This is an interesting article from the latest New Zealand Tree Grower journal from the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association, and potentially represents a significant milestone in the fledgling NZ blackwood industry.
Alan Laurie runs Laurie Forestry Ltd a progressive and commercially focused forest management, harvesting and marketing business. I always enjoy reading Alan’s regular forestry market reports that always me to know much more about what is happening with the NZ forest industry than I know about the industry here in Australia.
For Alan to make these comments about the potential of New Zealand blackwood is a significant vote of confidence in the industry. While there is a blackwood interest group (AMIGO) established under the NZFFA, they have yet to evolve into a marketing cooperative despite the fact that steady volumes of quality NZ blackwood timber are now coming onto the NZ market. Certainly what needs to happen soon is greater market transparency and feedback, so that prices and return on investment allow more potential blackwood growers to take an interest and help build the industry.
Blackwood appears to be an ideal tree species with which to begin collective marketing. The timber has the obvious market advantage of being in limited supply but appears to be in constant demand. Demand may increase slightly if a constant supply is guaranteed and imports of blackwood timber are very expensive.
To this comment from Alan Laurie I would also add that blackwood also has the advantage of a well established market presence and profile as a premium quality timber, so marketing and sales should be straight forward, compared to many lesser-known species.
So can the NZFFA/AMIGO evolve into a marketing cooperative and help take the NZ blackwood industry to the next level?
I would think given Alan Laurie’s knowledge, experience and place in the industry he could play a pivotal role in making the collective marketing happen.