considered as less than ideal in terms of sustainability. It hardly brings any ecological added value for nature. However, in our case it merely replaces another monoculture, namely former pasture land consisting of invasive grass introduced by humans. Thanks to the reforestation of teak trees, above-average amounts of CO2 are now being absorbed. A positive contribution to the climate! Above all, when using precious wood, the processed timber is preserved over a long period of time keeping the CO2 bound. Furthermore, not all monocultures are the same. We rely on small-scale plantations, which are characterized by actively created biodiversity corridors and adjacent natural forests. Endless monocultures do not exist with us.

This means that active nature conservation does not fall short with us. On the contrary! Our impact investment concept includes the purchase and protection of existing, valuable secondary forest as well as the specific reforestation of natural forest with native tree species. In this way we want to preserve and promote local biodiversity. Suppressed animals and plants shall find a new habitat again. With every hectare that we plant with teak, ¼ hectare of natural forest is being reforested and the same area of secondary forest protected. By simultaneously restoring and protecting the land ecosystems, we are focusing on goal 15  of the UN development goal. Systematic biodiversity monitoring will record the development over a long period of time. The thank you call from the already present howler monkeys will not lack and motivate them to reproduce.

 

Thus, we do not only produce wood, but we also provide considerable protected areas to achieve further positive effects. What goes without saying: The felling of natural forest or a yield-oriented conversion of ecologically particularly valuable areas is out of the question for us!

Our pure natural reforestation concept is oriented even entirely towards nature conservation and is an ideal complement to the impact investment concept. Together with companies and private individuals, as much CO2 as possible shall be absorbed and as much protected areas shall be established to promote biodiversity! Reforestation is an important instrument to achieve goal 13 of the UN development goals: Measures to combat climate change and its effects.

 

The more forest we protect and reforest, the greater our positive impact. This is further strengthened by our organic cacao, which grows in a mixed culture. Everything can be checked on site at any time.

People

Happiness and personal fulfillment are the natural consequences of doing the right thing. (Epictetus)

Isn’t it tragic that social responsibility, appreciation for workers and respectful cooperation has remained a unique feature for companies down to the present day? Even more as we are allowed to use foreign soil, we at Arbofino consciously refuse exploitation, indifference and ignorance. That is why we consider goal 8 of the UN development goals all the more important. Decent work should be a matter of course in today’s world, but, unfortunately, we are still a long way from this.

To please everyone is a challenge that cannot always be achieved. We put our company philosophy into practice by living it ourselves at all times. We do not let culture-based caution and uncertainty deter us. Some stakeholders first need to get used to our Swiss standards of structure, reliability and trust.

For us, social responsibility means more than just adhering to common standards. Personal exchange with the local population is central to creating acceptance and mutual understanding. This is all the more important if we want to successfully implement joint projects in the future. It goes without saying that all employees, even temporary ones, receive an official employment contract with accident and social insurance, a thirteenth and fourteenth month’s salary and wages above the statutory minimum wage.

The workers who are employed for planting and cultivation come from the region whenever possible. In a structurally weak agricultural area, where rural exodus is a widespread phenomenon, a reliable local employer is particularly appreciated. Especially when people feel perceived as human beings.

We also want to communicate these positive aspects to the local population in general through awareness-raising and personal exchange.

Visits

Bienvenidos! This is our motto if you want to visit the plantation on site. We are uncomplicated and spontaneous. If you happen to be in Ecuador and would like to take the opportunity to visit your teak trees or the conservation projects you support, we would be particularly happy. Personally, from Switzerland we are there ourselves at least three times a year. If it does not coincide with your trip, our Ecuadorian manager Leandro or our forestry engineer Nestor will be pleased to visit the fincas with you.

Especially interesting can be the participation in a customer trip organized by us, which you can complement perfectly with a private program before or after the trip. Of course, a visit to the fincas has priority, where you can get to know the projects and the local staff personally. You might even enjoy a short riding tour through the plantation on our mules or horses. Other agronomic, cultural and culinary highlights are also included. We will give you exciting impressions of the country and its people that otherwise only a specialized travel agency can – simply much more personal.

Most visitors stay in Ecuador for a minimum of two to three weeks because the country has so much to offer. We are happy to help you with valuable tips when you plan your trip!