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Forest industry starts to unify

19 March 2012

It has taken years, but the fragmented forest industry is finally showing signs of pulling together over a common cause.

In about a decade, New Zealand will be face to face with a "wall of wood", as it is often called.

Every year until then, the forest harvest will increase. That leaves the forest industry with little time to find more export markets, grow its felling and transportation infrastructure, and find more valuable ways to use logs before they leave the country.

It is a huge task and one that has eluded the industry until now. But this month the pan-industry group, the Wood Council of New Zealand, or Woodco, will outline a strategic plan at the Forestwood conference in Wellington.

Woodco chairman Doug Ducker says it is about doing "our darnedest to ensure that we take full advantage" of what was planted 28 to 30 years ago. That is not easy, he says, when it is a product that takes so long to mature and relies so much on forecasting.

Feature article by Catherine Harris, copyright Fairfax NZ news. To read the full article, click here.