“The Japanese Government and industry expressed strong and non-discriminatory support for both international certification schemes, Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) being Responsible Wood in Australia, as well as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)”
Meeting with the Japan Director-General for Forestry

Fresh from a whirl-wind trip to Japan, Responsible Wood’s Simon Dorries hailed the Australian Forestry delegation as a resounding success.

Responsible Wood was front and centre as delegates met with the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, toured Japan’s largest Bio Mass Power Plant and met champions of industry.

Led by the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) , Responsible Wood, and Federal Member for Barker and Co-Convenor of the Australian Parliamentary Friends of Forestry and Forest Products group, Mr Tony Pasin MP, and made up of senior representatives of various Australian forestry companies the delegation updated Japanese trade partners on exciting innovations and emerging opportunities in Australia’s sustainable forest industries. It met with Japanese Government officials, Japanese industry leaders including bioenergy and paper companies, and Tokyo-based Australian officials.

According to Simon Dorries the delegation provided a rare opportunity to introduce and raise awareness of Australia’s largest forest certification scheme within the Japanese market.

“Responsible Wood, endorsed by the Programme of the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), is Australia’s largest forest certification scheme and the only forest certification scheme endorsed to an Australian Standard through AS 4707 and AS 4708.”

“Responsible Wood certifies more than 8.7 million hectares of hardwood and softwood forests, and with more than 250 Chain of Custody scheme holders our ‘trust mark’ is carried by a variety of businesses that import to and export from the Japanese market.”

“Responsible Wood certification is all about verifying the environmental and social origin of timber at its source, in the forest, we provide verification that timber is sourced, processed and distributed sustainably,” Mr Dorries said.

According to Ross Hampton, CEO of AFPA, the mission was instrumental in strengthening the trade relationship between the two nations.

“The mission was a great success in terms of strengthening our trade relationship with Japan. The discussions about new and existing product opportunities should be exciting for Australian industry and consumers in Japan,” Mr Hampton said.

Headlining the delegation, Tony Pasin MP reiterated the importance of the forest industry and opportunities for Responsible Wood certified Australian Forestry products in Japan.

“The Forestry industry is a cornerstone industry for the South East and the wider Green Triangle. The trip was a fantastic opportunity for me to gain a greater understanding of Australian Forestry products in Japan which make up such a large percentage of our exports. For example, Australia exported more than 2.5 million tonnes of woodchips to Japan in the 12 months to September, worth about AUD $492 million. Much of this was product of the South East,” Mr Tony Pasin MP said.

“Japan’s appetite for our Aussie woodchips and manufactured bio-pellets is driven the country’s move into bio-energy. This means increased demand for our product and the South East sits in prime position to benefit from this burgeoning market. The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) assisting our export growth and is already having huge positive effect our local industry.

“And, with the Federal Government’s National Forestry Industries Plan recently released it was the perfect time to ensure the Japanese Government understands the opportunities that will open for the forestry sector in Australia and what this means for increased trade,” Mr Pasin concluded.

Responsible Wood is Australia’s largest forest certification scheme and is the only certification scheme that is endorsed to an Australian Standard.

It is endorsed by PEFC globally and has certified hardwood and softwood forests.

Through international recognition, it shares PEFC endorsement with PEFC Japan, a forest certification scheme that certifies Japanese forests.

For more information about Responsible Wood certification for Sustainable Forest Management and Chain of Custody for Forest Products please visit the Responsible Wood website.