22 December, 2011

MEDIA RELEASE: Ta Ann Tasmanian Native Forest Veneer Rejected By UK Market

Markets for Change, 22 December 2011

International Plywood, a major UK importer of plywood from Ta Ann’s Tasmania operations has told the Australian ENGO Markets for Change that they will not be purchasing any more timber from Ta Ann while the controversy around ongoing logging of Tasmania’s High Conservation Value (HCV) and old growth forests continues.

“Markets for Change is encouraged that the international market is so concerned about the ongoing destruction of Tasmania’s high conservation value forests that International Plywood from the UK has taken the decision to no longer buy Ta Ann Tasmania’s plywood product. It is significant that even though Ta Ann had PEFC (1) certification for this product the market has still rejected it as it is sourced from such valuable forests,” said Tim Birch CEO of Markets for Change.

Markets for Change (MFC) recently released detailed research tracking Ta Ann veneer timber from Tasmania’s high conservation forests through Malaysia to London and a sports hall to be used in training by Team USA during the 2012 London Olympics. (2)

Detailed analysis by Market for Change’s partner NGO in Tasmania (Huon Valley Environment Centre) has clearly shown that Ta Ann Tasmania’s operations continue to receive wood products coming from high conservation value forests in Tasmania. These forests have already been earmarked for protection by the Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) in Tasmania, yet they continue to be logged. (3)

“This decision by International Plywood sends a clear message to Ta Ann that their association with the destruction of Tasmania’s high conservation value forests is bad for business. Ta Ann can no longer claim that their veneer product is sourced from plantations and sustainable regrowth forests. They must take immediate steps to remove identified high conservation forests from their supply chain,” said Will Mooney from Huon Valley Environment Centre.

Following the release of this research Markets for Change contacted a number of UK companies involved in the supply of Ta Ann Tasmania veneer plywood to the UK market. International Plywood UK were surprised when evidence was provided by MFC and Huon Valley Environment Centre showing Ta Ann Tasmania were sourcing wood products from high conservation value forests as they were under the clear impression that they were purchasing wood products from Ta Ann that came from plantations. Even a recent letter from the Deputy Premier of Tasmania, Brian Green to International Plywood UK urging them to continue buying from Ta Ann Tasmania did not persuade the company to continue purchasing veneer plywood from Ta Ann Tasmania.

Markets for Change will continue its campaign, nationally and internationally, to urge the market to reject wood products coming from High Conservation Value forests and instead trade in wood products sourced from ecologically responsible plantations.

Markets for Change is committed to supporting an Australian forest industry based on well managed FSC certified plantation products. Such a plantation based timber industry will ensure long term secure jobs for workers and the protection of native forests.

1.    The Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has been widely criticised by international environment groups as it is not an indicator of acceptable environmental standards and does not safeguard high conservation value from ongoing logging.

2. http://www.marketsforchange.org/2012-olympics-timber/

3. http://www.scribd.com/doc/72216112/Ta-Ann-Final-Report-2011-Web

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