Batesville uses African mahogany to manufacture caskets, in incredibly wasteful use of destructive tropical hardwoods.
A subsidiary of Hillebrand Industries, Batesville Casket Company, headquartered in Batesville, Indiana, is the largest manufacturer of caskets in the U.S. Batesville Casket began in 1906 when John Hillebrand bought Batesville Coffin Company, started in 1884. Batesville has five plants in five states and over 3,500 employees.

Batesville supplied the military with wooden coffins during WWII and resumed manufacturing metal coffins shortly after the war. Some time after that, the company suspended wood coffin manufacture, resuming only in 1973.

A large mahogany buyer, (much of it African), the company also was recently buying bigleaf exported from the Brazilian Amazon.

Ironically, Batesville participates in the “Living Memorial” tree planting program. According to the website, when someone buys a casket “a tree seedling is planted in a national forest”. In other words, the company pays a fraction of a penny to the Forest Service, already planting hybrid trees in tree farms that used to be forests. The site goes on to state that the trees “will ensure that generations to come will know the beauty of a green planet.”89 If only Batesville could stop using illegal mahogany, the logging of which is driving the deforestation of the Amazon. Wildlife in Africa is dying for the mahogany used by Batesville.

Batesville Casket Company
One Batesville Blvd.
700 St. Rt. 46 East
Batesville, IN, 47006-8835
Ph: 812/934-7000
Fax: 812/934-8675

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