Chip Barber, Tom Bedell, Jeff Bridges, Brad Johnson, Frank Untermyer, Rob Garner and Michael Skinner share insights about expanding sustainability efforts in MI
BEND, ORE.—JAN. 13, 2020—Music industry leaders will gather for a panel discussion concerning sustainability practices including Lacey Act compliance for tonewood imports. Mary Luehrsen, director of NAMM Public Affairs and Government Relations, will moderate a 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16 NAMM panel discussion on Sustainability and the Music Industry (NAMM Member Center, Level 1 Lobby, Anaheim Convention Center).
The event will feature:
- Tom Bedell, Two Old Hippies and owner Breedlove Guitars
- Brad Johnson, Category Director for Acoustic Guitars at Guitar Center Charles “Chip” Barber, Director of the Forest Legality Initiative (FLI), World Resource Institute
- Jeff Bridges, actor, activist and guitar player
- Frank Untermyer, Director of Supply Chain Management, Marin Guitar Rob Garner, Director, Forest Based Solutions, LLC
- Michael Skinner, President | DANSR, inc., also representing Van Doren reeds
Speakers will address compliance with the 2008 Lacey Act amendment regarding trade in illegally sourced wood products and compliance challenges with Chinese imports; a supply chain for nearly half the guitars purchased in America. Panelists will also outline other sustainability practices that impact both production and product brand messaging.
Tom Bedell of Two Old Hippies, Breedlove Guitars’ will share a years-long effort to develop an acoustic/electric Organic Collection, designed in Bend and built in China, that launched on Jan. 1. The Collection uses no clear-cut timber; sustainably harvested, FSC-certified exotic tonewoods; and salvaged and individually-harvested native Oregon myrtlewood. The pioneering effort, led by Bedell—noted for his environmental work within the industry—represents a new step, with a clear global chain of custody.
“We hope to challenge and encourage Chinese manufacturers; importers; retailers; and consumers to participate in similar solutions for the entire acoustic guitar industry. It’s been a difficult path, bringing the Organic Collection to market,” says Bedell. “But we believe we’ve proven it can be done. Musicians hold the ear of the world; let’s help them remind everyone to care for our planet. We only have one.”