The term 'traditional timber processing' is used to describe the process of using timber to make a building material.However, it is a term used for the processes of traditional wood burning that have been around for a long time.These include the wood-burning process of early-Christian Christians, and the process for making wooden furniture.The process for the production of wood has long been an in...
Lumber mills in the New Zealand and Australian markets are looking for a way to reduce the cost of their timber.
They have been trying to reduce their workforce to as little as 10 per cent of what it was in the early 2000s, but they are finding it hard.
They are also facing growing competition from high-tech lumber firms, such as those in Australia.
In the New South Wales, they are being squeezed out of the business.
“The industry is in crisis,” says Michael Egan, CEO of the Australian Wood Council.
“We have a huge amount of pressure on us to find a solution.”
The industry has a number of challenges to contend with, not the least of which is the rapid growth of the timber industry, which accounts for around 50 per cent or more of the economic output in New Zealand.
“If we do not change our behaviour, we will be in trouble,” says Egan.
“And the longer we wait, the more vulnerable we are to future challenges.”
In Australia, the industry is also facing an increasing threat from the rising cost of timber, as more people move to cities and suburbs, particularly those with a growing population.
“A lot of people are moving to the suburbs, which is a good thing, but it is not good for our environment,” says Ian Peebles, chair of the New England Association of Timber Producers.
“It is an unsustainable business model, and I believe it will be one that we cannot survive in the future.”
There are some measures the industry can take to address its growing costs.
“Timber mills are going through a period of uncertainty,” says John Wilson, an associate professor of forestry and forest products at the University of New South Scotland.
“They need to do things to keep costs down, such the use of timber pulp as an additive for the fibre used in the construction of the mill, or better the use in the mill itself of natural timber, such a balsa, which has less weight than the timber used in many mills.”
Wilson also believes that a national framework needs to be in place to tackle the problem of the growing timber industry. “
There is a growing recognition that it’s a good idea to be responsible, and to be transparent, and transparent with the people who use your mill.”
Wilson also believes that a national framework needs to be in place to tackle the problem of the growing timber industry.
“I don’t think we need to just have one regulator to say, ‘You’re not allowed to use this material, you can’t use that material.’
I think we should have a national timber management policy that would give a clear framework, that would make clear to the industry, for example, that the amount of timber that you can use for each mill, the minimum amount of log that you have to use and the maximum amount of tree that you will be able to use, is a requirement.”
Wilson says that a “big problem” for the industry has been the lack of a national forest management policy.
“But in Australia we have a very strong national forest, which allows us to have very clear regulations,” he said.
“So we do have a lot of control over the industry.”
Wilson believes that the industry will find it difficult to change its business model if it is left to its own devices.
“You cannot do it without the people, and you cannot do that without a strong, clear, coherent national forest policy that will ensure that there is no one at the table saying, ‘We’re going to control this industry’.” For more stories like this, subscribe to National Geographic’s newsletter.