Fresh from their appointment to the board Patrizia Torelli and Willie van Niekerk sat down with Responsible Wood’s Jason Ross to discuss the Responsible Wood certification scheme now and into the future…

New Director – Patrizia Torelli (CEO of the Australasian Furnishing Association)

As CEO of the Australasian Furnishing Association, Patrizia Torelli has been an energetic advocate for Australian furniture industry; representing 104,000 businesses and more than 420,000 Australians employed in the furniture and furnishing supply chain. In this role Ms Torelli has been zealous in promoting the Australian furniture industry domestically and internationally, driving the industry and positioning the AFA to be a key voice across government, corporate and allied stakeholder groups.

According to Ms Torelli, through chain of custody, the Responsible Wood certification provides the Australian furniture industry with a unique opportunity to showcase Australian timbers on a global scale.

“With customers increasingly sensitive to environmental and social considerations, Responsible Wood provides guidance to customers increasingly concerned with the environmental credentials of timber furniture,” she said.

“With Responsible Wood, customers can purchase timber furniture with a clear conscious well knowing that the origins of the timber is managed responsibly and in accordance with Australian Standards.”

New Director – Willie van Niekerk (General Manager of the Green Triangle, One Forty One Plantations)

As One Forty One Plantations General Manager of the Green Triangle, Mr van Nierkerk overseas the One Forty One Plantations on-site plantation operations. An experienced forester also with a manufacturing background, the native South African overseas more than 90,000 ha of certified forest under the Responsible Wood certification scheme in one of Australia’s major forest regions.

With a passion for certification, specifically the AS 4708 – Sustainable Forest Management standards, Mr van Niekerk is keen to assist Responsible Wood where he can in helping to promote the benefits of certification amongst forest growers but also along the supply chain.

“Responsible Wood is the only certification scheme that is accredited to an Australian Standard, it is this standard beyond all else that provides the supply chain with the assurity that forest management meets high environmental and social standards,” he said.

The new directors will join sitting members on the Responsible Wood board.

Responsible Wood’s Simon Dorries with new Directors Ms Torelli and Mr van Niekerk