What has happened so far...
Two active groups representing Cabinet Timber growers in Northern NSW (SFFA Inc.) and Southern Queensland (STG Inc.), began to talk about collaborating in mid 2016.
The aim was to help members to move beyond the planting and establishment phase, towards a future where selective harvesting can offer a sustained income, without compromise to environmental values.
Our timber will be of high quality, and marketed to high-end users.
In March 2017, we applied for funding from the Farming Together program, a Federal Government initiative, which offers funding to farmer groups to assist with collaborations.
The program goal is to generate outcomes leading to better farm gate returns for members.
We are delighted to announce that our bid was successful, and we are well on the way with a program designed to help local farm foresters move into a new phase.
What We Aim to Achieve
The project is multi-faceted, with the following distinct but interactive project components.
marketing, research & development
We have formed a joint venture called Quality Timber Traders, which over the months to April 2018 has set in place the foundations for a sustainable timber marketing and sales system.
To back up this effort, our major emphasis has been on verifying timber quality, an education program for both growers and end-users, and providing technical support to our members.
Verifying Timber Quality
Southern Cross University Forest Research Centre (SCUFRC) has been a vital component of the project from the beginning, and has supplied the scientific inputs necessary to prove the utility and quality of the end product of sawn timber.
They have had oversight of our surveys of grower attitudes, and undertaken resource assessments on a statistical sample of plantings belonging to members of the Quality Timber Network.
education & Information
We need a strong knowledge base for our timber products, so there have been a series of field days and workshops to attune growers to what the market wants, and how we can influence quality throughout the growing, harvesting, milling and drying process.
Information has come from the work of SCUFRC, and from other sources.
Woodfest brought together growers, architects and fine furniture makers, along with lovers of fine timber, in a highly successful event that included a showcase, design competition and panel discussions.
In addition to the grower education program, a number of services will be offered to members of the Quality Timber Network. Standing timber resource assessments have been carried out by project staff, for a select few of our members. From the data collected, a resource self-assessment tool is being developed for future use by all members. For those less confident of doing a survey with this system, we envisage that resource assessment surveys will be available to members on a fee for service basis after July 1 2018.
So, what next?
If this project resonates with you, membership of the Quality Timber Network is now open. Whether you are currently interested in harvesting or need to source fine timber, here's how to get the support you need.