The following details expand on Premier Horgan’s announcement yesterday. The Minister announced the details during his address to a full room of 350 timber harvesting contractors at the Truck Logger Association’s 76th annual Convention & Trade Show.
The fair market rate test is a forestry-industry method used to settle rate disputes between contractors and licensees, which have caused lengthy delays in reaching a settlement, contributing to the inability to operate sustainably their businesses. Following extensive consultation in an effort to ensure the forest industry continues operating, the government’s decision to eliminate the method in favour of models and experts will streamline the process that used to take months and years, which should now take up to a maximum of 14 days.
“Elimination of the fair market rate test is a monumental change for our industry, allowing contractors to more equitably share in the value of the timber resource,” says David Elstone, executive director of the Truck Loggers Association.
“It will result in a fundamental shift in the relationships between contractors and their employers across the province.”
Today, Minister Donaldson explained that a six-month process to make the legislative changes will involve continued industry stakeholder consultations, leading to implementation in the fall.
“As a contractor who operates under the Timber Harvesting Contractor and Sub Contractor regulation, these changes should have a direct impact on my business’ ability to be more sustainable,” says Rob Wood, President of Holbrook Dyson Logging in Campbell River. “While a small percentage of the industry operates under this regulation, I believe these changes will influence all non-Bill 13 contractors across the province as well.”
Source: TLA news release
Photo: David Elstone, executive director of the Truck Loggers Association.
Following the completion of the long-awaited Contractor Sustainability Review and its resulting recommendations, Premier Horgan announced a significant change to the Timber Harvesting Contractor and Sub-contractor regulation, which was the elimination of the fair market rate test. The Premier made his announcement during his address to a full room of 350 timber harvesting contractors at the Truck Logger Association’s 76th annual Convention & Trade Show.
“Today’s announcement is what we were hoping for and will result in a fundamental shift in the relationship between contractors and their employers across the province,” said David Elstone, executive director of the Truck Loggers Association. “Elimination of the fair market rate test is a monumental change for our industry, allowing contractors to more equitably share in the value of the timber resource.”
The Premier also made a commitment today to exploring solutions that the TLA has put forward to address the industry’s acute skilled labour shortage.
“After advocating for a training tax credit over the past three years, we are thrilled to hear this announcement,” said Elstone. “We are facing unprecedented retirement in the forest and logging industry, and even today there are far too many logging trucks and heavy equipment sitting idle due to the lack of experienced and competent operators. This may open up substantial opportunity for contractors’ needs for on-the-job training province- wide.”
Source: Wood Business
Nelson Forests’ acquisition of Manuka Island estate confirmed by Overseas Investment Office – OneFortyOne (OFO) has received confirmation that the Overseas Investment Office has approved Nelson Forests’ acquisition of Manuka Island estate in New Zealand. The completion date for the purchase will be mid-late February.
“The Manuka Island acquisition reflects our intention to continue to invest in the regions where we have an established presence. The acquisition complements our recent purchase of Nelson Forests and is a great fit for their estate,” says OFO’s Chief Executive Officer, Linda Sewell.
“Manuka Island will be a natural extension of our existing operation,” says Lees Seymour, Managing Director of Nelson Forests. “We are excited about the employment and regional economic development opportunities that the purchase will provide for Marlborough, in addition to our strong presence at Kaituna sawmill and through our forest activities in the region.”
Photo: Lees Seymour, Managing Director of Nelson Forests
The post NZ – OneFortyOne acquires more forestlands in Manuka Island appeared first on International Forest Industries.
Intelligent boom control (IBC) is the unique boom control system developed by John Deere. It’s an intelligent control system with sensors that detect the positioning of the harvester head and algorithms that adjust the boom’s trajectory in one continuous motion. IBC also functions as a platform for the eventual and easy introduction of new features that facilitate the customer’s work.
“IBC brings significant advantages also in final fellings. Thanks to IBC, controlling the big and robust CH9 boom is just as easy and precise as in the smaller harvesters, and the boom can be operated at the same speed as the booms in the smaller harvester models. IBC facilitates the operator’s work and makes working more pleasant. There are fewer movements to make – and that helps with the operator’s working capacity. It’s a feature of the modern era,” says Marketing Manager Tommi Ekman.
Work is precise and smooth with intelligent boom control
In harvester work, the IBC’s operation has been designed to suit the machine’s work cycle. The boom’s trajectories and operation automatically adjust as the boom is taken to a tree and the load is in the harvester head. The operator doesn’t have to move the different sections of the boom individually. The boom is easy to use and precise at all boom reaches. Thanks to the electronic end damping, the boom operates softly. The blow-like loads at maximum reaches are eliminated, making the operator’s work more pleasant and decreasing the stress on the boom’s structures and hydraulic cylinders. IBC improves work ergonomics and guides the operator in the correct use of the boom, which is directly reflected in the increased productivity.
Intelligent Boom Control was introduced for John Deere forwarders in 2013. In 2017, John Deere introduced IBC first for the 1270G harvester and later the same year also for 1170G harvester. Now IBC will be available also for the 1470G harvester’s 11- and 10-meter CH9 booms used in final fellings.
The operator maneuvers the harvester head to a desired position and the system automatically adjusts the trajectories of the 1) lift, 2) slew, 3) extension and boom rotation for the optimal solution.
Photo: Marketing Manager Tommi Ekman.
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Finnish agriculture and forest machine manufacturer Sampo-Rosenlew has announced that Jussi Malmi will take over as new CEO of the company from 1st of February.
Jussi recently came from a position as CEO of the forest machine manufacturer Logset but he has also spent many years in Timberjack and JohnDeere among other companies reports Forestry.com.
For those who until now have seen Sampo-Rosenlew more as a combine manufacturer than as a forest machine company, there is enough reason to rethink. Especially after last year’s product launches at the forestry show FinnMetko in Finland with a new larger harvester HR 68 and two new larger forwarders: the 15-tonne forwarder Sampo FR68 and the 12-tonne forwarder FR 46.
The 14,000th forest machine manufactured in Vieremä was handed over to the customer at Ponsse Jan 30 2019. The completion of the machine that will be delivered to Uruguay also offered the opportunity to celebrate Ponsse’s successful factory extension.
The PONSSE Elephant King machine at the centre of the celebration was manufactured on Ponsse’s new production line, which was introduced last autumn. The last stage of the factory extension was completed at the beginning of this year when a new assembly line for cranes was commissioned at the Vieremä factory.
The completion of the machine also offered the opportunity to celebrate Ponsse’s successful factory extension. At the beginning of last year, the 13,000th PONSSE forest machine was completed at the factory, and a topping-out ceremony for the factory extension was celebrated at the same time. This large investment increased the factory’s area to four hectares and completely renewed the factory’s assembly and warehouse operations. The change involved a major effort in terms of scope and impact from all production workers. The change has now been brought to a conclusion, and Ponsse’s factory is in excellent shape with respect to safety, productivity and flexibility.
Ponsse’s operations in Uruguay
The 14,000th PONSSE machine is the largest model in Ponsse’s forwarder range. PONSSE Elephant King equipped with the new PONSSE K121 crane, designed for the most demanding conditions. This week, the machine will start its journey from the freezing weather of Northern Savonia to the summer heat of Uruguay. The machine will harvest timber at UPM Uruguay’s plantations for local pulp production needs. UPM Uruguay has been Ponsse´s full service customer since 2014.
Ponsse has been operating in Uruguay since 2007 and opened new service centre in 2017. Local customer support is handled by Ponsse’s subsidiary Ponsse Uruguay. The subsidiary employs 96 people, and its managing director is Martin Toledo. In Uruguay, timber is harvested almost entirely with modern and environmentally friendly cut-to-length harvesting equipment.
“In Uruguay, the work of our local staff in customer relations, commitment and company development is outstanding. In a field requiring perseverance, Ponsse Uruguay has succeeded in establishing operations in a relatively short time which our customers can trust,” says Jarmo Vidgrén, Sales and Marketing Director of Ponsse Plc.
Vieremä, January 30, 2019
Jarmo Vidgrén, Ponssel Plc, Sales and Marketing Director, tel. +358 40 519 1486
Martin Toledo, Ponsse Uruguay, Managing Director, tel. +598 995 59130
Ponsse is a world leading manufacturer of cut-to-length forest machines. The company focuses exclusively on the environmentally friendly cut-to-length method, whereby timber is harvested using rubber-wheeled forest machines, and the raw material is utilized precisely by already cutting the timber to the desired length in the forest. The company was established by forest machine entrepreneur Einari Vidgrén in 1970, and it is headquartered in Vieremä, Finland.
The Swiss Wood Market Commission (HMK) met on January 16, this year for the first time with representatives from the Swiss Industrial Wood and Wood Energy sector. The Swiss wood market is still under the influence of beetle wood, according to the commission. The Swiss wood industry is still prepared to process beetle wood, but at the same time reports an increasing demand for fresh softwood. Depending on the weather, much additional beetle wood is expected starting this spring. Hardwood is in good demand. Both parties continue to rely on price stability.
Current economic situation
The Swiss sawmill industry was able to benefit from the good construction activity in Europe and Switzerland in 2018 and was working at full capacity or virtually full capacity throughout the year. Thanks to the extraordinarily high demand for sawn timber, a corresponding amount of beetle wood was cut, which brought the sawmills to their capacity limits. The Swiss forest owners, however, had to accept some significant yield losses due to the high percentage of damaged wood. To make matters worse, the limited export opportunities resulting from oversupply have also affected neighboring countries.
Market assessment for 2019
The market forecasts for 2019 are still positive, if not quite as rosy as in the previous year. The demand of the Swiss construction industry for wood products is estimated to be similarly solid for 2019 as in previous years. Beetle wood can only be taken up to a limited extent by the wood industry due to the still full warehouses and tends to fall in prices. On the other hand, many sawmills now report an increasing demand for fresh softwood. The demand for hardwood remains high, both for sawable roundwood (especially oak and ash) as well as for industrial and energy wood.
The demand of the Swiss wood industry for fresh wood in good qualities should be considered as far as possible, however only clearly agreed quantities on concrete orders, recommends the HMK. Forest owners should reduce the old forest camps as far as possible and use fresh wood until spring. Thus, from spring, fresh, high-quality beetle wood can be delivered directly to the sawmills. In order to contain the expected bark beetle calamity, the standing softwood in the forest must continue to be well monitored. Infested trees have to be removed from the stock for reasons of forest protection.
No new price agreements
Both parties agree that given the regionally different starting point and the uncertain beetle development, it makes no sense to issue new price recommendations. For fresh wood, price stability is still recommended, coupled with concrete quantity agreements, so that only the quantities and assortments that are effectively needed come onto the market.
The Wood Market Commission meets again on 25 June 2019 to reassess the situation.
Sabah Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal has announced that the State Government will undertake large scale reforestation to ensure wood supplies for industries in Sabah.
The aim is to create a resource base that will attract investors especially furniture makers in Peninsular Malaysia. Plans are being drawn up for planting a mixture of valuable hardwoods such as red seraya, meranti as well as fast growing timbers such as eucalyptus and acacia.
Shafie said the State Government would play a role in supplying wood for furniture manufacturing and priority would be given to furniture factories in order to encourage more high quality furniture manufacturers to Sabah.
In related news, the Sarawak Forest Department has announced they will begin a large-scale forest landscape restoration (FLR) programme this year. Director Hamden Mohammad said the priority is to plant indigenous species such as belian, meranti, keruing, selangan batu, engkabang, kapor and other local species on degraded areas within licensed harvesting areas. The state government has RM10 million for this initiative.
Photo: Sarawak Forest Department Director Hamden
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In 2018, Logset Oy’s turnover grew to a record level of 40.128 million euros (2017: 30.922 million euros) and the operating profit to 1,671 million euros (2017: 0,935 million euros).
During the past year, the demand for Logset products remained high in Europe. The strongest growth, however, came from the Russian and South American markets. The demand for harvester heads exceeded all expectations, and the interest towards the hybrid harvester continued to grow. Forwarders remained the foundation of the sales. In 2018, Logset launched the first service products that increased the service turnover. At the end of 2018, the value of the order book reached a record 19,8 million euros (2017: 7,3 million euros).
In 2018, Logset not only focused on growth, but also on developing its operational activity. Purchasing was streamlined, which lowered the share of material costs of total turnover compared to the previous financial year. The stock turnover rate of materials, spare parts and second-hand machines was improved significantly, and the stock value in euro decreased from the previous year, despite the strong growth of financial turnover. A write-down was made in the material stock, and the stock value of second-hand machines was adjusted to correspond to a fair market price with a new valuation method.
Warranty costs and campaign overall costs were reduced due to better quality control in the production, and improved quality of the products. The share of direct labour costs of the total turnover developed in an unfavourable way, even though the number of sick leaves and occupational accidents was diminished. The whole forest machine industry suffered from poor availability of components, and it also affected Logset. Despite the strong growth and problems with parts availability, the company managed to deliver the machines within a reasonable timetable.
In 2018, Logset product development focused on the new Stage 5 products that meet the tightened emission regulations, the Smooth Ride cabin suspension, on improving the quality, and on developing new products to be launched in 2019.
At the end of 2018, Logset established a subsidiary named Logset Inc. in Canada. The new office will offer sales and technical support to Logset dealers and customers based in North and South America.
In 2018, Logset’s credit rating was raised to class A.
– Logset had a fantastic year. We advanced as planned in nearly all areas, and the results are plain to see. Thanks to the enhanced operational activity, a record order intake, and the continued high demand at the beginning of this year, the company is in a great shape for 2019, says Managing Director Jussi Malmi.
Actions to improve financial and operational performance will continue in 2019. In addition, the capacity of the factory will be increased. The new products and service solutions to be launched in 2019 are expected to further strengthen Logset’s market position.
In 2018, the Finnish forest industry enterprises procured 51.4 million m3 of roundwood from non-industrial private forests. The roundwood trade volumes increased by a fifth compared with 2017. Standing timber sales volume came up to 44.7 million m3 (+23% over the previous year), reports Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).
Roundwood trade was also very active in December 2018, when the Finnish forest industry enterprises harvested 5.2 million m3 roundwood from non-industrial, private forests.
In December 2018, the stumpage prices of roundwood started to decline. The stumpage price level was a little less than 0,5% lower than a month earlier. The stumpage price for pine logs came up to EUR 62.0 per cubic metre, the spruce log price was EUR 65.8 per cubic metre. The stumpage price for pine pulpwood was EUR 18.3 per cubic metre, while the price for spruce pulpwood was EUR 19.4 per cubic metre.
The harvesting method affects the stumpage price paid for roundwood. In December 2018, the price of logs harvested from regeneration fellings was 3% higher than the average stumpage price paid for logs (thinnings 14% below the average price).
In case of pulpwood, the stumpage price differences from the average by felling method were as follows: pulpwood from regeneration fellings +11%, from thinnings –7%, and from first thinnings –28%.
The roadside price for pine pulpwood was EUR 31.8 per cubic metre. The price for spruce pulpwood was EUR 34.7 per cubic metre and for birch pulpwood 32.3 EUR per cubic metre. The roadside price level fell 1% from the previous month.
In January, the consumer prices for wood pellets of quality ENplus A1 in Austria rose relatively sharply. The average price for pellets (delivery quantity 6t) is currently 24.90 cents / kg. This is 1.6% more than in December and 3.3% more than in January 2018.
The highest pellet prices were reported as usual in western Austria, where the average price is 26.77 C / kg . The cheapest are pellets in the north with an average of 24.47 C / kg cents / kg. In the south they cost an average of 24.89 C / kg .
Sack pellets cost on average € 4.18 per 15 kg bag (when ordering by pallet) or 27.88 cents / kg . Their price rose 1.3% from December and 2.7% from January 2018.
After more than three years of work supported by the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) Peru’s National Forestry and Wildlife Service (SERFOR) was handed DataBOSQUE software which will facilitate reliable timber tracking. DataBOSQUE was developed in close cooperation with the private sector and public forestry institutions at the national and regional levels.
Distribution of this software will be free and a series of training events have been arranged jointly by SERFOR and GIZ aimed at training trainers in the different Amazonian regions (Loreto, Ucayali, Madre de Dios, San Martín and Junín).
Most deforestation occurs in plots under 5 hectares
Peru’s Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, together with the Ministry of Environment, reported in December last year that deforestation in 2017 in the Peruvian Amazon was 155,914 hectares. Compared to a year earlier this represented a 5.3% decline.
It was reported that the majority of the forest loss occurred in plots under five hectares and 60% of the deforestation was concentrated in the Departments of Ucayali, Madre de Dios, Huánuco and Loreto. The area of Peru’s Amazonian forest in 2017 was reported as 68,577,351 hectares.
Wikipedia writes “Most Peruvian territory is covered by dense forests on the east side of the Andes, yet only 5% of Peruvians live in this area. More than 60% of Peruvian territory is covered by the Amazon rainforest, more than in any other country.”
Chilean officials share experiences in forest management
In order to share and exchange successful experiences in the forestry sector of Peru and Chile, officials of the National Forestry Corporation and the National Forestry Institute of Chile, visited officials and producers in the forestry sector in Cajamarca the capital and largest city of the Cajamarca Region as well as an important cultural and commercial centre in the northern Andes.
During their stay in Cajamarca, Chilean officials presented the history of their country’s forestry development, from the depredation of their forests to the installation of forest plantations, as a resource to improve the environment, generate ecosystem services and contribute to improving the quality of life of the Chilean producers.
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Wood products company Setra is reporting an operating profit of SEK 310 million ($34.4 million) for 2018. This figure includes non-recurring items of SEK -45 million ($34.4 million). Net sales totalled SEK 4,480 million ($498 million).
“We’re reporting an operating profit, adjusted for non-recurring items, of SEK 355 million ($39.4 million) for 2018, which is an improvement of SEK 176 million ($19.6 million) on the previous year.
The favourable market conditions of 2017 continued in 2018, despite a decline in consumption during the final months of the year, primarily in China and on the North African markets. We envisage continued good demand among our customers in Europe as well as recovery in China and Egypt above all,” said Hannele Arvonen, President and CEO at Setra.
Cash flow from operating activities for 2018 amounted to SEK 426 million ($47.3 million). The Group’s financial position is strong, with net financial debt amounting to SEK -121 million ($13.4 million) at the end of the period, which corresponds to a net debt/equity ratio of -8%.
Setra is one of Sweden’s largest wood products companies.
Photo: Hannele Arvonen, President and CEO at Setra.
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Södra is adjusting the purchase price for spruce and pine logs as well as fuel wood.
“We are seeing a slowdown in the economy at the same time as wood supplies are high and forestry activity is intense. As a result, the market price of saw logs is declining,” the company said.
“Our operating environment is more unsettled, and we are entering a situation marked by greater uncertainty in the markets,” said Olof Hansson, President of the Södra Skog business area.
At the same time, demand for biofuel remains high. “We are currently experiencing increased demand primarily for fuel wood, driven by the energy transition we are seeing in society,” continued Olof.
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Jussi Malmi, the Managing Director of Logset Oy, will start working for another employer from February 1st, 2019. Logset has already started looking for a new Managing Director.
Logset Oy is a Finnish forest machine manufacturer located in Koivulahti, near Vaasa. The company was established in 1992 and today it has approximately 70 employees.
The Oregon Department of Forestry announced the selection of Lena Tucker as the next Deputy State Forester. Tucker follows Nancy Hirsch, who retired from the position in December. Under the department’s current structure, the Deputy State Forester serves as the Deputy Director for Operations, overseeing the agency’s operating programs in Fire Protection, Private Forests, and State Forests.
“I am very excited to work with Lena in her new role. She has a proven record of leadership within the department and at the local and national levels,” said State Forester Peter Daugherty.
Tucker joined the department in 1994. She brings a range of experience from geographic areas throughout Oregon and has worked in all of the department’s program areas, including Fire Protection. Most recently she served as the agency’s Private Forests Division Chief, where she focused on implementation of the Oregon Forest Practices Act, forest health, technical assistance programs to help private forest landowners and the Urban and Community Forestry Program. She earned her bachelor’s degree in forest management from Northern Arizona University. Tucker, who lives in Sweet Home, Ore., is a member of that city’s Tree Commission and has been involved nationally with the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) for over a decade. She is also a Certified Forester through the Society of American Foresters.
“I am committed to the mission of ODF: serving Oregonians by protecting, managing and promoting stewardship of Oregon’s forests to enhance environmental, economic, and community sustainability,” Tucker said.
Under an existing transition plan, Tucker will take over full responsibility for the position on July 1, 2019.
Photo: Lena Tucker
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The total area of notified area of final felling in the whole country amounted to 23, 360 hectares. In the region North of Sweden the notified area of final felling increased by 32% to 4,527 hectares. The corresponding figures in the region South of Northern Sweden the notified area increased marginally by 1% and amounted to 5, 502 hectares.
The notified area of final felling in the region Central Sweden increased by 23% and amounted to 6,386 hectares and it is the highest monthly recorded data for December since 2007. In the region South of Sweden, the notified area of final increased by 15% and amounted to 6,946 hectares. This is also the highest monthly recorded data for December since 2007
On county level, the notified area of final felling increased in 17 of 21 counties. The largest increase was in Stockholm County by 93%, in Gävleborg County by 63% and increased in Västerbotten County by 58%.
There was a decline in notified area of final felling in Jämtland County by 40% and in Skåne County by 18%.
Roseburg Forest Products – Mike Reardon Promoted To Director Of Industrial Products Manufacturing; Mike Henry Named Simsboro Plant Manager
Roseburg Forest Products recently announced that Mike Reardon has been named Director of Industrial Products Manufacturing, effective Jan. 1, 2019. In his new role, Reardon will oversee the entirety of Roseburg’s Industrial Products manufacturing structure. This is the third promotion for Reardon since he rejoined Roseburg in January 2017 as Plant Manager for the company‘s composite panel plant in Simsboro, La. Reardon served as plant manager for another Roseburg facility from 2006-2009.
“In the past two years, Mike has made a significant impact through process improvements at Simsboro and our other industrial products plants,” Industrial Products Business Director Jim Buffington said. “After more than 30 years in wood products, he brings a depth and scope of experience to improve and enhance oversight of our operations.”
Mike Henry will replace Reardon as Plant Manager at Simsboro Composites, effective Jan. 14, 2019. Henry brings 25 years of experience successfully managing particleboard, MDF and TFL operations for companies including Jeld-Wen, Del-Tin Fiber and Arauco. He most recently served as vice president of operations for Essential Cabinetry Group in Greenville, S.C
Photo: Mike Reardon has been named RFP Director of Industrial Products Manufacturing
Roseburg Forest Products is pleased to announce that Jake Elston will join the company as Senior Vice President of Operations on Feb. 18, 2019. In his new role, Elston will be responsible for all Roseburg manufacturing operations, including both industrial and structural products.
Elston has an established and respected reputation in the wood products industry, with 23 years of experience in manufacturing and operations. He began his career as a superintendent and technical director at Willamette Industries, became manufacturing director for Weyerhaeuser Co.’s North American Composites Business, and moved on to Arauco North America, where he served most recently as Vice President of Operations.
Elston served seven years as an aviator, mission commander and flight instructor for the U.S. Navy. He earned an MBA from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.
“We are thrilled to have Jake join the executive team at Roseburg,” Roseburg President and CEO Grady Mulbery said. “His extensive history with wood products, including broad national and international experience, allows us to structure our executive leadership to maximize opportunities for continued growth and development.”
Elston will work closely with Roseburg’s Ashlee Cribb, who has been promoted to Senior Vice President – Chief Commercial Officer, responsible for the sales, marketing and logistics functions, and the supply chain initiatives for the company.
“While the face of the company remains unchanged in the marketplace, our internal ability to leverage the strengths and collaboration that Jake and Ashlee bring to the table will propel Roseburg to continued success in future opportunities,” Mulbery said.
Last week we covered Friday Offcuts story on the shortage of workers for planting trees. (see www.fridayoffcuts.com). It went like this: Pay rates of $400 a day are not enough to attract workers to plant trees, potentially putting a brake on the Government’s one billion trees by 2028 campaign. Forest nurseries have doubled plantings to 100 million tree seedings in response to Government incentives, but finding staff is the biggest hurdle to getting them in the ground.
Forest Management director David Janett said the bottleneck was not so much acquiring seedlings from forest nurseries, but finding people to plant the trees. “We are fully booked up for this year.” Planting rates in the North Island were reaching 60 cents a tree, which equated to pay rates of $300 to $400 a day. “And we still can’t get people.”
The story has had two reported feedbacks with RNZ running a response from Forest & Bird challenging the MPI programme itself (see here)** and a worker advocate challenging the worth of the roles: Here’s why no-one wants to plant trees for $400 a day – New Zealanders aren’t taking short-term jobs because it’s not worth their time to do so, workers’ advocate say. They were responding to reporting last week of a shortage of people to plant the trees required by the Government’s one billion trees by 2028 campaign.
Pay rates in the North Island are up to 60c a tree, or up to $400 a day if workers plant a tree a minute over 10 hours. There have also been reports of shortages of staff for meatworks, construction and agricultural roles.
First Union general secretary Dennis Maga said it was disingenuous to claim there were not enough willing workers.
“If you look at the industries that are claiming a worker shortage they’re all low paid, some have even broken the law through the exploitation and human trafficking of migrant workers,” he said.
“There’s a reason no-one wants to work in these jobs, their time isn’t worth the money and they often cannot afford to live on what some of these unethical businesses choose to offer. And it is a choice, right, what’s really disheartening is that it’s not like the money isn’t there. Horticulture for example is one of our highest export earners.”
He said many of the industries struggling to find workers had previously been staffed by international students but the number of students coming to New Zealand had dropped significantly.
In the 2017/18 financial year, there were 104,781 approved student visa applications. For 2018/2019, it was 44,970. “We end up with a split labour market. Kiwis won’t do the dirty, dangerous low-paying jobs.” He said employers finding it hard to hire should look at their strategy. “If they want to sustain their business in their industry they need to attract the young ones.”
Photo: First Union general secretary Dennis Maga
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The new approach uses gasification to turn biomass into intermediate products – liquid hydrocarbons, methanol or methane – in production units integrated with communal district heating plants or forest industry power plants. The intermediate products are processed further in oil refineries to make renewable fuels or chemicals.
VTT developed and piloted the new gasification process and evaluated the competitiveness of plants based on the technique in the course of a recently concluded project called BTL2030. The distributed generation process developed by the project team makes efficient use of the energy content of biomass. Approximately 55% of the energy content is turned into transport fuels and a further 20-25% can be used to provide district heating or to produce steam for industrial processes. The new technique reduces carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 90% compared to fossil fuels.
The process is based on VTT’s low-pressure, low-temperature steam gasification technology, simplified gas purification and small-scale industrial syntheses. Thanks to the small-scale approach, the heat generated by the process can be used throughout the year, and the process can be fuelled with local waste. Finland’s previous plans have involved considerably larger gasification-based diesel plants, the raw material demands of which could not have been satisfied with locally sourced waste.
Source: VTT Finland