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Forest Products Industry

New stronger innovative egg packaging

Australian timber industry news - Mo, 24/06/2024 - 03:01
Cascades has launched an innovative and complete packaging solution that is reinventing the egg landscape: Cascades Fresh GUARD EnVision. Source: Timberbiz This eco-designed packaging offers robust protection while opening impactful visual possibilities. Its sleeve openings and high-quality printing area break the mould of the traditional format. The packaging’s innovative, highly resistant design is the result of research and development geared to the needs of processors, retailers and consumers alike. Cascades Fresh GUARD EnVision enhances egg visibility and protection, reinforces brand presence on shelves and optimizes packaging operations. The packaging is also a solution for egg processors: Cascades provides the equipment, packaging and technical expertise to automate its customers’ end-of-line operations. This gives them a complete, customized and proven solution for optimizing their efficiency. “Our team is committed to supporting customers in finding solutions for all their packaging needs, from farm to factory to store to home,” said Jérôme Porlier, President and Chief Operating Officer of Cascades Specialty Products Group. “This innovation challenge aimed to develop a solution that was sustainable, attractive, efficient, and comprehensive. We are proud to have achieved this thanks to the hard work and expertise of our multidisciplinary team. We are confident that this solution will enable us to accelerate our growth in the specialized egg industry.” This food packaging consists of a moulded pulp base and a sleeve made from coated recycled board. The product’s durability for shelf stocking, transport and use has been rigorously tested. Eggs are better protected, as tests show that Cascades Fresh GUARD EnVision triples the packaging’s rigidity and doubles its stacking strength. The solution is sustainable, featuring eco-designed packaging made from 100% recycled fibres, and is pre-qualified as widely recyclable.    

Work commences on new JCB factory in the US

Australian timber industry news - Mo, 24/06/2024 - 02:59
JCB has started work on its new US$500 million factory in North America, the biggest-ever investment in the company’s history. Source: Timberbiz The start of construction was signalled at an official groundbreaking ceremony at the site in San Antonio, Texas, where The Hon Alice Bamford, daughter of company Chairman Anthony Bamford, cut the first sod of earth. Work on the 67,000m² factory is under way on a 400-acre site and will create 1,500 new jobs over five years. It will be the company’s second largest plant, rivalled only by the manufacturer’s World HQ in Rocester, Staffordshire, UK. The factory will make Loadall telescopic handlers and aerial access equipment, with production scheduled to start in 2026. The factory will also have the capacity to expand into the manufacture of other products in the future. “Construction equipment manufacturers sell more than 300,000 machines every year in North America, making it the single largest market in the world. JCB has been growing its share of this important market steadily over the past few years and the time is now right to invest in our manufacturing capacity in North America, where we already have one factory,” Chairman Lord Bamford said. “JCB really has come a considerable way since we sold our first machine here 60 years ago and it gives me immense pleasure to see how our business has grown in North America. Today really is a milestone day in the history of our family company.” Richard Fox-Marrs, President & CEO of JCB North America, said: “The Loadall telescopic handler is JCB’s biggest selling product in North America and it is also the single largest market for aerial access equipment worldwide, and therefore, it makes great sense to build these two ranges here. “Texas is an obvious choice for our new North American manufacturing facility, not least because the State is the largest consumer of construction equipment in the USA. San Antonio is also the logical choice as a location for our new factory because of its central location, proximity to the supply chain and great local labour force. We are really excited about JCB’s new San Antonio factory and for the future of our business in North America.” JCB sold its first machine in North America in 1964 and opened its first manufacturing plant there in 2001 in Savannah, Georgia, which employs 1,000 people. The new facility will manufacture machines for customers specifically in North America. JCB employs 19,000 people and has 22 factories around the world, including 11 in the UK, seven in India, and others in Brazil and China. The company will mark its 80th anniversary in 2025.  

Biden proposing new protection on old forests

Australian timber industry news - Mo, 24/06/2024 - 02:58
The Biden administration is proposing new protections for old-growth forests but stopping short of blocking all logging of the carbon-storing plants. Source: The Hill The Forest Service proposed to limit the culling of these mature trees in national forests, stoking ire from some in the timber industry and cheers from environmental groups. Studies have shown that old-growth trees store significant amounts of carbon dioxide — making their protection important for fighting climate change. “Our old growth forests breathe in carbon pollution, cleaning up the air, and filter our water, cleaning up rivers and streams. These forests are an essential partner in tackling climate change,” national climate adviser Ali Zaidi said in a written statement. “Today’s action will help better inform the stewardship of the national forest system and strengthen our work to deploy nature-based solutions that improve the resilience of lands, waters, wildlife, and communities,” he added. The administration’s new proposal would restrict cutting in such places to cases where even with tree cutting, the area would still be considered old-growth forest. It would also require government land managers to take on proactive projects to bolster these forests. The American Forest Resource Council, a trade group representing timber companies in the western US, described the proposal as “politically driven” and said the administration should instead focus on the threat of wildfires. “Instead of increasing bureaucracy and obstacles to active forest management, the Biden Administration should prioritize the implementation of its wildfire strategy that calls for more forest health treatments,” said Travis Joseph, the group’s president, in a written statement. Environmental advocates, meanwhile, said that the move represented a positive development. “Conserving what remains of our oldest forests is undoubtedly a positive step towards climate action. We look forward to engaging in this process to ensure the amendment not only retains, but increases, the amount of old-growth forests across the country,” said a written statement from Sierra Club forest campaign manager Alex Craven. The administration previously indicated in December that it would issue a proposal aimed at protecting the trees. The Forest Service’s website estimates that the agency could finalize the proposal around the beginning of January.  

Pan Pac joins NZ PM in Japan

Australian timber industry news - Mo, 24/06/2024 - 02:58
Pan Pac Forest Products Managing Director Tony Clifford is currently accompanying Prime Minister Christopher Luxon on a visit to Japan as part of a senior New Zealand business delegation. Source: Timberbiz Pan Pac is one of New Zealand’s largest integrated forest products company and is owned by Oji Group, a 150-year-old global paper and pulp business based in Tokyo. Pan Pac is a major local employer and contributes 6% of Hawkes’ Bay’s GDP. Mr Clifford says Oji’s longstanding investment in value-added processing of forest products has enabled Pan Pac to grow and innovate over the last 50 years. “In an average year, Pan Pac turns NZ$150 million of wood fibre into NZ$450 million of wood products, which we supply locally and export to over 30 countries,” Mr Clifford said. Mr Clifford says for New Zealand to attract value-added plant investments from overseas-owned forest products companies like Oji, greater clarity and stability is needed in the regulatory environment to purchase and develop forest estates. “Pan Pac supports the Government’s long-term aspirations for New Zealand to become a high value, low emissions economy,” Mr Clifford said. “To achieve this goal, wood processors need to have control over their wood supply to ensure the wood quality and volume can meet demand.” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said that this was an excellent example of the way in which overseas-owned investment can benefit New Zealand and supports its long-term goals. “We want the forestry sector to transition from volume to value, with greater onshore processing providing more employment in our regions,” he said.

Cattle industry says clearing bushland grown after 1990 should not count as deforestation

Australian timber industry news - Mo, 24/06/2024 - 02:57
Environmentalists have accused Cattle Australia of trying to use ‘loophole’ in international definitions to gain deforestation a free status. Cattle Australia has argued that clearing forests which have grown in after 1990 should not be considered deforestation by international supply chains. Source: The Guardian The peak body for producers of grass-fed cattle put forward the suggestion in a consultation paper outlining a proposed industry-led land management policy in response to growing global demands for deforestation-free products. The paper has already drawn strong criticism from Australia’s leading environment groups, who say the cattle industry is trying to develop a watered-down definition of deforestation. Greenpeace, the Wilderness Society and the Australian Conservation Foundation released their own policy guidance on deforestation for businesses in the beef supply chain, in response to the Cattle Australia position. Dr Don Butler, an ecologist at the Australian National University, said that based on the position outlined in the Cattle Australia land management information paper, “it appears they are seeking to leave as broad an avenue as possible for their membership to continue to do what a lot of other people would see as deforestation in the management of their land”. Cattle Australia has said it is attempting to develop an industry definition of deforestation that could allow farmers to gain a deforestation-free credential, which it hopes would be recognised by the supply chain. The Australian government is seeking to protect the Australian beef industry from new laws in the European Union which will ban the import of goods produced in areas where land clearing occurs. Those laws are due to come into effect in January 2025. The consultation paper proposes a 1990 baseline be established, using old satellite imagery, to determine whether land is under agriculture use. This means regrowth forest that is more than 30 years old could be cleared without it being considered deforestation. “It’s really an attempt to leave those areas of regrowth open to clearing,” Butler said. International forest definitions used in supply chains do not include forests on land predominantly used by agriculture. When applied in an Australian context, Butler said those definitions could be used as “a big loophole” because 44% of Australia’s forests lie within agriculture properties. “[The paper] is an attempt to use the concept of agriculture as a big loophole. I would encourage Cattle Australia to avoid that outcome … it would be a mistake.” The consultation paper said the “unclear” international definitions make it challenging to delineate between areas of primary forest and agricultural land. “A key focus of this work is to provide clarity in a way that is internationally credible and fit-for-purpose in Australia,” it said. Nathaniel Pelle, the Australian Conservation Foundation’s business and nature lead, said the proposed definition of deforestation would be “little better than business as usual”. “Continuing to bulldoze native forests and woodlands and trying to label it ‘deforestation-free’ is nothing but greenwashing, plain and simple,” he said. “Banks and supermarkets should not buy into it.” Gemma Plesman, a senior campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, said the proposal was a “complete farce” and “nonsensical”. “This is just yet another brazen attempt to deny deforestation is a problem.” The World Wildlife Fund has identified Queensland, home to about 45% of Australian beef cattle, as the only global deforestation hotspot in the developed world and says the beef industry is one of the major drivers. That claim is rejected by the beef industry. The chief executive of Cattle Australia, Dr Chris Parker, said the consultation paper demonstrates a “commonsense approach” to allow farmers access to deforestation-free markets in a way that is “cognisant of our unique Australian landscape”. He said the 1990 baseline was selected based on factors including data availability and historical vegetation management laws and is open for consultation. The paper takes a “balanced view” of classifying land under agriculture and does not take advantage of agricultural land loopholes, Parker added. “We would much prefer to have a sensible dialogue … rather than waste time on the entirely unworkable ideologies purported by extreme groups,” he said. Cattle Australia is also advocating the red meat industry drop its net zero by 2030 target in favour of a “climate neutral” goal that would require far more modest reductions in methane emissions. The organisation will release its formal draft policy next month.  

NZ High Court says stronger rules on sediment discharge unnecessary

Australian timber industry news - Mo, 24/06/2024 - 02:57
Forest growers in the New Zealand’s Canterbury region say the High Court’s ruling on sediment discharge and water yield rules provides certainty and consistency in environmental controls for growers across the country. Source: Timberbiz The High Court has determined that the Canterbury Regional Council had not justified a need for more stringent rules in place of those already set out by the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF). It was highlighted that if councils wish to impose local rules on forestry operations that are more stringent than the national standards, they must follow the process set out in section 32 (4) of the Resource Management Act (RMA). New Zealand Forest Owners Association (NZFOA) chief executive, Dr Elizabeth Heeg, says the High Court’s decision speaks to the credibility of the NES-PF as a national environmental management tool for forestry. “Forest companies appealed Plan Change 7 (PC7) on the basis that there was a lack of evidence to justify local rules that are more stringent than the NES-PF,” Dr Heeg said. “Forestry is one of the few primary sectors with a targeted national environmental standard. This ruling confirms the primacy of that standard compared to local rules. “Growers now have certainty that the environmental rules set out under the NES-PF (now the National Environmental Standards for Commercial Forestry – NES-CF) are appropriate for use across the country and that councils should exercise considerable care before departing from national standards. “The decision also ensures forest owners are operating to the same environmental rules throughout New Zealand.” The outcome stems from an appeal lodged by Canterbury-based forest companies, Rayonier Matariki and Port Blakely Limited, in December 2021 against proposed rule changes set out under Environment Canterbury’s (ECan) PC7. A specific sediment discharge threshold would have been imposed on Canterbury foresters under PC7 that differed from the national standard. “Forest growers were concerned that the proposed changes created two conflicting sediment discharge standards whereby Canterbury growers would be held to operate to new and higher local standards,” Dr Heeg said. “There was no evidence that this approach is required in the Canterbury Region. “Growers would also need to apply for costly resource consents if the imposed PC7 sediment discharge threshold were breached.” The judge also ruled the proposed changes for water yield management relating to new plantings of production forests were lacking in evidence to warrant change from the existing rules. “Under the existing Canterbury Regional Council rules, new production forests in sensitive catchments must comply with rules designed to ensure those forests have a negligible, or less than minor effect, on freshwater flows,” Dr Heeg said. “This is a very high standard that forest owners support. There is no evidence that it is not working properly or that more restrictions are needed.” Overall, the High Court decision sets a precedent; binding councils to the process of dealing with stringency under the NES-CF. “It should cause regional councils to think carefully about introducing alternative environmental rules at a local level without sufficient evidence about whether they are needed,” Dr Heeg said. “We hope this outcome will encourage better conversations and consultation between forestry groups, growers and councils in future.”  

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by Dr. Radut