Tasmania’s forest campaigners Jenny Weber and Peg Putt have exposed Ta Ann Tasmania’s timber source to some of their customers in Japan, in alliance with Japanese forest campaign organisation JATAN.  Meetings have been held with flooring manufacturer Panasonic Electric Works and Japan’s largest house building companies, Sekisui House and Daiwa House.

Huon Valley Environment Centre’s Jenny Weber with International Forests and Climate campaigner and former leader of the Tasmanian Greens Peg Putt, also met with Japanese and international NGO’s who are focused on forest protection, whilst visiting Japan.  And a media conference was held in Tokyo.

‘Huon Valley Environment Centre released a report in October that exposes Ta Ann has sourced timber in Tasmania from world heritage value, old growth and high conservation value forests.  Ta Ann and their Japanese partner claim that their timber from Tasmania is only sourced from plantations and regrowth forests.  Our message to the customers of Ta Ann was that the source of the company’s timber has been misrepresented,’ Huon Valley Environment Centre’s Jenny Weber said.

Companies such as Panasonic Electric Works, Sekisui House and Daiwa House have set goals to procure environmentally friendly timber, whose production does not contribute to large scale logging, nor harm biodiversity or the climate. 

‘Informing these companies about the ecologically destructive logging practices in Tasmania and the reality that Ta Ann is sourcing timber from old growth, world heritage value and high conservation value forests was a shock to the companies who believe the timber source is environmentally friendly, who had been misled and in some cases thought that Ta Ann’s veneer was plantation grown,’ Jenny Weber said.

‘Even worse Ta Ann is standing in the way of full protection of 572 000ha identified for reservation in the Intergovernmental Agreement on Tasmania’s forests, and this company is implicated in environmental and human rights abuses in Sarawak.  It was important to inform Japanese customers of the potential reputational damage involved in their relationship with Ta Ann,’ Peg Putt said.

‘Ta Ann in Tasmania is now going to be a focus of our campaign, following our successful collaboration with Australia NGO’s over the woodchip trade between Tasmania and Japan. I have visited forests in Tasmania that have been logged for Ta Ann in Tasmania, and witnessed the forest destruction on many occasions,’ said Akira Harada of JATAN.