Worry-free teak from Latin America

BREDA _ Easterwoods Trading BV is a Dutch company that markets teak from Latin America that the company says is of the quality yacht builders want but is unburdened by the negative reputation of commercially harvested Southeast Asian teak.

Extensive logging has led Southeast Asian nations like India, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar to curtail or ban teak exports.

Not native to Latin America, teak trees were first planted there a century ago. Easterwoods says it works with a reliable network to buy teak there that has no FSC certification to show teak forests are responsibly managed.

Belize teak forest (Ph. TKO Farms).

Getting that certification, says Easterwoods, is often too costly for Latin American small-plot owners. But by buying teak locally “we know the cultivation of teak wood is completely legal and that the money gets to the right people.” Easterwoods says it will soon start importing FSC-certified teak from Latin-America.

Teak for use on yachts is in high demand. It is prized for its dark or reddish brown coloring and few grain patterns. It produces a natural oil that protects it from harsh environments and drying.But proving Asian teak’s true origin has become tricky Between 2010 and 2015, for instance, Myanmar experienced the world’s third-worst deforestation, losing at least 1.34 million acres.

Easterwoods says its stocks teak in a range of sizes that has been dried naturally or artificially. It can also market entire tree trunks. Easterwoods’ teak is sawed in Costa Rica, monitored by an Easterwoods teak specialist


In 2018, this newsletter published a 2-part series on the future and challenges of the trade in teak for yachts.