11 Mar 2011


In January 2011, UK clarinet manufacturer, Hanson launched a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified clarinet, the first responsibly produced woodwind instrument of its kind in the world.

The FSC-certified Hanson clarinet is made from African blackwood, a species which is rapidly disappearing due to over-exploitation, primarily for the woodwind industry.

The woodwind industry is one of the primary drivers of illegal logging with as much as 96% of wood exported from countries such as Tanzania being harvested illegally.

FSC-certification ensures that wood is harvested responsibly, legally and guarantees that forest-dependent people are fully rewarded for the use of the resources that are the basis of their livelihoods.

Alastair Hanson, Hanson co-founder said: “We are proud to become the world’s first FSC-certified maker of woodwind instruments. We buy our wood responsibly to help safeguard the hugely valuable natural resources of the tropical forests that provide the material needed to make clarinets.”

Mike Chandler, Chairman of Environment Africa Trust, which has funded the Sound & Fair campaign to develop the market for FSC-certified African blackwood, said: “The launch of this world-first FSC-certified Hanson clarinet marks the culmination of over 15 years of vision and hard work involving the forest-dependent people of Tanzania, who are amongst the world’s poorest communities. The wood in the clarinet has made a pioneering journey and it is immensely satisfying seeing the finished instrument the hands of celebrated musicians such as Lynsey Marsh.”