New group looks to become Fonterra of forestry

Here’s a great story for all those 14,000 New Zealand farm forest growers with plantations coming due for harvesting. If this is successful it will revolutionise the already very successful New Zealand forest industry. Forestry is New Zealand’s third largest export earner after dairy and meat. Last year’s total forestry exports were worth $NZ4.3 billion.

Yesterday a new forestry company, United Forestry Group, targeting owners of small forests in New Zealand was launched. Its cornerstone shareholder is a joint venture between international timber marketer Pentarch, which is headquartered in Melbourne and has been operating in New Zealand for more than 10 years, and a Chinese conglomerate, Xiangyu Group. The company’s offering small forest owners (there are around 14,000 forests under 1000 hectares which account for just over a third of New Zealand’s plantation resource) benefits similar to the pastoral sector’s co-operatives such as Fonterra in marketing and economies of scale.

It is believed production from New Zealand’s small forest growers over the next 20 years could be worth $NZ30 billion.

I wonder if the United Forestry Group will form sub-groups to offer these services to growers of other species besides Pinus radiata, such as blackwood? New Zealand blackwood growers would really benefit from such a service.

Those New Zealanders really do understand what forestry is all about.

I will be following this story closely over the coming years to see how it develops and keep readers informed. It’s good to have a good news story.

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