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Upgrading Strategy for Jepara Carved Furniture in the Global Market

As one of Indonesia's superior product commodities, the furniture industry faces challenges and various obstacles in increasingly free global trade competition. For this reason, Jepara Carving Furniture business actors need to increase industrial added value to compete in the global market through upgrading strategies. Therefore, the government's efforts to provide facilities for the smooth running of industrial upgrading activities are important.

There are several centers of Jepara carved furniture that are spread in various subdistricts throughout the Jepara City Regency which are grouped based on the types and models of superior products of carved furniture produced. In general, the furniture center category

Carving in Jepara is divided into two categories, namely types of products that have special specifications and types of products that have formed production centers, namely as follows:
  1. All types of indoor mahogany products have special specifications, especially to meet export needs or requests which include design, size, engraving details, material requirements, and others. These products are spread in several special centers, mostly in Batealit District, Annual District, and the rest are in Bangsri District and Kedung District. In the marketing phase, indoor mahogany products dominate because most exporters give orders to small craftsmen on these products.
  2. All types of outdoor teak products or garden furniture that are done conventionally or with machinery are in Srobyong Village, Karanggondang Village, Plajan Village and several villages in Kembang District and Keling District. 
  3. Relief products, which are the masterpieces of carving craftsmen with special expertise that have never been produced in other areas are superior products in Senenan Village as Sentra relief.
  4. Types of seat products are spread in several villages based on specifications certain namely, Roman chairs and manaco are in the village of Senenan, the wine chairs are in the village of Kedung Cino, the boat seats are in the village of Bandengan, salina chairs taste in Sukodono Village.
  5. Whole wooden furniture in the form of shells, crabs, flowers and others have production centers in Sukodono Village, Langon Village and Sukosono Village.
  6. Sculpture carving products, and souvenirs have production centers in MulyoHarjo Village as Sentra Patung, and are in Kuwasen Village, and Kawak Village.
  7. Sideboard and dining table have a production center in Mantingan Village (For dining room sets, chairs are usually taken from Sukodono Village and around other Mantingan Village).
  8. Sketsel and gebyok are mostly produced in Pekalongan Village, Kecapi Village and Karanganyar Village.
  9. Types of wardrobe products, dining room cupboards, dressing tables have production center in Kecapi Village and Bulungan Village.
  10. Cots or beds of all models have production centers in the Annual Village. 

Most of the production centers are scattered in several locations with these specifications are business units belonging to small and medium industries, as producers who can directly interact with buyers or carry out production systems in accordance with the orders of large companies and exporters.

Most of the small craftsmen in Jepara are in a directed network relationship with domestic brokers. Brokers are the main customers for small-scale producers and consume more than 50% of their products. Brokers can easily switch from one craftsman to another. This type of relationship is also determined between exporters and small craftsmen. Some situations show the relationship to be hierarchical because exporters have greater control over small craftsmen. Some small craftsmen have their own showrooms to promote their products. However, the main problem is then faced by producers in this relationship is marketing and price.

Furniture craftsmen reveal that they feel more passive because waiting for new buyers without trying to find. As a consequence of limited market access, there are other complaints faced, namely the price of the product who tend to be low and often have problems with buyers delay payment. This relationship was also experienced by small-scale craftsmen those who have their own showroom feel that the design is determined by the order given large companies which were initially only customers
consume most of their products. However, the longer the relationship directed networks that occur, increasingly lead to hierarchical relationships.

Furthermore, mechanical furniture manufacturers or manufacturers have a position better in the value chain. They are in a balanced type of network relationship with a higher level of furniture buyers and collectors for global market and importers. Some of these producers sell their products directly to showrooms and end consumers through balanced two-way information.

Manufacturers like this can negotiate prices and determine product quality. This relationship usually occurs in several large producers who have showrooms along the road in the Annual District to the center of Jepara. This can be seen from several medium-scale furniture companies whose products are supplied by producers from Mantingan, Sukodono and Menganti determines prices according to the agreement with the buyer. Products produced by medium-sized furniture companies are good quality products so buyers cannot determine their own prices, because they have to go through an agreement first.

The type of relationship between craftsmen and log traders, as well as between log traders and wood brokers is generally a type of competitive relationship based on market based. This is characterized by relations and transactions between producers and consumers that follow a competitive market mechanism. This is also found in the relationship between furniture craftsmen who sell their products directly to end users. However, this is very rare in the Jepara carving furniture industry. In other words, that the carving furniture industry in Jepara still lacks competitiveness that is strong enough to enter the competitive market, so that in its development, Jepara carving furniture is still in the process of development carried out by business actors with the support of the strategies of the Regional Government and research institutions and related institutions.

The Startup Upgrading is to provide elements that are unique and difficult to imitate and can last a long time is a strategy carried out to create added value in the eyes of consumers. The carving furniture industry in Jepara is an industry based on local superior commodities that have unique characteristics. The carving motif has a philosophical meaning based on the development, change and blend of carving patterns that lived in the local community at that time.

So that it can be said that the long history of the development of Jepara carving furniture that gives cultural influence and aesthetic value to the motifs produced from time to time until now. The advantages of Jepara carved furniture products are from carving patterns and carving motifs that are not easily imitated by manufacturers from other cities and countries.

The entire Jepara carving motif shows its own identity that the motif was only developed in the Jepara carving furniture industry by local craftsmen. Coupled with the uniqueness and distinctive characteristics of Jepara carving furniture that shows a strong local culture, making Jepara carving furniture as the only carved furniture product of all national and international furniture products that have the protection of Intellectual Property Rights in the field of Geographical Indication in 2010. As for recognition of the protection of the Geographical Indication is based on the quality and characteristics of the product and tradition, the values ​​of cultural inheritance and the procedures of production developed by the Jepara community.

Jepara carving furniture is a product of carved furniture that most accentuates the style of Indonesian wood carvings because it has the beauty and carvings of high quality, classic and elegant, so that the kind of carving that is a product that consumers like especially from Europe and the United States.

By obtaining the protection of the rights of Geographical Indications adding value and strengthening local traditions in Jepara carved furniture products, so that it becomes sufficient stock to compete both at home and abroad.

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