Responsible Wood recently celebrated our first Victorian field trip, visiting forests in Gippsland and the Australian Sustainable Hardwoods facilities at Heyfield. This field trip provided a platform to showcase sustainable forest management and the importance of responsible supply chains.
Participants had the opportunity to witness firsthand the efforts taken to responsibly manage a forest and the significant benefits that arise from such practices. Matt de Jongh, Sustainability Manager at Responsible Wood, expressed,
“The field trip was incredibly successful in demonstrating the value of sustainable forest management and responsible supply chains. It was eye-opening for architects, builders, designers, manufacturers, and wholesalers to see how these products are sourced in a sustainable and responsible manner throughout the entire supply chain.”
Responsible Wood certified forests, such as those managed by VicForests, are underpinned by standards that ensure forests remain forests, for generations to come and biodiversity values are protected and, in many cases, enhanced.
During the field trip, attendees immersed themselves in the world of sustainable forest management, observing the meticulous planning and execution of harvesting operations conducted by VicForests. They were able to witness the use of advanced technologies in monitoring and protecting biodiversity values and learn about the implementation of best practice, science-based forest management.
Matt de Jongh continued,
“The success of the field trip was evident in the participants’ overwhelming positive feedback. They were deeply impressed by the dedication and commitment of VicForests in ensuring the long-term health, sustainability and productivity of our forests.”
Feedback from the attendees regarding the field trips was overwhelmingly positive. They recognsed the importance of experiences such as this, particularly in light of the recent Victorian Government decision to end native forestry. See here for the Responsible Wood statement on this decision.
Participants were made aware of the Victorian Government’s decision to end native forestry in 2024 during the trip, and their feedback highlighted the need for more field trips like this to showcase sustainable and responsible sourcing. One attendee expressed,
“Field trips like these are incredibly important for us as users of these beautiful forest and wood products. We need to see firsthand how they are sourced sustainably and responsibly along the entire supply chain. It’s crucial for us to understand the ramifications of decisions like the one made by the Victorian Government, including the need to now import these products from overseas.”
Daniel Wright, Director of Australian Sustainable Hardwoods, emphasised the significance of sustainable forest management and responsible supply chains in light of the Victorian Government’s decision. He stated,
“This decision is unexpected and incomprehensible. Our engineered wood products, manufactured through sustainable practices, play a vital role in the construction industry. With the surprise end of native forestry in Victoria, we will now rely on importing products, including from overseas forests. We should be producing timber and managing forest-values locally, where we can control them to generate positive environmental and community benefits”.
Simon Dorries, CEO of Responsible Wood, expressed his disappointment, in the Victorian Government decision saying,
“The field trip provided a clear demonstration to the attendees of just how out of touch with best practice sustainable forestry the Victorian Government decision is. Responsible Wood certified sustainable native forest management brings numerous benefits to communities, including employment, economic development, and environmental protection. It is disheartening to see such a backward decision that fails to comprehend the significance of responsible forest management.”