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Farm Forestry Timbers 
Specialty Timber Newsletter, June 2017

Farm Forestry Timbers are an industry body representing the interests of specialty timber producers and users right around New Zealand. We support locally produced timbers going into local markets, for producing quality products. We represent all facets of industry, membership ranges from growers right through to designers and users of timber.

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In this newsletter:


One of the most important roles for Farm Forestry Timbers is to provide oversight to our members regarding product quality and fitness for purpose. The building code sets levels of durability performance for different applications, such as a minimum service life of 15 years for cladding and decking. Consumers also have their own requirements based on their expectations of how a product should perform over time. The buyer and seller must meet half way and satisfy each others requirements, with the one key criteria being "fitness for purpose".

Timber product assurances have emerged in recent times displaying warranties such as "backed by a 30 year Manufacturer Guarantee. Subject to terms and conditions." These warranties apparently override the durability performance clauses of the building code because the products don't necessarily comply. The consumer only has an assurance from the supplier of the product. I'm not sure how they are getting away with this, but should our members also flout the rules and market non-code compliant wood with their own guarantees? I hope not. Our naturally durable timbers have earned a reputation for quality because they last the distance and do comply with the rules. Producers have an understanding of the species and grades that can be used for each application. If they don't then we provide guidance to them in the form of grade rules for each application - these stipulate the species and preparation for the end use, to comply with the building code. 

Individual members need to each play our part in a transparent marketplace - ensuring that what consumers get is exactly what is described by the supplier, both in terms of grade and also species. 

At times it comes to my notice that a dispute has arisen between buyer and seller. Sometimes expectations are not lived up to and wood, being a natural and variable material, is well known to change over time according to the conditions in which it is held or subjected. Sometimes at fault is the way the timber is handled after purchase. Our grade rules ensure timber is ready for each application, but how it is subsequently handled is no longer the responsibility of the vendor.

The supplier does, however, need to ensure their descriptions of timber are accurate, including species name and grade. The less informed buyer might not know the difference between species, so relies on the producer to ensure their products are fit for purpose. Again our grade rules provide for the building code requirements for the end use.

Dean Satchell
Chair, FFT

If any of you have stories for this newsletter, please get in touch with Dean by email.



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Farm Forestry Timbers Society Committee: Chairperson: Dean Satchell,  Secretary: Eric Cairns,  Treasurer: Angus Gordon
Committee: Vaughan Kearns, Malcolm McKenzie, Eric Cairns, Kees Weytmans, Graham SmithLi Legler, Robert Carter


Disclaimer: While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on this site, Farm Forestry Timbers Society do not accept liability for any consequences arising from reliance on the information published. If readers have any doubts about acting on any articles they should seek confirming, professional advice.

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