Category Archives: Sustainable Timbers Tasmania

Sustainable Timbers Tasmania fails FSC audit again!

logging2

After being audited in May 2019, and the audit report being finalised in February this year, Sustainable Timbers Tasmania (STT) this week were finally courageous enough to publically announce that it had once again failed FSC certification.

https://www.sttas.com.au/

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/northtas/programs/drive/sustainable-timber-tasmania-fsc-certification/12567014

No one seems at all surprised!

It has been more than 10 years since STT promised to gain FSC certification.

That’s 10 years of failure!

With Bunnings Hardware promising to only sell FSC certified products after 31st December 2020, the future for STT is not looking good. Bunnings is the largest retailer of Tasmanian oak products from Tasmania’s public native forests.

On 1st July this year Bunnings announced they would no longer sell public native forest products from Vicforests.

https://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/2020/07/01/bunnings-stops-selling-timber-logged-by-vicforests-after-court-ruling/

The long, slow, bitter, costly road to oblivion for public native welfare forestry in Australia is entering its final phase.

Meanwhile instead of questioning its own failings, or plotting a new course for the future, the forest industry is now waging an all out publicity war on anyone it regards as an enemy, including the FSC and Bunnings.

The culture within the forest industry has become neurotic and hostile.

How the forest industry responds and behaves in this final closing down of public native forestry in Australia will impact the greater industry for decades to come.

If the industry continues its current hostile virulent campaign then the brand/industry damage will be severe indeed.

The private forestry sector in Australia is already starved of oxygen in attempting to generate a positive image and message to the marketplace and the community.

A few more years of negative hostile publicity will alienate more of the marketplace and the community, and further isolate the forest industry.

The Australian forest industry desperately needs to improve its support within the broader community. Right now the opposite is happening.

Will the private forestry sector remain silent as its future is destroyed in this battle?

  1. By the way this article had no impact whatsoever on the FSC audit:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/29/tasmanian-forest-agreement-delivers-13bn-losses-in-giant-on-taxpayers

Apparently the FSC is perfectly happy supporting fraudulent behaviour in the forest industry.

IST Tender Results 2019-20

IST 1219 log35b

Well I’m sure we can all agree. It definitely hasn’t been your average year!

Island Specialty Timbers (IST), the only source of open, competitive, transparent market blackwood log prices, managed to conduct 6 log tenders during the year. A normal year would see 8-9 log tenders.

https://www.islandspecialtytimbers.com.au/

IST is a business enterprise of Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT) which sources and retails raw material of Tasmanian specialty timbers from harvest or salvage operations conducted on State owned Permanent Timber Production Zone land (PTPZl).

You can read my previous annual tender summaries here:

https://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/?s=tender

 

Blackwood Results

Despite the fact that blackwood is by far the most common specialty wood in Tasmania, IST insists on restricting tender sales of blackwood. Only 3 blackwood logs were put to tender this year in 2 of the 6 tenders; 3 logs out of a total of 194 logs put to tender!

That’s pretty pathetic!!

Tasmanian blackwood is the only specialty timber species that can be grown in commercial plantations. Having a plentiful supply of market information might actually stimulate investment in tree growing in Tasmania, but IST/STT and the Tasmanian Government are determined to prevent any useful market information being available.

IST/STT and the Tasmanian Government continue to support Welfare Forestry in Tasmania, instead of promoting a profitable commercial forest industry.

All 3 blackwood logs put to tender sold, 1 log had figured grain, the other 2 logs were plain grain.

All 3 logs were of good size and reasonable quality.

The figured grain blackwood log sold for $825/m3, total price $982.

The 2 plain grain blackwood logs sold for $400-$450/m3, total prices $468-$774.

The following chart shows the volume and price data for the last 6+ years for plain grain blackwood logs. Having enjoyed 4 years of steadily improving prices this year showed a subdued market.

These logs are sold into the small local Tasmanian market which restricts prices somewhat.

These prices are effectively mill door delivered, not stumpage prices.

IST 2020 blackwood prices

The following chart shows the range in size of the sold plain grain blackwood logs.

A target plantation grown blackwood log has a volume of 1.5 cubic metres and a small end diameter (SED) of approx. 50 cm.

IST 2020 blackwood vol SED

General Results

Overall IST put 112 cubic metres of specialty timbers to tender in 2019-20 of which 97 cubic metres sold for total revenue of $94,200.

Last year Sustainable Timbers Tasmania sold 9,747 cubic metres of specialty timbers, so these competitive tender sales represent a mere 1% of specialty timber sales from public forests in Tasmania.

The following chart shows the volume and price summary for all tenders back to 2015.

 

IST 2020 alltender volumes

The tiny volumes and wide variability in species and quality of logs that IST put to tender makes assessing trends over time difficult.

The next chart shows the average volume of the sold logs. Here there is a clear trend of diminishing log size. If it wasn’t for the occasional large eucalypt log IST throws into the tender mix, this trend of diminishing log size would be even more evident.

IST 2020 alltender logvol

The following 2 charts show the above data summarised by year:

IST 2020 annual volumes

What remains apparent is that the market continues to pay high prices for quality timber.

IST 2020 annual logvol

The main focus of IST tenders is black heart sassafras (Atherosperma moschatum) which can command very high prices for good logs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atherosperma

However the tree is slow growing (500+ years to reach commercial size) and is restricted to rainforest and old growth eucalypt forest, so supplies of this species are dwindling.

Surprisingly the marketplace continues to support the plundering of Tasmania’s last ancient forests!

For 2019-20 black heart sassafras made up 37% of sold volume and 52% of tender revenue, whilst eucalypt feature grain logs made up 22% of sold volume and 9% of tender revenue.

6.7 cubic metres of celery top pine logs (Phyllocladus aspleniifolius) were sold at an average price of $1,050 per cubic metre.

Overall highlights for the year were $4,975 per cubic metre paid for a small musk (Olearia argophylla) log; whilst a total price of $2,933 was paid for a medium sized black heart sassafras log.

Bunnings and the Forest Industry Extremists

Bunnings

https://ausfpa.com.au/media-releases/bunnings-short-sighted-decision-will-cost-aussie-jobs-and-lead-to-environment-destroying-imports/?fbclid=IwAR0jgN7DidmkyPHn2LjzQwbXjN-ccbWDJYxgEi7LWoeVBxb_–z16rK-SDk

Am I surprised?

No not really!

The exaggerated rhetoric and chest beating of the forest industry extremists is utterly predictable.

Is Bunnings short sighted?

Absolutely not.

They have long-standing company policies that seek to improve the ethics and legality within its supply chains.

Bunnings has for many years been supportive of Vicforests efforts to gain FSC certification, but after numerous attempts Vicforests has failed to achieve what so many other forest managers have.

https://www.vicforests.com.au/

In 2018 Bunnings announced that come 2021 they would only sell FSC certified wood products.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-17/vic-forestry-industry-at-risk-of-collapse/10255128

Vicforests has had plenty of opportunity to prove its credentials. It has failed!

The Federal Court ruling in May was a “last straw” which Bunnings could not ignore.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-27/leadbeaters-possum-federal-court-rules-vicforests-logging-breach/12292046

https://www.fedcourt.gov.au/services/access-to-files-and-transcripts/online-files/friends-of-leadbeaters-possum-v-vicforests

Vilification

The vilification by the AFPA of Bunnings and the Victorian community who care about THEIR forests, is downright reprehensible.

It does the greater forest industry no good whatsoever.

Will there be job losses?

Absolutely!!

But the WELFARE FOREST INDUSTRY must face its Waterloo.

And the longer the battle rages and the more vehement the rhetoric, the worse the damage will be.

The AFPA is clearly determined to maximise the damage.

Will Bunnings actions lead to greater forest destruction overseas?

This is more disingenuous rhetoric from the AFPA.

Australia has legislation that specifically prevents the importation of illegal timber. You can read about it here:

https://www.agriculture.gov.au/forestry/policies/illegal-logging

If Bunnings is only selling FSC certified wood products, how does that lead to greater illegal forest destruction overseas? The logic doesn’t work!!

With this rhetoric the AFPA is implying that Australians do NOT care where their timber comes from, whilst Bunnings is showing us that Australians do care!

Another implication is that the AFPA believes that the FSC supports illegal destructive logging. I wonder what the FSC has to say about that??!!

Exactly who is the AFPA trying to offend??

None of this exaggerated hostile rhetoric does the forest industry any good whatsoever.

Contempt of Court

Instead the AFPA would rather push the boundaries of Contempt of Court by suggesting that the Federal Court is being misled or in error in its judgement.

Dangerous ground indeed!!

Bunnings is to be commended for having a social conscience and sticking to it despite the political heat.

If only more Australian businesses were like minded. I’m thinking here especially of Australias other hardware empire Home Timber & Hardware:

https://www.homehardware.com.au/

which so far seems to have little sense of corporate responsibility.

https://www.metcash.com/corporate-social-responsibility/responsible-sourcing/

Come 1st January 2021

Bunnings revised its timber policy to require all native forest timber products to be independently certified to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) or equivalent standard by the end of 2020. Officeworks and Bunnings both recognise FSC® as the leading forestry certification scheme due to its high environmental and social standards for responsible and sustainable forest management, as well as its chain of custody processes and balanced governance structure.

https://sustainability.wesfarmers.com.au/our-principles/sourcing/suppliers/

Come 1st January 2021 Bunnings and Officeworks will add the NSW Forestry Corporation and Sustainable Timbers Tasmania to its list of proscribed suppliers

https://www.forestrycorporation.com.au/

https://www.sttas.com.au/

since neither of these Government forest agencies have achieved FSC certification.

There is much change and pain ahead.

I only wish the forest industry would adopt a more positive approach.

I am not hopeful!

The Very Last Bunnings Tasmanian Oak Price List

Bunnings

It has been two years since I last updated the Bunnings timber price list.

https://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/2018/05/12/bunnings-timber-price-list-update/

Since then Bunnings, Australia’s largest hardware chain, has taken an increasing socially responsible position regarding its product sourcing.

All of Bunnings Tasmanian oak comes from the logging of public native forest, which has been the focus of bitter community conflict in Tasmania over many decades, and cost the Tasmanian community billions of dollars:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/29/tasmanian-forest-agreement-delivers-13bn-losses-in-giant-on-taxpayers

With politicians and the forest industry unable to resolve the decades-long forestry wars in Australia, Bunnings has decided to take matters into its own hands. From 1st January 2021 they will no longer sell public native forest timber that does not have FSC Certification.

https://sustainability.wesfarmers.com.au/our-principles/sourcing/suppliers/

As there is no chance of certification happening between now and the end of the year this is the very last Bunnings Tasmanian Oak Timber price list.

https://www.bunnings.com.au/our-range/building-hardware/timber/dressed-timber/hardwood

The chart below shows the changes in price over the last 5 years. Large price increases in 2016 have been followed by minor price increases since then. The larger range of bigger sizes in 2020 shows Tasmanian oak prices breaking the $10,000 per cubic metre barrier!

None of these prices make for profitable public native forest harvesting, since 80% of the volume harvested is sold as low value woodchips. Never mind that no Government forest agency in Australia is run on a commercial basis. It is and always has been Welfare Forestry.

BunningsTA2020

Bunnings is making the correct decision.

It’s time to end destructive, wasteful welfare forestry in Australia, and build a real, commercial forest industry.

So get your Tasmanian oak while you still can!

ACCC suing Government Business Enterprise (GBE) over alleged anti-competitive conduct

ACCC

At long last the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is taking action against anti-competitive State Government businesses.

Hooray for that!!

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-09/accc-suing-tasports-over-alleged-misuse-of-market-power/11781852

And it is in Tasmania!!

Now who would EVER imagine anti-competitive GBE behaviour in Tasmania?

https://www.accc.gov.au/

I’ve written about this issue previously as it relates to the forest industry in Tasmania, particularly public native forestry:

https://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/2016/10/17/competitive-neutrality-in-forestry/

and

https://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/2019/05/13/fsc-supports-illegal-forestry-in-australia/

ACCC Chairman Mr Rod Sims said the case against Tasports was the first of its kind under the amended misuse of market power provision, an “important law reform designed to protect the competitive process and help us address the harm that anti-competitive conduct does to consumers and the Australian economy“.

Does handing out $100 millions of taxpayer dollars over decades to a failed State-owned forest enterprise, which is in direct competition with private forest growers, amount to anti-competitive behaviour?

It sure does!

Does selling 99% of your forest produce “off-market” in long-term secret sales contracts, with absolutely no competition or price transparency, amount to anti-competitive behaviour?

It sure does?

Now is the ACCC prepared to take on any more anti-competitive Government Buisness Enterprises?

I sure hope so!

Wouldn’t it be a laugh for Sustainable Timbers Tasmania to gain FSC Certification, only to then be prosecuted by the ACCC for anti-competitive behaviour?

Only in Tasmania!

Tasmania will never have a proper commercial forest industry until anti-competitive welfare forestry is stopped.

 

Could forest policy in Tasmania get any worse?

pines

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-04/tasmanian-forest-logging-moratorium-end-looms/11379976?sf216949275=1&fbclid=IwAR1ZNEK86E5bz4Y7Aer6JaddK3-Dl9Okh06DtRnitt50LzmO7SaZ0G10lkU

This recent news article tells us that the next battle in the 30+ year Tasmanian forestry wars is due in April 2020. Players and stakeholders are already arming themselves and lining up on both sides of the frontline.

Given the belligerent nature of the Tasmanian State Liberal Government this will be another bitter fight with plenty of casualties.

In 2014 the newly elected Liberal State Government together with the special timbers industry deliberately reignited the forestry wars. Now it seems the Crown sawmillers are rejoining the wars, citing resource losses due to recent bushfires.

You see the so-called sustainable yield for Tasmania’s public native forest is based on the maximum possible production from the current State forest. There is no allowance in the sustainable yield for losses due to fire, storm or plague. Any such losses that are incurred must be made up for by logging outside State forest such as Conservation Reserves.

That is a perverse definition of sustainable.

A plea for peace? How can there be peace when there is no dialogue? How can there be peace when the last attempt at peace was deliberately scuttled by Tasmania’s political system?

Nevermind the fact that the forest industry wants the taxpayer to continue funding this ongoing plunder of Tasmania’s public native forests. How many teachers and nurses will we do without this year?

Tasmania’s public native forests long ago ceased contributing any economic value to the State economy. For the last 20+ years they have been a burden on taxpayers as is made perfectly clear in this article:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/29/tasmanian-forest-agreement-delivers-13bn-losses-in-giant-on-taxpayers

Tasmania’s public native forests are now just a political weapon to be used to embitter and divide the Tasmanian community. This article shows that perfectly!

And after 30 years Tasmanian’s just love playing the same old game!

The forestry wars will continue whilst Tasmania continues to waste scarce taxpayer’s money logging public native forest. That is the bottom line no one is prepared to acknowledge.

FSC supports illegal forestry in Australia

The following constitutes my submission to SCS Global Services as part of its assessment of Sustainable Timber Tasmania for FSC Certification.

https://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/2019/04/10/public-notification/

FSC2

https://au.fsc.org/en-au

https://www.sttas.com.au/

http://www.scsglobalservices.com/

The idea that public native forestry in Tasmania is “environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable” (FSC’s very own criteria!) is complete and utter fantasy.

Just the history of the industry over the last 5 years demonstrates the hypocrisy of this idea, never mind the forestry wars of the last 40+ years!!

The above image is taken from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) website. Unfortunately none of these three titles on the FSC website are live/linked. You can’t click to find out what the FSC means by “Environmentally Appropriate” or “Economically Viable”. So I typed “Economically Viable” into their search box and I got this result:

EcoVia

FSC “could not find any results”!!

I think the FSC has got some issues to resolve.

Luckily I have a clue as to what the FSC means by “economically viable” from the last time Forestry Tasmania attempted to gain FSC certification. The following quote comes from SCS Global Services website:

Can a company that operates at a loss achieve certification?

The FSC certification standard requires that a forest management entity have sufficient financial resources [taxpayer subsidies] to manage the defined forest area in conformance with the full scope of the standard.  The standard does not require that the certified forest is managed at a profit provided that other sources of working capital [taxpayer subsidies] are available and sufficient [$ billions] to enable management in conformance with the standard.

https://www.scsglobalservices.com/news/scs-responds-to-questions-about-the-forestry-tasmania-fsc-forest-management-assessment

So the FSC defines “economically viable” as pretty much anything, including major loss-making public native forestry.

The problem is, under Australian law that is ILLEGAL!!!!!!!

It’s called Competitive Neutrality, and I wrote a blog about it back in 2016:

https://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/2016/10/17/competitive-neutrality-in-forestry/

It is Tasmania’s view that all the State’s PTEs and PFEs, together with its GBEs, are significant Government businesses for the purposes of the CPA. Accordingly, in applying the competitive neutrality principles, significant Government business enterprises are defined as those enterprises which are classified as PTEs, PFEs and/or GBEs.

https://www.economicregulator.tas.gov.au/Documents/Competitive%20Neutrality%20Principles%20Guidelines%20June%201996.pdf

This includes FT/STT.

In 1995 Australia’s governments agreed to the National Competition Policy (NCP) and Related Reforms.

http://ncp.ncc.gov.au/pages/home

The problem is many of those reforms have never been implemented, or have since been watered down.

FT/STT is a classic example!

It was corporatized according to NCP policy, but it has never been run as a commercial business. And yet it competes in the marketplace against private tree growers.

FT/STT has never publically acknowledged that it is a Government business competing in the marketplace against private forest growers both here in Tasmania and on the mainland

FT/STT has never publically acknowledged the need for it to behave in a competitively neutral manner.

FT/STT has never had any Competitive Neutrality Policies and objectives…..ever!

And every week that FT/STT gets another taxpayer handout is another breach of Australia’s Trade Practices Laws.

The fact that FT/STT has never been prosecuted illustrates the broken nature of Australia’s political system, and a conflicted forest industry.

The NCP does not discuss what should be done with Government businesses that cannot survive in a commercial world, businesses like FT/STT.

The FSC does not say where these “other sources” of money may come from or place any limits on the extent of subsidisation.

I wonder what economists think of this idea?

I wonder what private forest owners who compete in the marketplace against loss-making, forest squandering Sustainable Timber Tasmania think of this idea?

So Sustainable Timber Tasmania passes the FSC “economically viable” criteria with flying colors! What a joke!!

Never mind the long suffering Tasmanian taxpayer, or the lowly paid Tasmanian public servant!

The last 20 years

Last year this article appeared in a major Australian news media site detailing the extent of commercial losses from public native forestry in Tasmania:

JL

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/29/tasmanian-forest-agreement-delivers-13bn-losses-in-giant-on-taxpayers

And that analysis was using FT’s own accounting methods!

If FT had to do its accounting like a private forest grower (ie. Competitive neutrality) the losses would be far greater. What private forest grower can value its entire land estate at $0.00??

No doubt the FSC would see this article as glowing praise for world class forest management!!

Greenpeace

The environmental organisation Greenpeace was one of the founding partners of the FSC. In March last year Greenpeace resigned from the FSC citing ongoing and significant issues with the way the FSC was being managed:

https://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/2018/03/30/greenpeace-leaves-the-forest-stewardship-council-fsc/

With Greenpeace gone it now seems that the FSC is moving towards becoming another forest industry rubber stamping organisation like the PEFC.

Buying FSC certified wood products does not save the world’s forests.

New Zealand

Imagine if this response on economic viability was given within a New Zealand context, where the forest industry is fully commercial and profitable?

“Yeah we just waste taxpayers money to grow trees and give them away! Who cares about farmers?”

New Zealand farmers would be marching on their Parliament House to bring down the Government!

Here in Tasmania? Not a whisper of protest!

Bunnings

Bunnings, Australia’s largest timber retailer, is threatening to stop selling public native forest products next year (2020) unless the products achieve FSC certification.

https://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/2018/08/04/bunnings-finally-takes-a-stand/

The marketplace is finally saying “enough is enough”!

For both Vicforests and STT this is crunch time!

Wind up

Four years ago former State politician Sue Smith called for the winding up of FT/STT. How she described the forest industry then is still the same today, but worse.

https://www.themercury.com.au/news/politics/former-mlc-sue-smith-urges-forestry-tasmania-windup/news-story/50272c2ae1798a9358999278b5563073?fbclid=IwAR2YxZMeGSksYF7eI5NxmEmnPxYe2BQ3a8vUdCmr38t1hclWC7tS3JqC-xc

How in anyone’s imagination can this agency achieve FSC certification?

Blackwood

Who is going to grow commercial blackwood when the Tasmania State government and STT waste taxpayers money giving away public native forest blackwood, supported by taxpayer subsidies and the Forest Stewardship Council?

Nothing has changed

Sustainable Timbers Tasmania does not have a business plan, nor does it have commercial objectives.

Neither does it apologise every year for its continuing waste of Tasmanian taxpayers money.

“This is the number of teachers and nurses you missed out on this year thanks to our activities. But don’t worry! We are sustainable!!”

Nothing has changed.

But from my perspective it is the failed economics of public native forestry that is the primary reason that Tasmania will never have a Tasmanian Blackwood Growers Cooperative.

If the FSC “Economic Viability” criteria are so easy to achieve, one must assume the other two criteria – “Environmentally Appropriate” and “Socially Beneficial” – are just a walk in the park!

As a forester I believe this is about the worst possible outcome for the forest industry. It is certainly the worst possible outcome for the Tasmanian community.

  1. And finally, who gets to pay for STT’s FSC assessment? That’s right! The long suffering Tasmanian taxpayer. Show me a private forest grower who has their FSC assessment paid for by the taxpayer. Answer! NONE!!

PPS. STT is just the forest manager. The State Government owns the forests! The same State Government that wants to log the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The same State Government that IS logging ancient rainforests in Conservation Reserves. For the FSC to certify STT would be an even bigger act of hypocrisy than that of the Tasmanian State Government. The Tasmanian Government determines Forest Policy NOT Sustainable Timbers Tasmania!!

When will Tasmania get a real forest industry based on profitable private tree growers?

Public Notification

To:          Interested Parties

From:    SCS Global Services

Date:     8 April 2019

Re:         Notification of Planned FSC Certification Evaluation of Sustainable Timber Tasmania

Summary:  As part of an upcoming Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC®) certification evaluation, SCS is currently seeking stakeholder input regarding the forest management program and practices of Sustainable Timber Tasmania.  Please comment via email or contact our offices (contact information below).

In pursuit of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) endorsed forest management certification, Sustainable Timber Tasmania will be undergoing an audit on the full weeks of 20 and 27 May 2019.  The audit will be conducted by SCS Global Services, a FSC-accredited certification body. The Forest Stewardship Council is a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world’s forests. FSC sets standards that ensure forestry is practiced in an environmentally responsible, socially beneficial, and economically viable way.

Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STT) is a Tasmanian Government Business Enterprise responsible for sustainably managing  public production forest (Permanent Timber Production Zone land) and undertaking forest operations for the production and sale of forest products from these forests.

The 812 000 ha PTPZ land is approximately 12% of the Tasmanian land area. PTPZ land includes 375,000 ha of native forest that is available for wood production. It also includes 120,000 ha that contributes to Tasmania’s Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative Reserve system and a further 200,000 ha of non-production forest. STT manages 28,000 ha of plantation, comprising both hardwood eucalypts and softwood.

STT is seeking FSC certification for approximately 713,000 ha, the remaining PTPZ land area is managed either by third parties or is not eligible for FSC Forest Management certification due to its plantation conversion history.

Scope and Certification Evaluation Process

SCS Global Services (SCS), a FSC-accredited certification body based in California, will conduct this FSC Main Evaluation.

Performance will be evaluated against the The FSC National Forest Stewardship Standard of Australia (v1-0; 2018).  A copy of the standard is attached to this message.

The evaluation process includes the following components:

  • Public notification: distribution of the standard and solicitation of comments on the certification applicant; Audit planning and document review;
  • Field assessment: A representative sample of field sites and operations within the defined forest area are inspected by a team of auditors;
  • Stakeholder consultation is carried out prior to and during the field assessment;
  • Synthesis of findings: conformity to the standard is ascertained and the certification decision is formulated;
  • Reporting: a draft report describing the evaluation process, findings, and certification decision is produced;
  • Peer review: the draft evaluation report is peer reviewed by 2 independent natural resource professionals;
  • Finalization of the report and conveyance to the SCS Certification Committee for the final certification decision;
  • Certification decision: the final report and certification decision is conveyed to the applicant; a public summary of the certification report is released if certification is awarded.

Call for Public Participation

SCS is seeking comments on the forest management of Sustainable Timber Tasmania or other topics pertinent to their seeking FSC certification, such as whether Sustainable Timber Tasmania complies with the legal, social, technical, and environmental requirements of the standard or identification of high conservation value forests[1] within its managed lands.  Comments can be submitted via email to FSCConsultation@scsglobalservices.com, standard mail, or facsimile. All comments and sources will be kept in strict confidence at the request of the commenter.  Also, please feel welcome to forward this message on to other stakeholders that you think may have an interest in sharing their perspective on this assessment.

Date of the Evaluation

The field evaluation is scheduled to start 20 May 2019.  When possible, SCS will make arrangements to meet with interested parties during the evaluation if appropriate, but it is preferred that comments are submitted before the field evaluation commences.

Dispute Resolution Procedure

As provided by the FSC Interim Dispute Resolution Protocol and the SCS Forest Conservation Program Quality Manual, dispute resolution procedures are in place and available to interested parties at http://www.scsglobalservices.com/your-feedback.

Additional Information

More information about FSC and SCS can be obtained from www.fsc.org and www.SCSglobalServices.com. Information about Sustainable Timber Tasmania can be found athttps://www.sttas.com.au/.

Please Contact Us
Robert Hrubes Brendan Grady
FSC Lead Auditor SCS Director of Forest Management
2000 Powell St, Suite 600; Emeryville CA 94608, USA
Tel +1 (510)452-8034, Fax +1 (510) 452-6882
FSCConsultation@scsglobalservices.com

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  

Evan Poirson | Program Associate, Forest Management Certification

The end is nigh!

Bunnings

The public native forest market is shifting quickly.

Wesfarmers, the parent company of Bunnings Hardware and Officeworks, yesterday announced they will only stock FSC certified products by 2020.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-17/vic-forestry-industry-at-risk-of-collapse/10255128

This means both Vicforests and Sustainable Timbers Tasmania will cease to exist.

Neither of these State Government forest agencies are likely to achieve FSC certification before then. Bunnings is a major customer for both these agencies products.

In less than a week since its launch the new National Forest Industries Plan has been dealt a mortal blow!

https://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/2018/09/17/national-forest-industries-plan-2018/

Six weeks ago Bunnings gave warning that it was living up to its policies and making a stand against poor forest management practices in Australia:

https://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/2018/08/04/bunnings-finally-takes-a-stand/

All around Australia public native forest management is in crisis.

Stand by for some serious fireworks!

Bunnings finally takes a stand

Bunnings

I wrote back in May about Bunnings, their fantastic timber policies, and how it was time for Bunnings to live up to those policies when it comes to their support for public native forestry in Australia:

https://blackwoodgrowers.com.au/2018/05/12/bunnings-timber-price-list-update/

Well it seems the time has come:

https://theage.com.au/politics/victoria/timber-industry-bid-to-prove-its-green-credentials-falls-flat-20180801-p4zuxv.html

Federal and State Governments refuse to resolve the disaster that is public native forestry in Australia so its time (finally) for the market to take responsibility.

Hooray for that!!

Hardware chain Bunnings has put VicForests on notice that it must reduce its impact on Victoria’s native forests or risk losing its custom, after the state-owned forestry company failed in its [third] bid to achieve green [FSC] certification.

Bunnings needs to also issue this warning to Tasmania’s State-owned forest agency Sustainable Timbers Tasmania.

https://bunnings.com.au

http://vicforests.com.au

https://sttas.com.au

Bunnings is Australia’s largest hardware chain with annual turnover of $11 billion and over 31,000 employees. It is Australia’s largest timber retailer.

Bunnings could be about to change the face of the forest industry in Australia and bring the industry into the 21st century.

So what else could Bunnings do to support a real forest industry in Australia?

The future of the forest industry in Australia is with profitable private tree growers.

Bunnings needs to start talking with farmer groups. There is a long road ahead and many years of neglect to make up, but forestry is about the long term.

Since Bunnings is also in New Zealand they should form a partnership with the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association (NZFFA), and support Kiwi tree growers.

Hooray for Bunnings!!!

Addendum

Upon further reflection one has to wonder exactly what is Bunnings hoping to achieve from its warning to Vicforests?

Vicforests has now failed to achieve FSC Certification three times!!

What possible assurances or changes in behaviour can Vicforests provide that will satisfy Bunnings but failed the Forest Stewardship Council test?

Surely a “three strikes” result from the FSC should be enough for Bunnings to stop supporting Vicforests.

Public native forestry in Australia is fundamentally compromised. It cannot achieve suitable environmental, community, political and commercial outcomes all at the same time. That is mission impossible!!

Bunnings and the rest of the timber market need to wake up to this fact.