Who we are - Prosono international

Who we are

This company was founded in 1999 with the purpose of adding value and export indigenous hardwoods from Southern Africa. At present, we employ a team of Wood Technologists, Economists, and Wood working machinists in South Africa. Our activities and supplies extend to Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique. Further countries in Southern and Central Africa are investigated for opportunities. Our saw mill is located on Summit Road (R 562), West of Midrand, Gauteng Province, South Africa.

We are fully dedicated to nature conservation, sustainable harvesting and processing for the benefit of the local communities, in terms of job creation, training and socio-economic development.

ProSono fully adheres to the principles of www.cites.org on the protection of endangered species. We care for the best added-value and consequently won’t export logs or any unprocessed timbers outside Southern Africa.

Certifications and legal requirements

For ten years and more we have been co-operating closely with five national distributors in the USA, UK, Germany, Japan and Spain. Our co-operation has included among others, the extension of our product range, the optimisation of our storage capacity to respond to demand in the shortest possible manner and the fine tuning of our pricing to be competitive.

The owners and driving force behind the company:

Philippe Monbaron: Lic. HEC and MBA – IMD.

The founder of the company is originally from the French part of Switzerland. After 20-year experience with multinationals companies in Europe and Africa in Pharmaceuticals, Agro-Chemicals and Banking, started ProSono and never looked back! Philippe has 35-year experience in international trade, finance, marketing and sale. He is fluent in four languages.

Etienne Du Plooy: Wood Technologist – SAASVELD – Faculty of forestry.

He joined Philippe 17 years ago. Experienced in all aspects of the wood industry, forestry as well as saw mill management of small and larger teams in a multi-racial context. He is especially gifted in wood selection, processing and selling to the South African community. He is the driving force behind Caracal knifes. He works closely with CITES and DAFF for nature conservation and permits.

We have focused our activities on twelve hardwood species that provide the best added value, together with the smallest impact on nature:

  • African Blackwood / Dalbergia melanoxylon
  • African olive or Wild olive / Olea europea, sub-specie Africana,
  • Black chacate or Small bastard mopane / Guibourtia conjugata
  • Camel Thorn / Acacia erioloba,
  • Jackalberry / Diospyros mespiliformis
  • Leadwood / Combretum imberbe
  • Matumi / Breonadia salicina
  • Mopane / Colophospermum mopane,
  • Red bushwillow / Combretum Apicolatum
  • Red or pink ivory / Berchimia zeyheri,
  • Snake bean / Bobgunnia Madagascariensis
  • Tambotie / Spirostachys africana

ProSono values the input of customers for their experience and comments about the wood species we commercialise. Over the year’s applications have been identified in the musical industry, especially for guitar back and sides, and jewellery.

Harwood species:

This rating is based on our experience*

X : major use
O : limited use

Tonewood for woodwinds Tonewood for stringed instruments For turners, knife makers and carvers For solid flooring and hand-made items
African Blackwood X O X X
Wild Olive O X
Black Chacate  X  X X
Camel Thorn X
Le Jackalberry X X
Leadwood  X  X X
Matumi X
Mopane X X X X
Red or Pink Ivory  O X X  O
Red bushwillow X X
Snake Bean X
Tambotie  X  X  X