New business models to inspire investment in trees on farms - Launch of WoodChat Episode 16
The latest episode of the Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) podcast series WoodChat focuses on the development of new business models that could see areas of Australian farmland utilised for planting trees.
An estimated 500,000 hectares of new softwood plantations are required to meet the increased demand forecast for domestic timber-housing markets by 2045. Local and export demand for hardwood timber has also been growing strongly. However, a lack of new investment in plantations could see Australia relying on an increasing amount of timber imports in the future.
Now, a team of researchers have developed and tested a number of new business models for commercial tree plantations, which could yield mutual financial, social and environmental benefits for the timber industry, rural landowners and investors.
The models were designed in collaboration with industry and rural landowners after analysing landowner needs and their past experiences with tree investment, and consider the positive impacts of trees on carbon, biodiversity and water.
Listeners will hear from Professor Rodney Keenan of the University of Melbourne, School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, who led the research.
Professor Keenen said the project found tree investment needs to be based on sound regional planning to ensure the right tree species are planted in the right places, to generate the desired benefits.
“Models need to be built on mutual understanding, trust and long-term commitment among landowners, the timber industry and other stakeholders,” said Professor Keenan.
It is hoped outlining these benefits will inspire and enable new partnerships between forest growers and the agricultural sector.
During this episode, hosts Georgia and Sam also speak to Dr Nerida Anderson, Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, who conduced a landowner assessment involving interviews and surveys as part of the project. In addition, listeners will hear from Tony Price, CEO of major industry sponsor Midway Ltd, about his involvement with the initiative.
The project was funded by the forestry industry and the Australian Government, and managed by FWPA.
This episode is the latest in the WoodChat podcast series, and follows topics including building safely with timber in bushfire-prone areas, and new technology that’s supporting the prediction of wood quality in standing trees.
WoodChat represents FWPA’s ongoing commitment to engaging ways of communicating news and innovations to the industry and beyond. Each episode includes in-depth conversations with experts on recent discoveries and current initiatives.
You can listen to WoodChat on SoundCloud and iTunes.
Eileen Newbury, National Marketing and Communications Manager, FWPA
Mobile: 0419 313 163