Post from Gordon Bradbury on November 14, 2017 at 9:31AM
I think about export markets a lot; both from the fact I constantly get enquiries from buyers but also from the point of view "how do we turn this market demand into farmer interest and getting trees planted?"
We have gone from the situation where trees are not worth the effort to grow, to demand is skyrocketing.
But there is little market transparency. No one in the market seems prepared to turn their "demand" into real support for farm forestry.
It seems to me that is what must happen if farm forestry is to take advantage of global wood demand. The market has to actively support farm forestry.
The odd phone call, email or SMS just isn't enough.
As the remaining forest industry here in Tasmania collapses, there is certainly opportunity to export NZ blackwood to fill the void in the Australian market. Other species too I reckon, especially eucalypts and macrocarpa.
Curiously I read a recent submission from a major Tasmanian sawmiller who want no blackwood logs to leave Tasmania. They want all private growers to be forced to sell to local processors. So it is very clear to me that the forest industry still faces serious challenges from its own ranks.
Profitable tree growing is the only basis of a successful forest industry. As soon as you manipulate and constrain the market you destroy the industry. Log exports are essential.
So how do we provide opportunities for the market to actively support farm forestry? I don't think the market fully appreciates what needs to happen to ensure future supplies of quality wood, and how it can help.
Gordon Bradbury Tasmanian Blackwood Growers Cooperative