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Forest certification to boost viability of Fiji’s timber industry

August 13, 2020 12:40 pm
The Ministry of Forestry is collaborating with the Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited and other hardwood entities to grant forest certification.

The Ministry of Forestry is collaborating with the Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited and other hardwood entities to grant forest certification.

Permanent Secretary Pene Baleinabuli says the international standard certification will ensure local hardwoods or timber are marketable overseas.

Baleinabuli says this has been a long-standing issue the Ministry and local hardwood companies are trying to address as it hinders Fiji’s competitiveness amongst international markets to export timber.

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“This is vitally important as this juncture when we need economic activity, our mahogany plantations are actually mature and ready to be harvested. What we did is to open up the markets and this needs high-end markets, the majority would like to have certified products.”

Fiji Pine Limited is a lone timber entity in Fiji that was granted FSC certification a few years ago which has assisted them to open up new markets in Asian countries.

Baleinabuli adds they will learn from the Fiji Pine certification experiences to guide the Ministry as they work towards granting similar standards to Fiji Hardwood in six months.

FHCL General Manager Shakeel Maharaj says their 13 license holders are marketing the company’s products to international markets.

At present, FHCL exports its harvested mahogany to Australia, New Zealand as well as America, and Maharaj says the certification will open up new international markets particularly in Europe.

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