Madinter’s ebony comes from Crelicam, our factory in Cameroon, which we manage together with our partner in the project, Taylor Guitars. Since we acquired the company in 2011, we have made a lot of progress to ensure the ebony we supply to the music industry is a source of wealth for the African country.
Our goal is not only to supply guitar, violin and other instrument manufacturers with high-quality ebony. At the same time, our product must have a positive impact, both on the sustainable use of natural resources, and on the quality of life of our employees and their communities.
Our ebony has created a new standard in the forest economy of Cameroon, with a business model based on sustainable development and creation of added value in the country of origin, source of wealth for its inhabitants.
A Brief History of Ebony in Africa
African ebony is one of the most valuable woods for building musical instruments. This dense, dark and durable wood is essential for making fingerboards of guitars and violins, piano keys and other components of musical instruments.
However, this natural wealth has historically been a stigma for Africa. The supply chain has traditionally consisted of extracting raw wood from Africa and processing it in factories in China or India, or directly in the final manufacturer of musical instruments. This business model is based on pushing the raw material prices down, which has promoted forest exploitation, corruption and low salaries, while excluding the African producer from the manufacturing process.
In 2011, we decided to put an end to this model.
The owner of Crelicam, a typical Ebony producer in Cameroon, announced that he was retiring and put the company for sale. At Madinter, we saw the opportunity to acquire the factory and apply our sustainability and responsible trade values in Cameroon.
In order to do so, we partnered with the American company Taylor Guitars, manufacturer of high-quality acoustic guitars. Our combined expertise in the applications of wood in the music industry has allowed us to innovate to produce legal and socially responsible Ebony in Cameroon, creating added value and wealth in the country.
Year by year
The Secretary of State's Award for Corporate Excellence
In January 2014, the Crelicam project received the Award for Corporate Excellence award from the United States Secretary of State. Our partner our partner in the project, Taylor Guitars, was recognized as a leading American company in its activities abroad, contributing to the growth and development of local economies through its social responsibility. John Kerry, United States Secretary of State, presented the award at a ceremony attended by Robert Jackson, US Ambassador in Cameroon, H.E. Joseph B. C. Foe Atangana, Cameroon Ambassador in the United States, Bob Taylor, Taylor Guitars CEO and Vidal de Teresa, Madinter CEO.
The Crelicam project in Cameroon is carried out through the collaboration of Madinter and Taylor Guitars, our partner in this project.
Established in 1974 by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug, Taylor Guitars has evolved into one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium acoustic, acoustic/electric and electric guitars.
From the forest to the factory, Taylor practices eco-responsibility at all levels. As a guitar manufacturer, Taylor recognizes its role as an active participant in a worldwide ecosystem — both literally and figuratively — in which natural resources must be managed responsibly to safeguard their future.
We take our responsibility to the environment seriously, and want customers to feel assured that when they purchase a Taylor guitar, they are supporting the highest levels of ethical, eco-conscious business.