Image for Behind the Veneer: Forest destruction and Ta Ann Tasmania. The Burning Plan

The Wilderness Society welcomes a report published by the Huon Valley Environment Centre that details Ta Ann’s timber has been logged from high conservation value forests, including old growth and explores the eco-friendly marketing of its veneer products in places like Japan.


The report (http://bit.ly/mRlUbs) looks into Ta Ann’s supply chain, from logging in native forests in Tasmania, to the final products and associated Japanese promotional materials. The report and the Japanese “eco-message” marketing reinforce the need for Ta Ann to urgently transition to existing plantations.


“We share the concerns of local environmentalists that wood from Tasmania’s unique forests, including its oldgrowth forests, are being marketed as eco-friendly building options in places like Japan,” said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society.


“While the Japanese consumer may be susceptible to green washing, the recycled paper scandal highlights that the Japanese won’t tolerate deceptive public relations and marketing[1].” 

 
“The challenge for Ta Ann and other processors in the forest industry is to rapidly transition to plantations to live up to marketing claims and to allow protection of high conservation value forests,” said Mr Bayley.


Despite Ta Ann’s existing long term wood supply contract for a low grade, by-product of logging to supply sawlogs[2] some, including the company are calling for special new legislation to lock in this level of supply.


“We cannot support the proposal to legislate a minimum supply of the kind of wood Ta Ann currently uses,” continued Mr Bayley. “Such a move will entrench much of what is wrong with how forestry is managed in Tasmania.”


“Locking in the supply of this low grade ‘waste’ product could create a new driver for logging in forests that many across Tasmania want to see protected.”


“The Wilderness Society has made this view clear to all participants in the current forestry industry restructure process, including Ta Ann, and will continue to work to deliver the duel-goals of forest protection and industry security via a restructure and transition to the existing plantation estate.”


[1] http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/jan/18/greenbusiness.recycling
[2] http://www.themercury.com.au/article/2011/08/06/251161_tasmania-news.html

Read HVEC’s Report HERE: http://www.huon.org/

Huon Valley Environment Centre’s Executive Summary:

Executive Summary

Ta Ann Holdings is a Malaysian-based multinational logging and timber products company. Ta Ann Holdings has a track record of rainforest destruction and human rights violations in the Malaysian state of Sarawak.

In January 2006, Ta Ann was welcomed to Australia’s island state of Tasmania with a golden political handshake and they have since establishedforestry operations to sell Tasmanian wood products
to customers in Japan, China and Europe. Ta Ann’s intention with their Tasmanian venture is to market ‘eco wood’ products. Ta Ann successfully advertises their ‘eco’ products as being sourced from plantation or sustainably managed ‘regrowth’ forests.

Ta Ann’s decision to open shop in Tasmania was driven by two core objectives: they were offered hardwood by the state-owned forestry company, Forestry Tasmania, at lower rates than they could access in Malaysia or Indonesia and they needed Tasmania’s ‘clean, green image’ to access an increasingly environmentally concerned and lucrative international market.

Ta Ann Tasmania (TAT) has rejected timber from plantations, staked its future on continued access to timber from native forests and has actively lobbied to stall an industry-wide transition to plantation harvesting. TAT is now a major driver of the industrial scale logging of Tasmania’s unique native forests.

TAT has received timber from the destruction of Tasmania’s world class native forests, including timber from old growth forests, forests with recognised World Heritage values and other forests that are of high conservation value.

Huon Valley Environment Centre (HVEC) has applied on-site research, obtained documents under Right to Information (RTI) and gathered primary source information from local forest workers as well
as community members to reveal that – despite claims to the contrary – Ta Ann is driving unsustainable native forest, including old growth and high conservation value forest destruction in Tasmania.

Moreover, the evidence that HVEC has obtained, presented in the following report, suggests that Ta Ann has been misleading their customers and falsely promoting their products in the international marketplace as ‘eco-plywood’. The evidence also clearly implicates both the Tasmanian and Australian governments as they have knowingly supported this misrepresentation and allowed the destruction of Tasmania’s globally renowned oldgrowth and high conservation value forests.

The Tasmanian Government has announced their intention to legislate the wood supply contract for TaAnn, which would lock in the ongoing destruction of Tasmania’s forests. Recent commitments have as of August 2011 been made by the Tasmanian and Australian Governments that would see a cessation of logging in identified high conservation value forests, pending verification. However, the HVEC has discovered logging operations that have recently commenced in old growth forests within this area of promised reserves. Timber sourced fromthese old growth forests will be used by Ta Ann.

Huon Valley Environment Centre,
September, 2011

And:

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• Peter: Burn it Baby! ... the forest industry’s new plan

Big advertisement for Biomass Energy Presentations in today’s Mercury, page 11.

Sponsors:
Private Forests Tasmania (aka FT)
New Forest Industry (aka FFIC)
Regional Development Australia

The New Forest Industry

The New Forest Industry is the generic name and branding for the forest industry stakeholders of the Forests and Forest Industry Council of Tasmania (FFIC).

http://www.ffic.com.au/about_nfi

Tasmanian Government > Other Organisations > Forests & Forest Industry Council
Steve Bavage Director Of Communications
Aidan Flanagan   General Manager
Rob Woolley   Chairman
Jeanette Barr   Business Manager

First published: 2011-10-05 10:05 AM

Examiner: Ad attack on timber firm slated, HERE