Media Release : Tasmania’s tarnished forestry brand in further jeopardy - unsurprisingly

It is unsurprising that a major Australian timber retailer and Japanese customers of Tasmanian wood products have indicated that they will not buy wood sourced from High Conservation Value forests subject to government plans to open them for logging, according to Markets For Change – a conservation group that campaigns in the markets, with companies and consumers.

A letter from Bunnings was tabled in the Tasmanian Parliament yesterday, and the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania has also indicated that overseas customers are confused and unsettled by the controversial logging proposal.

“Whilst several conservation groups have been in communication with customer companies over the years regarding the environmental issues surrounding wood products from Tasmania, including ourselves, the stand taken by such companies arises from the demand of consumers for high environmental standards and the adoption of procurement policies that exclude controversial product from natural forests,” said Markets For Change CEO, Peg Putt.

“Modern business practice will exclude involvement in a supply chain where high conservation value forests are logged, something that seems to have escaped the Tasmanian government.”

“It’s one thing to impose logging onto public native forests previously legislated for reserve protection, and quite another to find willing customers for such product. Reputable companies won’t touch it.”

“If such wood could be sold at all, it would be at knockdown prices because of its dubious origins and likely effect on the brand and reputation of any company that retailed it.”

“Tasmania’s reputation is already below par since Forestry Tasmania failed with eight major non-conformances in its bid for Forest Stewardship Council certification for Forest Management, relating to failures on endangered species like the Swift Parrot, old growth logging, and protection of landscape values,” Ms Putt concluded. 

For interview: Peg Putt 0418 127 580

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