For four years now, the handicraft dryer developed by the Department of Science and Technology- Forest Products Research and Development Institute (DOST-FPRDI) has been helping a home decor exporter cope with the effects of climate change.
“For 46 years – from 1967 to 2013 – we relied solely on the air and sun to dry our raw materials such as acacia wood, vines and driftwood,” said Evelyn Tan, owner of the Starwood Manufacturing Co.
“However, ever since the climate has become unpredictable, we knew we needed to depend on something other than the elements – to dry our materials. Drying is critical for us since poorly dried products are an easy target of molds,” she added.
Based in Valenzuela City, Starwood makes modern home decors and gift items that are shipped mainly to the US. “We ship 10 container vans of handicrafts every month,” Tan said.
“We would not have stayed in the export market if we had not decided to use the DOST-FPRDI dryer. The facility reduced our drying time from 1-2 weeks to only 2-4 days, and because it could dry wood to the right moisture content, it drastically decreased the attack of molds,” she said.
“There were times when, due to poor drying, a whole batch of handicrafts would be covered with molds, and returned to us by a client. We had to pay big fines for those! Thanks to DOST-FPRDI, we no longer go through such bad experiences. The dryer was the right tool at the right cost which came to us at the right time,” Tan added.