History in the making... FSC native certified woodchip exports
IN AN historic first for Tasmania, the initial shipment of some 50,000 tonnes of Forest Stewardship Council/FM certified woodchips is set for export at the Bell Bay operations of Neville Smith SmartFibre in March 2017.
The SmartFibre PureForest product, developed by Neville Smith SmartFibre in conjunction with SFM, is an FSC/FM certified high quality wood product sourced from private growers in native forest.
As a result of increasing confidence in the industry, Neville Smith SmartFibre has announced a $3 million investment in its Bell Bay operations, which has seen some $1.5 million invested upgrading its chipper, transferring power from diesel to electric as well as $1.5 million in stockpile expansion in the very near future.
SmartFibre’s Chairman, James Neville Smith said the investment would lead to five direct jobs and an estimated flow-on economic impact of a further 25 jobs and millions of extra dollars spent in the local economy.
“While an initial annual volume of some 200,000 tonnes of woodchip is forecast, it is hoped that this would increase to 400,000 tonnes of FSC/FM certified woodchips for export each year,” Mr Neville Smith said.
“We have had strong market demand for our SmartFibre PureForest product and indications are the demand is long term.”
Mr Neville Smith said given the strong demand, he was calling on landowners who may be interested in supplying SmartFibre PureForest to contact the organisation.
“At this stage SmartFibre PureForest is sourced only from private landowners, so we appeal to those who are interested in sustainable forests to contact us,” Mr Neville Smith said.
Mr Neville Smith said it was important for the community to understand the forest industry had come a long way in recent years and the announcement of full FSC certified woodchip exports reflects this.
“SmartFibre was the first in Tasmania to achieve FSC Controlled wood in 2007 and achieve a long term contract with a prominent customer, and was always mindful of a natural resource becoming available with a higher certification badge for the future,” Mr Neville Smith said.
“That future has arrived and private land owners who have had their forests stagnate for many years now have the opportunity to harvest in a sustainable method under the SFM, FSC/ FM certification.
“SmartFibre now have a long term commitment from a customer and interest in SmartFibre PureForest is growing.
“We hope all supporters of FSC applaud this development and encourage broader FSC certification on both plantations and natural forest areas. This is the gold standard call by the ENGO’s so we would expect this fact to be recognised by these organisations.
“As a company we are always trying to differentiate. We strive to waste nothing and add as much value as possible wherever possible to our products, from quality Sawn Tasmanian Oak timber to branded “SmartFibre PureForest” high quality woodchips. “In this context, the decision by the State Government to restructure Forestry Tasmania is welcomed, because in getting the core organisation that supplies most of the volume onto a sustainable footing, the rest of the industry can get on with the job.
“At the end of the day, allowing industry to valueadd wood product will mean more jobs and investment in Tasmania. This, coupled with a sustainable footing, will mean a great future for us all,” Mr Neville Smith said.
“At this stage SmartFibre PureForest is sourced only from private landowners, so we appeal to those who are interested in sustainable forests to contact us,”
James Neville Smith and the new chipper.