07/25/2007 - For Immediate Release

Vermont Manufacturer On The Crest Of The Organic Wave

Maple Landmark finds success in growing "niche" of organic children's products.

Middlebury, VT—The Green Mountain State is "green" and companies like Maple Landmark make Vermont even "greener." Known from Coast to Coast for their high quality wooden products, Maple Landmark has moved deeper into the "green" or organic niche.

The toy trend of the late 90's and 2000's was toward products that were highly designed with bright colors and elaborate patterns. Maple Landmark was able to answer this demand with the Montgomery Schoolhouse product lines. But the mid-2000's brought another shift in consumer demands; many more consumers have become more "natural" in their buying. The natural and organic food market has exploded in the last 5 years and this trend has carried into other markets such as toys and products for children. Again Maple Landmark was positioned to meet that customer demand with the introduction of the Natural Classic Trucks. The Natural Classic Trucks created from local hardwoods with engraved details and a beeswax finish answered the call.

Maple Landmark continued on the "green" road by meeting the necessary criteria for bringing in and utilizing wood that had been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Much of this wood was harvested from nearby forests, keeping the processing and transportation costs reasonable. By 2006, both the Natural Classic Trucks and Oval Rattles were crafted using the FSC® material. "As our demand for natural products went up, it became harder for us to get the necessary FSC® materials to meet the need which meant we would have to go further and further from Middlebury—how truly sustainable and environmentally sound is that?" said Jill Stackhouse, Sales Manager. She went on to say "we know it isn't just about the materials used, but how we acquire, process and finish them. You can find FSC® material in China, for example, which is a great thing, but what about other environmental and labor considerations?" Even though, Maple Landmark doesn't hold the FSC certification anymore they are confident about their supply of lumber. "The lumber is purchased locally from lumbermen that we have know for a long time and are committed to sustainable harvesting practices," remarked Mike Rainville.

Membership in Co-Op America, who's mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors and businesses—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society, further illustrates Maple Landmark's commitment to a sustainable product and way of life. "We don't necessarily think of ourselves as 'green' instead it's a Vermont way of life. Most of our employees come from the old Vermonter stock that is known for being sensible, conservative, pragmatic and frugal," commented Mike Rainville.

This business style helps meet the wide variety of natural products stores needs. "Some stores are ultra "natural"—only carrying products from organic sources (hemp, wood, cotton, bamboo, or stone) which have not been overly processed. While other stores carry more moderate products—still from organic sources but allow for a more "finished" look," said Stackhouse. She goes on to say "we are able to meet the needs of both of these types of stores because of our broad product offerings."

To learn more about Maple Landmark's "green" efforts please visit their website at www.maplelandmark.com. and click on responsibility. More information on Co-Op America can be found on their website at www.coopamerica.org. An image of the Natural Classic Trucks can be obtained by following this link: http://dealers.maplelandmark.com/Images/HiResImages/70000-MontgomerySchoolhouse/76000-Classics/76210-NatFireTruck.tif

Contact: Barbara Rainville • 800-421-4223
Images available for download, please contact us.

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