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Global Environmentalists Gather to Discuss the Future of Tonewoods

Christian Wissmuller • MMR GlobalUpfront • September 11, 2023

Martin President & CEO, Thomas Ripsam

C. F. Martin & Co.® (Martin Guitar) hosted its 8th Wood Summit at its headquarters in Nazareth. PA, with the purpose of bringing like-minded organizations together to discuss the current and future state of tonewoods. This year’s summit focused on Tonewood Species Under Pressure and included representatives from US Fish and Wildlife, the World Resources Institute, Forest Based Solutions, Preferred by Nature, the International Wood Products Association, and the Environmental Investigation Agency.

Attendees came far and wide to provide a multifaceted view of the current state of responsible and sustainable sourcing of raw materials, specifically the exotic woods from which Martin Guitar crafts its acoustic guitars.

The day began with factory tours for attendees before the morning session was kicked off by Martin’s Procurement Manager Albert Germick and Sourcing Specialist Michael Dickinson, followed by commentary from Martin’s President & CEO, Thomas Ripsam and Executive Chairman, Chris Martin IV.

Mr. Ripsam presented Martin’s sustainability program and discussed how it is the foundation of Martin Guitar’s strategic plans. Ripsam also talked about how environmental concerns make up the majority of the challenges facing the world and the guitar industry is no exception. “The future of tonewoods, especially exotic tonewoods, is in question and the time to act is now,” said Ripsam. “At Martin we are acting, and we hope the rest of the industry will follow.”

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