Here come the Americans!

(and a challenge for my readers)

As I’ve written previously (1,2,3,4) blackwood is a recognised quality tonewood and international customers are scrambling to find sustainable sources as the traditional supplies (mostly from tropical rainforests) become exhausted. One of the key players in this movement is Taylor Guitars from California. They publish an impressive quarterly owners newsletter “Wood & Steel”.

So here’s the challenge – download a copy of the 2013 Winter edition of “Wood & Steel” below (7.5 MB pdf file) and see if you can discover how many times the word “Tasmania” appears, and I mean do more than just a quick word search. Read the articles. Especially read the article by Taylor’s President Bob Taylor on page 5. Bob Taylor is one switched-on, passionate executive.

There is enough potential demand in the international tonewood market to make a significant difference to the blackwood industry in Tasmania. And the advantage is this market can utilise shorter log lengths that traditional sawmillers don’t want; the kind of material that is currently growing unmanaged and unappreciated on hundreds of farms around Tasmania. This demand, coupled with this existing resource could kick-start a blackwood growers cooperative. Four steps to a profitable, sustainable blackwood future:

1. Realise the commercial potential of the existing farm blackwood resource and put money into farmers pockets now;

2. Build the industry by helping farmers grow more quality blackwood in plantations for the future;

3. Gain FSC Certification for farm-grown Tasmanian blackwood;

4. Build another iconic Tasmanian industry.

With the TFA legislation now passed in the Tasmanian Parliament and the associated $400 million of Federal money soon to become available, now is the time for the industry and the community to demonstrate support for the future of the blackwood industry. Please post you comments of support.

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