Who We Are
C. F. Martin & Co., Inc. (Martin Guitar), founded in 1833 by Christian Frederick Martin Sr., has been continuously family-owned and operated for six generations. As one of the oldest acoustic instrument producers in the world, Martin Guitar employs skilled craftsmen and women who superbly integrate Old World craftsmanship with state-of-the-art technology. This privately held manufacturer is the acknowledged creator of some of the world’s finest musical instruments. The Martin name has become recognized as an American tradition in superior quality.
Martin Guitar has long been concerned about its impact on the environment, and is proud to be an industry leader in global commitment to responsible forestry and the use of renewable natural resources. The Company actively recognizes its responsibility to the environment, consumers, and staff to base its commercial activities on responsible stewardship of the world's forest resources.
What We Do
Supply Chain Monitoring
Martin Guitar performs periodic assessments on suppliers with the goal of increasing due diligence and reducing the risks of procuring non-conforming products. These assessments seek to provide the most up-to-date information regarding the sources of raw materials used in the manufacture of Martin products. Additionally, Martin Guitar conducts independent research on its wood suppliers via on-line sources and business contacts. It makes supplier and forest site visits on a regular basis. In 2015, Martin representatives made six forest site visits.
Timber Legality and Regulatory Compliance
Martin Guitar is committed to purchasing all timber from legal sources and seeks, obtains and maintains evidence from suppliers that they are complying with regulatory requirements in the countries where the wood was harvested, manufactured and shipped. Additionally, Martin complies with applicable international agreements and the laws of the United States of America, in particular the Lacey Act. Martin exercises due diligence and understands the origin of its forest products - well aware that a Lacey Act violation could occur at almost any point in a forest product supply chain.
Martin Guitar consistently asks its suppliers questions such as: What are your supply chains? Can you trace them all the way back to the forest? Do you have proper documentation? Martin Guitar uses discretion and regional risk assessments to determine the level of documentation required beyond meeting standard compliance declarations under the Lacey Act.
Martin Guitar supports and directly participates in international efforts to improve forest management through independent certification systems that include third party verification. The Company is committed to purchasing increased volumes of timber products that are independently certified to credible standards for responsible forestry and recognizes the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) as the most rigorous of the available forestry standards.
In 2015, approximately 45% of Martin Guitar’s wood purchases were obtained from FSC® certified and controlled wood sources. Martin Guitar was FSC® chain of custody certified from 1997 to 2004, and then recertified by the Rainforest Alliance in 2007. Martin Guitar co-workers across all functional areas are involved in maintaining the Company’s conformance with FSC® standards.
In 2014, Martin Guitar received two highly significant awards for its long-standing dedication to responsible timber sourcing and rigorous adherence to the FSC® standards. In May 2014, Martin Guitar was recognized with the Sustainable Standard-Setter award at the Rainforest Alliance annual gala at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The Sustainable Standard-Setter award provides global recognition to industry champions who have the vision to make sustainability a priority and the vigor to make it a reality. This award was based on Martin Guitar’s long-standing dedication to responsible timber sourcing and rigorous adherence to the FSC® standards.
In October 2014, Martin Guitar was recognized for FSC® leadership in the music industry at the “10th Annual Design & Build with FSC®” awards ceremony in New Orleans. The FSC® leadership awards were given to organizations and individuals who have long championed forest conservation and leveraged markets to promote stewardship.
Collaboration with Government, NGOs and Industry Groups
We believe collaboration is the best avenue to establish responsible timber sourcing practices. Martin Guitar hosts a bi-annual wood summit at its company's headquarters in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. In May 2015, the fifth bi-annual wood summit commenced with an agenda of discussions, networking and presentations on myriad key topics that ranged from CITES permits and process, Lacey Act due care, DNA chain of custody tracking to alternative material sourcing. With the wood summit, Martin is proud to bring together a credible group of governmental, NGO and industry leaders to openly discuss and highlight important issues within our industry that ensure best practice policies and processes continue and expand to larger groups of instrument builders. Typical attendees at the bi-annual wood summit are Martin Guitar’s world-wide suppliers as well as representatives from US Fish & Wildlife Service, Rainforest Alliance, Forest Stewardship Council®, World Resource Institute, Forest Legality Alliance and Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and ForestBased Solutions.
Social Development Projects
Martin Guitar’s approach to timber sourcing is designed to support its business objectives of ensuring a long-term supply of sustainable timber and contributing positively to the environment and communities from where it sources. This includes investing in local community projects.
Republic of Congo
In 2013 Martin provided a grant for the purchase of treated mosquito nets for the Pokola Clinic in the Republic of Congo. Pokola is a key FSC® timber concession and is home to over 20,000 people who are directly related to the concession and its management. The Pokola clinic is a community hospital that serves forest workers and their families as well as the greater northern Republic of Congo region. It has become a center for treating infectious disease such as HIV and malaria as well as offering the community access to general health care.
Martin Guitar helps communities in other countries become more economically sustainable. In April 2015 Martin Guitar helped build a low-energy kiln in a Guatemalan community, increasing the value of the wood they use and reusing wood that was previously discarded. Prior to the kiln, the mill employees were harvesting green and wet wood. They were unemployed while they waited for the wood to dry. With the kiln, the mill employees can now cut and dry the wood relatively quickly. They avoid the previous problem of green wood warping over time.
The kiln keeps the mill employees working and earning a living during the rainy season when wood is not being processed. During this time, they use the kiln-dried lumber in their woodworking mill to make items for their community such as windows and doors. Additionally, they use the kiln to dry herbs and spices such as allspice.
Martin Guitar continues to build its partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the Bureau of State Parks and Jacobsburg Environmental Education Center to educate visitors about sustainable practices for forest health. Martin presented Bureau of State parks staff with a one-of-a-kind Martin guitar and display case to be installed in the center. The blond guitar is inlaid with images of aquatic insects, a salamander, and the DCNR logo. After Hurricane Sandy, representatives of Martin collected sections from four different species of downed trees at Jacobsburg to create the guitar.
Martin Guitar’s partnership with the center reaches beyond the guitar. The company donated $25,000 in September 2014 to support the creation of a 15-acre area to showcase a forest in different stages of succession, with interpretive signage for visitors on sustainable management practices. DCNR’s Bureau of Forestry has written a 10-year forest stewardship plan for the demonstration area.
Martin Guitar is committed to continuously improve its sourcing and purchasing policies by building the capacity of its staff and enhancing communication with its suppliers. Additionally, the Company is committed to increased efficiencies and waste reduction through improved production processes. This includes the introduction of alternative species and processes that reduce the impact on forests and natural systems.
Review and Adaptation of Practices
Martin Guitar ensures that this policy and related documents such as its Supplier Code of Conduct and Wood Purchasing Practices are reviewed annually and revised appropriately. Martin Guitar is willing and eager to assist it suppliers to resolve any issues concerning this Responsible Timber Policy. Further details can be obtained from the Martin Guitar Purchasing Department.