NRDF joins timber trade mission to Australia and New Zealand
On the third week of March NRDF Officer Marlon Kuve joined a group of timber exporters and Government officials visiting Australian and New Zealand timber importers. The mission started in Brisbane from 22nd – 25th March and moved to New Zealand from 25th -30th March 2015. As 60% of sawn timber was sold to Australia and New Zealand markets, the aim of the visit was to increase understanding among both importers and exporters of market requirements and opportunities for Solomon Islands sawn Timber. At present the vast majority of Solomon Islands timber was exported to China as unprocessed round logs, wide recognition of the unsustainable harvesting. The delegation however, was focussed on promoting export of sawn timber as part of a wider goal of adding value to timber exports. The key part of the mission was on importers and exporters exchanging information relating to market requirements for timber legality and quality. The discussions include opportunities of improving timber quality and presentation, processing and end product requirements, supply, consistency and potential markets for alternative species. The outcome of the meetings also recommended Sustainable Forest Management activities for certification (FSC label) or other label applicable to improve quality, value and price of the product for sustainability for producers, timber buyers, importers to keep the business operational. Other outcomes was improve market, quantity, value, quality legality, third party certification, and training. The mission met with the timber importers and Government Officials including with the New Zealand timber exporter association at the Pacific Islands Trade and Invest Office. The trip was funded by the Pacific Horticultural & Agriculture Market access coordinated by Honiara based office Solomon Islands.