WoodWeek 15 January 2020
To begin with, we have the latest forestry export statistics from the Ministry of Primary Industries. Forestry exports for the year ended June 2019 reached $6.9 billion. Just over half of this value was from log exports, through record high export volumes and prices. Today we look more closely at the detailed statistics.
Catching up with our people in industry since the break, WorkSafe NZ recently announced the appointment of Phil Parkes as the agency’s new Chief Executive. And sadly, Walter Terence Collier, 56, died after a tree fell on him in the Raukumara forest 20 kilometres inland from Tokomaru Bay. Our condolences to the family.
Moving to company news, more bad news with yesterday’s announcement that Pacific Pine in Putaruru is closing. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s largest manufacturer and exporter of premium pine products, Claymark, that was placed in receivership in December, will be put to the market mid-January.
Wow, our MobileTECHAg conference registrations have exceeded all previous records with over one-third of seats sold already. This technology event draws specialists from across the primary industries which makes for an even better networking opportunity than just meeting people within our forest and wood products industries, so click here and register your team now to get the best price.
Looking to our Vancouver conference, we have plenty of interest building now too for ForestTECHX where you can meet international speakers and delegates as we draw specialists in forest inventory and logistics from across North America, Scandanavia, Europe, the UK and Australasia. It is a pretty impressive line-up if I do say so myself. To get the best price click here to register by next Tuesday.
Looking to our upcoming year, we plan to continue innovating. We hope you like our fortnightly graphic of the news in a snapshot with SnapSTAT, beginning this week with our wood market update. As we all get back into work mode once again, we will bring you some reflections from industry specialists on how things have changed in our industry in the past decade. I think you will be surprised how far we’ve come with technology and industry growth in that time. Stay tuned and tell your workmates and colleagues to sign up … catch you again next week!
This week we have for you:
BREAKING NEWS - Austimber 2020 rescheduledAUSTimber2020 Rescheduled to November - The response and recovery efforts to the bushfire crisis are significant and many people and businesses from our timber industry have been directly affected or are working tirelessly to support communities and regions across Australia.
The Australian Forest Contractor Association’s General Manager Stacey Gardiner said “the bushfire crisis will have a lasting impact on our industry and should be the focus over the coming months, as a result we have decided to reschedule AUSTimber2020 until November.”
Ms Gardiner added “AUSTimber is hosted in the central part of the Gippsland region and while we have been fortunate to remain safe, our concentrated support and thoughts continue to be with the communities and areas within our region and across Australia who have suffered loss and are continuing their bushfire fighting efforts.”
AUSTimber Site Manager, Mr Travis Healey said “Our focus is like many in our industry, we are sending our work crews and equipment where they are needed to support communities impacted by the devastating bushfires” Mr Healey, added “We were assisting the firefighting efforts in Queensland and now all of our crews are in north east and south west of Victoria.”
The decision to reschedule AUSTimber2020 required careful consideration of the impact on commitments already in place for the show, including to regional tourism businesses. However, ultimately the AFCA Board and the Planning Committee concluded that rescheduling would enable our timber industry to continue supporting bushfire response, recovery and salvage efforts in the coming months.
AUSTimber Coordinator, Ms Dionne Olsen said “AUSTimber is the largest timber industry show in the southern hemisphere and we have already commenced planning to facilitate a seamless transition to the future show in November.” Ms Olsen added “All tickets which have already been purchased will be honoured in November and the program remains unchanged for the new dates.”
“We also want to recognise and thank our supporters, exhibitors and partners for their positive and proactive response to the decision to reschedule the show” said Ms Olsen. Ms Olsen added “It is their commitment to the success of the show in November that means our communities will still have the opportunity to benefit from over 10,000 national and international attendees visiting Gippsland.”
Champion Freight ReportThanks to the Champion Freight team here is a graphic summary of the latest monthly update for export log markets.
Log export markets - This week we've got our monthly update from the Champion Freight team.
The chart shows total log export values to China year-on-year to the end of November were up 2 percent, but overall log exports decreased by 4 percent across all markets. Logs to India, our second largest log market, grew 7 percent in November y-o-y.
To the end of November, China shipments month-on-month were down 16 percent and overall log exports down 18 percent. Logs to India increased 21 percent month-on-month in November.
Money doesn't just grow on trees ... under them tooGinseng, New Zealand’s next potential $1 billion export industry has roots in ancient China and is especially suited to New Zealand commercial pine forest plantations.
- Ginseng is a Traditional Chinese Medicine, that promises a range of health benefits. It has been used for more than 5000 years. - Wild ginseng grown in China and Korea attracts premium prices due to scarcity, a wild (knotted) appearance and high levels of active ingredients - ginsenosides.
- The global supply of wild ginseng has decreased as the plant nears extinction in the wild. It is chronically over-harvested and is prone to poaching.
Farmed ginseng is grown in shade houses but is a visibly inferior product with little of the desired wild type characteristics and low concentrations of active ingredients.
- Simulated Wild Ginseng is grown under a forest canopy with little or no human input – it is almost identical to premium quality wild ginseng.
- Demand for ginseng is expected to increase in China as that country places greater emphasis on traditional Chinese medicines and the herb is classed as a food - traditionally, it has been classified as a medicine) .
IN NEW ZEALAND
- KiwSeng’s ginseng grows at the same latitude south as wild ginseng grows in the Northern China and North Korea. Because KiwiSeng’s ginseng is grown naturally over 15 years with no chemical inputs and little human intervention, it can be classified as wild grown ginseng.
- New Zealand wild grown ginseng is grown under a forest canopy. Managed pine forests aged from 10 to 28 years of age proving to be an ideal environment.
- Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) seeds from Mt Changbai China and North American ginseng grow extremely well under radiata pine forests in the Central North Island.
- Ginseng thrives in locations with cold winters, dry summers, volcanic soils and a forest canopy providing 80% shade. The NZ growing environment also has high UV index sunlight and clean water.
- Wild grown ginseng plants are typically harvested by hand at a minimum of 15 years or age.
- Whole roots must be carefully dug from the soil with extreme care taken not to damage any root tips.
- KiwiSeng is the largest producer of wild grown ginseng in New Zealand with 80% of the national production.
- The first plants were planted in the early 2000’s.
- Massey University research has shown the ginsenoside content of KiwiSeng’s Panax ginseng is 100% higher than the average of the same ginseng grown in China and Korea.
- KiwiSeng sells a range of products, including fresh ginseng whole roots, dried whole roots, capsules, liquid extracts, manuka honey and deer-infused products, alcoholic drinks as well as seeds and plants for other growers.
- Products are sold mainly in Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia.
- KiwiSeng’s ginseng is certified organic for export to several countries.
- At a minimum of $2,000 per kg, wild-grown New Zealand ginseng is one of the most valuable crops that can be grown in New Zealand. Revenues over $400,000 per hectare are possible. Inputs are around $80,000 per hectare.
- High quality wild-grown ginseng (15+ years old) from New Zealand can fetch prices per kg many times higher and greater revenue per hectare.
- Revenue from ginseng growing in planted forest can be substantially higher than from the trees themselves.
- Wild-grown ginseng is very complementary to traditional forestry operations and can be grown after the tree crop is thinned and before tree harvest age.
- Forest landowners should at least consider ginseng as an understory crop in their forestry plantations. This becomes an extremely attractive option under carbon forestry.
See more at www.kiwiseng.nz
Photo: Glen Chen from KiwiSeng examines a freshly harvested 15-year old ginseng root grown in a Central North Island forest.
MPI: Quarterly forestry exports updateHere are the latest forestry export statistics from the Ministry of Primary Industries - Forestry exports for the year ended June 2019 reached $6.9 billion. Just over half of this value was from log exports, through record high export volumes and prices. Looking more closely at the detailed statistics:
New Chief Executive for WorkSafeRoss Wilson, chair of WorkSafe New Zealand recently announced recently the appointment of Phil Parkes as the agency’s new Chief Executive - He said, “Phil was previously chief operating officer, leading over 300 employees in our WorkSafe’s operations group. This team’s work includes high hazards, energy, public safety, health and safety innovation, operational Excellence. The team also covers our general inspectorate, specialist interventions, and health and technical services.”
“Phil has provided excellent operational leadership within the organisation. The Board is confident he has the knowledge, vision and skills to lead WorkSafe as Chief Executive.”
Phil also brings extensive regulatory and leadership experiences from previous roles in local and central government in New Zealand and the UK. Before Phil joined WorkSafe, he was General Manager Policy and Legal with the New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority and led the implementation of a new regulatory framework.
He replaces Nicole Rosie who has moved to the chief executive role at the NZ Transport Agency, following three years at WorkSafe.
Pacific Pine closureYesterday’s sudden announcement of the closure of Pacific Pine Industries Ltd, a timber processing and sawmill in Putaruru, has left its 60+ employees reeling. Staff were called in from their annual leave on Monday to a meeting where they were informed that the company was entering voluntary administration. Locks were being changed at the site as the meeting was taking place, and not a day’s more work is available for the many long-serving employees at the sawmill, FIRST Union said.
A FIRST Union Organiser attended the meeting where one worker, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "Our whole community will suffer without these jobs. One colleague has just bought a house, and no one here is in a position where we can go without our income. We have kids and families to take care of."
FIRST Union is calling on the government to meet with industry stakeholders to intervene and coordinate the supply industry, from forest to construction, to ensure that sawmills are able to survive and provide the wood that is needed in our country.
"This is becoming a pattern," said Robert Reid, FIRST Union President. "It was just November last year that Claymark went into receivership. It highly counterintuitive that, at a time where we have lots of wood and the need for an unprecedented number of homes, our sawmills are closing down."
FIRST Union are working with the receiver and the Ministry of Social Development to ensure that the workers are supported at this difficult time.
Source: Scoop news
Beam me up – Sustainable housing from researchResearch by Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) to develop a new sustainable timber product has delivered additional jobs and a boost to a Queensland construction company.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the research by DAF’s Forest Product Innovation team had proven to be a win-win good news story for Cooroy-based Eco Cottages.
“An innovative collaboration between DAF and Eco Cottages, which began in 2017, has resulted in high-quality cypress glue-laminated beams which have helped deliver cheaper, more sustainable housing and jobs for Eco Cottages,” Mr Furner said.
“Eco Cottages is using the cypress glue-laminated beams in the construction of their sustainable, pre-fabricated modular homes.
“The beams not only offer a cost effective and more environmentally sustainable alternative to traditional construction options such as steel, they have proven that jobs can grow on trees.
“Since the collaboration began, Eco Cottages has employed an extra eight full time employees including five apprentices, all of whom are locals, with the manufacture of the cypress beams generating four full time positions, two of whom are apprentices.
“This totally Queensland-focused effort involves cypress timber harvested from the Barakula State Forest, Hurford Hardwood which operates a cypress sawmill at Chinchilla, Eco Cottages and DAF.”
Eco Cottages Director Greg Phipps said the partnership with DAF had made possible the production of low cost, environmentally friendly cypress glue-laminated beams.
“Eco Cottages has a strong sustainability ethos and working with DAF has allowed us to realise our vision to replace steel and other similar products used in modular house construction with a product made from a sustainable and renewable natural resource,” Mr Phipps said.
“The result has been so good that we had no hesitation in using more than 200 of the beams in the construction of our new 2000m2 factory at Cooroy.
“Eco Cottages is the only manufacturer of cypress glulam in Queensland and our new factory has allowed us to increase manufacturing capacity to support our modular building construction program.”
Mr Furner said several characteristics made Queensland cypress Eco Cottage’s building material of choice.
“Queensland cypress is renowned for its sustainability, natural durability and low environmental impact making it a perfect choice for the research,” Mr Furner said.
“DAF researchers established timber properties, identified suitable adhesive systems and manufacturing protocols and performance tested the final engineered-wood beams.
“DAF has enthusiastically supported this worthwhile venture and continues to provide guidance and support to the initiative as well as extensive product and process testing.”
Source: Queensland Government
SnapSTAT - We're back with fortnightly graphics
OIO: Forest investor gets formal warningForestry investor gets formal warning for breaking overseas investment rules – The Overseas Investment Office (OIO) has issued a formal warning to forestry investor Roger Dickie for breaking the overseas investment rules.
OIO Group Manager, Vanessa Horne, says Mr Dickie and his companies specialise in finding land for forestry investors to buy. “In May 2018, Mr Dickie was involved in the sale and purchase of Hadleigh Station in Wairarapa by an overseas investor,” Ms Horne says, “During the transaction Mr Dickie’s company, Roger Dickie Hadleigh Limited (RDHL), breached the rules by agreeing to acquire a property on behalf of an overseas investor without consent under the Overseas Investment Act.
“In this case, the associate provision of the Act was breached because RDHL entered an agreement to purchase Hadleigh Station on behalf of the overseas investor without prior consent from the OIO. After RDHL entered into the agreement, the agreement was transferred into the overseas investor’s name, which was subject to OIO approval.”
“The OIO has investigated and found the intention was always for the overseas investor to acquire the property. The associate provision is in place to ensure overseas investors don’t side-step the OIO by using intermediaries during transactions.”
The OIO required the overseas investor to apply for retrospective consent to the acquisition and pay a retrospective penalty of $10,000.
“We are satisfied that the overseas investor relied upon Mr Dickie’s advice and the failure to obtain consent on their part was inadvertent,” Ms Horne says, “Mr Dickie has shown that he has improved his business practices since the sale and purchase of Hadleigh Station. We have put Mr Dickie on notice that if he breaks the rules again we will be taking further action.”
Ms Horne says the OIO takes breaches of the Overseas Investment Act very seriously.
Q: Why did the OIO conclude RDHL was acting as an associate for the overseas investor?
A: The OIO found RDHL was acting as an associate of the overseas investor because correspondence between them discussed the offer and consulted on details, including the price.
Correspondence also showed there was an expectation Mr Dickie was securing the land on the overseas investor’s behalf. In addition, the deposit for the land paid by RDHL was backed by a guarantee from the overseas investor.
Tree faller who died was 'finest of men'The man killed in a forestry accident on Thursday has been remembered as the “finest of men” and a “beautiful son, papa, uncle and brother like no other”.
Walter Terence Collier, 56, died after a tree fell on him in the Raukumara forest 20 kilometres inland from Tokomaru Bay.
A death notice published by the family remembered him as “Our beautiful son, Papa, Uncle and brother like no other. You will always stand tall and strong in our hearts. ‘Pakaru' to say the least. Home will never be the same. Our number one feller, fisherman, and finest of men.”
Mr Collier is survived by his partner and daughter. He also has three brothers and a sister.
His brother Hilton Collier provided a family statement, “Clearly we are distraught by the loss of our brother Terry in yet another workplace accident. While we do not wish to comment on the circumstances, this is by any measure a tragedy.
“Terry chose to work on that fateful day so as not to let down those who were relying on him. He could easily have spent the day on a family fishing trip. This is typical of someone who believed loyalty and keeping your promises were paramount.
“He leaves behind his lifelong partner Rimini, daughter Raemon and his beloved grandchildren.”
Source: Gisborne Herald
Drylandcarbon buys first forestry propertyA specialist carbon forestry fund established by some of the country’s biggest emitters has bought its first property – Drylandcarbon has agreed to buy the 1,600-hectare Te Puna station near Wairoa. About two-thirds of the property – much of it steep and erosion-prone - will be planted in exotics as a permanent carbon sink. About 114 ha will remain as pastoral lease with the balance allowed to regenerate as native forest.
Executive director Ant Beverley said marginal land is ideal for forestry planting, but care is needed to ensure that viable land isn’t also taken out of production. Nor does it make sense to plant trees for harvesting where the land is too steep for harvesting or too remote to get logs to processors or ports.
In the case of Te Puna, leasing the pastoral block to the current manager avoided the risk of him and his family being displaced.
“This is a positive outcome which sees land used appropriately, jobs protected within the rural community and the more productive land retained for farming,” Beverley said.
Drylandcarbon, a limited partnership, was formed in March by Air New Zealand, Contact Energy, Genesis Energy and Z Energy. It was intended to develop forests to sequester carbon and provide the partners with an ongoing supply of New Zealand emission units to help meet their obligations under the emissions trading scheme.
Boosting forestry planting through the 10-year “billion trees” programme is an important part of the government’s climate change response. But the potential land that may ultimately be required – estimated at up to 2.8 million hectares by the Productivity Commission – has alarmed farming groups and been dismissed as un-doable by some foresters.
Easier rules for foreign owners to buy farms to convert them to forest have also skewed land prices and has some rural councils worried that further depopulation may make already struggling communities unviable.
Drylandcarbon’s model is to buy land or enter into joint ventures with landowners looking for an income stream from marginal land. In the latter, proceeds from carbon or harvested forest would be shared with the landowner.
Te Puna, about 37 kilometres north-east of Wairoa, was put on the market in February. Drylandcarbon hasn’t disclosed what it paid.
Beverley said the firm has two other properties under contract, which will be developed for rotation forestry. Discussions are underway on two others, one of which will involve a land swap. He said the minimum parcel size the fund looks at is about 100 ha and to date the partnership model had worked “quite well.”
The firm would continue seeking properties where suitable marginal land can be planted, and productive land can be farmed “for the benefit of our economy and rural communities.”
Business as usual for Claymark saleClaymark readied for sale – New Zealand’s largest manufacturer and exporter of premium pine products, Claymark Ltd, which was placed in receivership on 4 December, will be put to the market in mid-January 2020.
Receiver Brendon Gibson said “Since receivership we have concentrated on ensuring we have a stable business environment to present to interested parties, and to that end we have had fantastic support from the company’s staff, suppliers and customers.”
“For all staff, operations and suppliers it’s business as usual as we work through the sale process.” Gibson confirmed that there has been considerable interest in the business since the announcement of the receivership and he hoped to conclude a sale in the first half of 2020.
Prior to receivership there had been a well-publicised conditional sale contract on the business with NZ Future Forest Products Ltd, which was formally terminated by NZFFP yesterday.
The company employs 510 full time staff, and has sawmills, remanufacturing plants and distribution centres in Rotorua, Katikati, Thames and Henderson.
Forestry growth concerns in MarlboroughAlarm at Foreign farm and forestry takeovers - An outdoor recreation organisation wants swift action from government to stem the flow of foreign ownership of farm land citing Marlborough examples of the takeover.
Andi Cockroft chairman of the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ), said Marlborough seemed vulnerable to foreign buy-ups. Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) in its latest issue of “Foreign Control Watchdog” listed foreign purchases of land by 100% UK interests at Port Underwood, 100% Australian interests at Okaramio and foreign purchases at the Waihopai Valley and Northbank of the Wairau Valley.
Andi Cockroft said a recent sale at Kaiuma Bay, near Havelock comprised 1358.5 hectares of land going from wholly New Zealand ownership to Australia’s Marberry Estate.
“Also recent information shows that six of the ten biggest private landowners in New Zealand are foreign-owned forestry companies. It’s no surprise to learn that the forestry sector is nearly 75% foreign owned,” he said.
In 2018 the Overseas Investment Office approved the sale of 25,696 hectares of freehold rural land and 47,679 of leases in land to foreigners.
Foreign ownership was resulting in diminishing public access to the outdoors.
“Intertwined with this rural land is often outdoor recreation values, fishing, hunting and tramping,” said Andi Cockroft. “However access to the outdoor recreation has been diminished as invariably the new foreign owners stop public access.”
Assurances before the 2017 election by all three government coalition partners - Labour, Greens and NZ First - to curb sales of land, were shown statistics to be worthless. Since the Labour- Greens-NZ First government was formed the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) had approved more than $2.3 billion of forestry related land sales - about 31,000 hectares previously New Zealand owned.
It was also disclosed that the Labour-led government had actively encouraged further foreign purchases of land for forestry through a stream-lined “special forestry test.”
“So much for election promises,” he said.
He said CAFCA’s vigilance and publication also listed other foreign purchases throughout New Zealand in regions such as Wairoa, Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa.
On outdoor recreation access, under the previous New Zealand ownership of the “family farm” nature, access could usually be obtained by asking permission. Much of the land was forestry or farmland destined for exotic forestry by its new foreign owners.
Andi Cockroft questioned the environmental impact of exotic forest monocultures saying the plantings resulted in depleted water ways since pines were “much more thirsty” compared to native forest, acidification of soils and heavy silt laden runoffs at clear felling time with the latter adversely affecting the inner Marlborough Sounds and Marlborough rivers.
Andi Cockroft said the exposure of sales of farmland and forestry sales showed the lack of integrity by governments’ three parties. All three had pledged to stem the foreign sales flow while the Green Party seemed ignorant of the adverse environmental impact of large scale pine monocultures.
Source: Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ via Scoop News
... almost finally ... Radical redesign for coffee cupsUnocups, the brainchild of a product designer and an architect, are able to hold hot liquids without the use of a conventional plastic lid.
In 2015, two New York-based designers conceived of a sustainable alternative to the ubiquitous city coffee cup. Tom Chan, then a sophomore at Cooper Union, developed Unocup—a spill-resistant, foldable cup made of paper—at his school’s Invention Factory summer program. During the six-week program, where students are challenged to design products that address a common need, Chan created some 800 prototypes for Unocup alongside his collaborator and cofounder, architect Kaanur Papo.
The result of all this dedicated prototyping? $100,000 from an international sustainability award, the New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize, to further develop the fledgling design.
Now a full-fledged company, Unocup aims to cut down the amount of plastic waste that enters the ocean (8 million tons annually) by replacing conventional cup and lid designs with a single, origami-like cup that folds to create a lid. New York City’s caffeinated community alone uses roughly 1.1 million pounds of single-use plastic food ware (which includes hot drink lids) every year, whereas the entire world creates 300 million tons of single-use plastic waste annually. Since these omnipresent lids are responsible for 5% of those 8.25 million tons entering the ocean, according to Chan and Papo, their solution is long overdue.
This on-the-go coffee cup is primarily designed to reduce waste—but it’s also ergonomic. The entire cup folds into a peak, which becomes an integrated lid. The measured peaks and valleys of the folds make it impossible for the lid–which is part of the technically lid- free paper cup base–to unfold and pop off on its own. Each of the cup’s three sides can be folded over, either inward or outward (depending on your sipping preferences), and there’s a tab that tucks into a slot that creates the sliver of an opening for coffee to pass through. Think McDonalds french fry container, but covered.
Chan and Papo have partnered with artist Alexis Kandra to develop a unique visual brand identity for Unocups. Kandra is known for her nature-focused designs, featuring animals in surreal environments (much like our rapidly warming one). As a marketing strategy, partnering with Kandra is a good call: Unocups will be instantly recognizable—while also invoking feelings of eco-awareness.
In an effort to manufacture and distribute the recyclable coffee cups to cafes and restaurants, the designers have launched a Kickstarter campaign. They hope to raise $14,500 to help bring their environmentally friendly cups to market, which includes production costs for the first batch, along with compensating Kandra for her work. Given the fact that many coffee shops—which operate on quick to-go orders and high volumes of daily visitors—have already rolled out paper straws, it’s feasible that a lid-less cup takeover could follow.
In addition to cutting out plastics, Unocups’ creators advertise their design as user- friendly (in terms of folding, they’re akin to a Chinese food takeout box) and more comfortable to drink from than the occasionally sharp plastic on traditional lids. They may be easily mass-produced and less wasteful than plastic lids, but could Unocups really usurp the familiar white top of a seasonal pumpkin spice latte with a beautifully decorated, smooth paper enclosure instead? Time will tell.
... and finally ... jokes for a new decade
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