Started in 1893, Robinson Lumber, with headquarters in New Orleans, Lousiana, with 14 locations in five countries, is a large player in the lumber import business.
With offices near key ports of export in Breves and Belém, Brazil and offices near the key ports of import in Savannah, Georgia and Mobile, Alabama, Robinson is among the top importers of bigleaf into the US.
Robinson’s Brazilian subsidiary, Robco Madeiras, Ltda. has three locations in Brazil. At the Belém location, Robco kiln dries and remanufactures lumber, including mahogany, produces flooring, decking, fencing, shutters and siding and exports Brazilian plywood and doors.
The Breves location is on the island of Marajo in the state of Para, where the company kiln dries and remanufactures lumber and owns and operates export port facilities for loading ships.
In the Curitiba location, near the port of Paranagua, the company kiln dries and remanufactures lumber for export.
Robco is a large exporter of andiroba (Carapa guianensis), also known as royal mahogany. This species is used in furniture as a mahogany substitute. Many US furniture manufacturers such as Henredon and Thomasville use large quantities of andiroba. The company exports other Amazon woods as well, such as virola, ipê, jatoba, cedro, cumaru and many other species.

Robinson’s Chalmette, Louisiana location — near the mouth of the Mississippi river — is where the company imports, kiln dries and remanufactures South American species for domestic sale.
One of the specials offered by Robinson on their website on 10/13/01 was mahogany planks for $2000 mbf.
Robinson’s web page states an environmental policy (taken almost word-for-word from literature developed by the International Wood Products Association) that “Supports those producers in tropical countries who have shown the same commitment as Robinson Lumber Company to environmentally sound tropical forestry. This includes providing evidence that they and their respective governments are taking measures to implement environmentally sound tropical forest management policies.”
However, Robinson was the largest bigleaf importer in 1993 and was known to be importing from Peracchi.
The website, quoting IWPA, states that buying wood products saves forests, yet all information points to just the opposite, that logging is the largest threat to the world’s ancient forests and that logging in the tropics, far from preventing clearing from agriculture, instead precipitates it.
Robinson Lumber Company, 4000 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70115, USA
Tel: (504) 895-6377; fax: (504) 897-0820;

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