25 Oct 2011


Renowned US guitar maker, Martin, have become the latest musical instrument manufacturer to place an order for Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC)-certified African blackwood.

The FSC®-certified wood originates from community-managed forests in Tanzania and with Martin Guitar already being FSC chain-of-custody-certified, the wood can be used to make FSC 100% instruments carrying the FSC logo.

Tim Teel, Martin Guitar Director of Instrument Design said: “I was delighted to find a beautiful solid wood ebony substitute while attending the Musikmesse in 2011, which is harvested in a responsible manner under FSC.

“This discovery will aid in producing high-quality instruments that will last lifetimes. Many thanks to all those involved.”

Martin Guitar already produces a range of FSC-certified instruments although none have to date used African blackwood.

Martin Guitar’s specific plans for use of the African blackwood in products are as yet unconfirmed. However, African blackwood can be used in similar ways to which ebony is commonly used in guitar making, fingerboards and bridges, for example.

Linda Davis-Wallen, Martin Guitar Sourcing Specialist, said: “C.F.  Martin & Co. was very excited to finally discover an FSC 100% certified, legal source of supply for African blackwood fingerboard, bridge and head plate stock for use on our acoustic guitars.

“It is also exciting that this traditional tone wood is a true rosewood (Dalbergia melanoxylon) with the properties of ebony, and is also being managed in an ecologically responsible manner.

“We are quite anxious to receive our first shipment and to make plans for its use on our instruments.”

Background on Martin Guitar

Martin Guitar is committed to corporate responsibility and environmental stewardship, and to support this commitment Martin maintains FSC chain-of-custody certification FSC® C008304.

In 2009 Martin was one of the first acoustic guitar manufacturers in the industry to produce a guitar model comprised entirely of FSC-certified woods.