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Sonian Wood Cooperative

Developing a cooperative to keep the wood from the Sonian Forest local.

Project: Sonian Wood Cooperative

Year: 2019

Partners included: Centre d’ecologie urbaine; Walden project

Location: Brussels, Flanders, Wallonia


Team: Adrian Hill, Eric Haas, Francesca Gualino, Hanne Van Reusel, Marco Kooistra and, Stephan Kampelmann

Sector: Production

Services: Facilitation of events, Systemic & service design, Governance models, Business model & financing, User research engagement

Why?   The Sonian forest produces some 20,000m2 of wood per year which is cut and sold to the highest bidder. While this may seem logical, the wood is largely cut and sent directly to Asia (mostly to China). Absurdly, furniture makers and builders located in and around the Sonian forest often purchase wood from Scandinavia, Canada or even Asia. The objective of the Sonian Wood Coop is to source local wood to the local market with the result of reducing carbon emissions, providing jobs and creating value in a local resource. 

What?  The sale of wood for export markets was common knowledge to both local institutions and researchers, yet little had been done about it. In this self-funded project, Osmos was developed everything required to launch the cooperative and make the resource attractive to the local market. This involved researching existing production chains, understanding local interest groups, developing businesses partnerships, sourcing start-up capital (such as a successful crowdfunding campaign), defining the branding and website, campaigning the media, exploring processing, marketing and selling the wood. Osmos was involved in all steps of the process.

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