Consumers shape the market. When next in a retail store that stocks paper, furniture or any other wood product ask the store manager and staff about their procurement policy, specifically:
- Do they have a procurement policy that rules out using Australia’s native forests, or primary forests from overseas, and only sources wood products from environmentally responsible fully FSC certified plantations? Don’t be afraid to ask to see that policy.
- Write a letter to the CEO of the retailer urging them to buy only wood products sourced from fully FSC certified plantations that are managed in an environmentally responsible manner.
- Make it clear that retailers need to clearly label their products as native or plantation timber, whether it is certified and to what level. Unless products are clearly labeled as from plantation grown trees, consumers should treat all products made from native timber species as coming from native forests.
What to Avoid
The following types of wood used for making furniture and other products have been sourced from threatened native forest habitats and should be avoided:
- Tasmanian oak, myrtle and blackwood.
- Tasmanian tall eucalypt
- Mountain Ash from Victoria
- Wormy chestnut from the East Gippsland forests of Victoria
- Jarrah, marri or karri from Western Australia
- River Redgum
Woolworths Clarification: Markets for Change (MFC) report ‘Retailing the Forests:Confronting the Australian Retail Sector’s Involvement in Native Forest Destruction’ made an error in its focus on Woolworths. MFC erroneously stated that Woolworths does not have a forest products procurement policy. This is not entirely correct as Woolworths did publish a 2010 Corporate Responsibility Report. The 2010 CSR report outlined Woolworths Timber, pulp and paper policy which states the chain “is committed to purchasing timber, pulp and paper, well managed or sustainable sources”. In keeping with Woolworths stated commitment to sourcing their wood and pulp products from well managed and sustainable sources, MFC urges Woolworths to implement a publicly available procurement policy that rules out the purchasing timber or pulp and paper derived from native forests.