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:
Well it seems the time has come:
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.
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!!!
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.