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Wood Matters

New Staff - November

Welcome Christine who is covering for Kelly while she is on maternity leave and Jessamy who will be working in our newly-created role of In-House Legal Advisor.

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Clarky's Comment - October, Shop Floor Walkabouts

As CEO of a forestry management firm I am acutely aware of the impact I can personally have on the safety culture of both staff and contractors. But just how does one influence those making the day to day decisions that lead to getting home safely each day, or not? Setting policies, running committees and imposing rules can only go so far.

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Log Market - October

As tentatively anticipated last month, September was a price trough and log prices rose in October. Export prices surprised on the upside, increasing by up to $15 for K grade at some ports. All export grades rose to a lesser extent and domestic pruned increased in some regions up to $5. Other domestic log prices were up marginally or flat.

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Forestry and the Emissions Trading Scheme - October

As reported in recent issues of Wood Matters, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) international climate conference (COP21) will be held in Paris this year, commencing on the 30 November. Over 150 countries covering around 90% of global emissions have now submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC).

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Wildlife shot at Ligar Bay

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In August's Wood Matters, we featured harvesting at Ligar Bay, Tasman District, and the rescue of an injured kea. Since then Irene Buchan, Branch Secretary PF Olsen Nelson, has been out on location and shot some beautiful photographs of more native birds. I don't think the crew found the kea's antics on the wiring particularly helpful.

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New case study - Hawkes Bay

The only thing better than being able to help the Burns establish and harvest a forest, was when the Burns then said that they couldn't recommend PF Olsen [and Bob] highly enough for professionalism and integrity.

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Clarky's Comment - September, To Prune or Not to Prune?

Most will be aware how weakness in the China construction market has resulted in sharply lower prices for industrial grade export logs from NZ and Australia. At the same time pruned log markets, both export and domestic have held up well. The result is a widening price differential between pruned and unpruned logs.

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Log Market - September

Forest owners and many other industry participants are lamenting the increased volatility of the log market this year. Already, with still a quarter of the year to run, the export log market has had two significant downturns. This plays havoc with planning and contractor livelihoods. It also begs the question of how New Zealand Inc. can build a viable, well-trained and well-equipped infrastructure to harvest the additional 10-15 million m3/annum of logs available over the next 10 or so years.

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Lifting environmental performance in operations

Following on from the successful and well-established Safety Champions initiative, PF Olsen is sponsoring development of an Environmental Advocate role within contract crews that operate heavy machinery. Environmental Advocates will focus on ensuring that the environmental aspects of the crew's operations are being managed appropriately. This will be supported by training, communication resources and mentoring.

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Research into herbicides provides insights

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In New Zealand’s plantation forest sector, the use of herbicides is a well-established practice to allow young seedlings the chance to grow in the face of competition from the aggressive, introduced weeds and in some areas, native shrub hardwood regeneration. Although the amounts used are very low over the life of a tree crop, chemical herbicide use worldwide is a concern to many.

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Customer satisfaction survey shows improving trend

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To continually improve service levels, PF Olsen seeks written feedback from customers in the form of a satisfaction survey. This is sent to customers at the completion of jobs. It is heartening to find that the 2015 consolidated results shows an increase in response rate and an overall increase in satisfaction levels.

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Forestry and the Emissions Trading Scheme - September

Released in August by the NZ Environmental Protection Agency is the 2014 Facts and Figures report summarising actions of the Emissions Trading Scheme for the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2014, as well as the longer annual report under section 89 and section 178A of the Climate Change Response Act 2002 for the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015. These reports are released each year allowing comparisons to be made.

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What's New in Research - September 2015

Last week we finally signed a seven year contract with Government for the new Specialty Wood Products (SWP) partnership which will focus on Douglas-fir, Cypress species and a range of eucalypt species.

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Wood Matters Becomes Good Enough to Eat

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When Irma Van Wyk said that she likes to bake cookies, no-one expected what was coming next. Irma's day job is, Administration Assistant at PF Olsen Australia's Western Office - Albany. Her other passion is artisan baking and creating custom cookies under the brand Bickie Blessings.

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