Domtar and the Menominee Tribe Strengthen Their Commitment to Certification

The Menominee Indian Tribe has resided in the area now known as Wisconsin for over 10,000 years. Menominee Tribal Enterprises (MTE) is the business arm of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin — being owned, controlled and managed by the members of the Menominee Community – and in many ways embodies the culture, values and spirituality of the tribe. MTE is located in Neopit on the Menominee Reservation in north central Wisconsin, and is a major wood supplier to Domtar’s Rothschild and Nekoosa paper mills. Strengthening its commitment to responsible procurement, Domtar has worked with MTE to achieve a five-year certification under the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC®) program, along with its Chain-of-Custody handling of wood products.

“MTE runs a world-class forestry operation,” said Jeff Plunkett, Fiber Procurement Manager for the Rothschild Mill. “We have built a strong two-way relationship that benefits both the local tribe and the workers here at the Rothschild mill.”

Currently, MTE supplies almost 12 percent of Rothschild’s annual fiber needs, along with nearly 8 percent of the Domtar Nekoosa Mill’s requirements. “MTE has very strong leadership both on the Tribal Council and in their forestry department,” said Joe Kies, senior buyer – Wood Procurement at Nekoosa. “They began using sustainable forestry practices long before it became popular.”

The wood from MTE is used in the manufacturing of Cougar®, part of Domtar’s EarthChoice® family of environmentally and socially responsible papers that hold Rainforest Alliance Certification™. “We’re proud to partner with MTE,” said Plunkett, “because this kind of collaboration ensures social, environmental and economic benefits to both parties. It’s a ‘win-win’ for everyone involved, including the forest.” The certifications coincide with Menominee Tribal Enterprises’ celebration of its 100th anniversary as the business arm of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin. According to MTE, the forest serves not only as a source of employment and harvesting opportunities, but also as a source of enjoyment and spiritual wellness for the Menominee Tribe. The MTE organization named Domtar’s Rothschild Mill as its “Customer-of-the- Year” in 2006, and Domtar looks for an even stronger business partnership in the future.