In other news, read on for One billion trees; REHAU acquires MB Barter & Trading; Shinx-Biesse alliance; ‘Lidloc’ paperboard cup; Italian machinery exports down; Anniversary of a fallen icon; New forest certification standard; Made in Italy takes off; Other “other” news.

One billion trees

The Federal Government’s $20 million forestry plan to plant one billion trees is a big policy step, but is inadequate as it amounts to only two cents per tree. That was a key point made by the chairman of the Australian Forest Products Association, Greg McCormack, to the DANA forestry conference in Launceston last October. In contrast, New Zealand was spending $240 million on its billion trees policy, which amounted to 24 cents per tree, he said. Mr McCormack said the plan’s commitment to the regional forest agreements (RFAs) was critical, even though only 13 per cent of production came from native forests. “Visit furniture stores and see the amount of overseas furniture in shops is disappointing, if you think of the wonderful furniture we have here in forest locked away in national parks,” he said.

REHAU acquires MB Barter & Trading

The REHAU Verwaltungszentrale AG and MB Barter & Trading AG, two Swiss polymer companies announced that they have signed an agreement for a merger of equals. This integration aims to combine the strengths of both in a new and independent company with a volume of USD 2.5 billion. The transaction includes REHAU GmbH in Muri bei Bern, Switzerland, as well as the worldwide subsidiaries of the MBT Group. The new company strengthens its competencies in polymer-based solutions and thus, offers more competitive prices as well as more efficient and optimized trading and distribution services to the clients. In addition, the merger presents significant opportunities for digitalization, recycling solutions and global expansion.

Shinx-Biesse alliance

The goal of Biesse, a global leader in the design and production of technological solutions, is to fortify a more significant presence in Japan. On choosing Shinx as an equal partner, Mr. Federico Broccoli, the subsidiary director of Biesse Group said “There are a lot of opportunities in place for both companies. While Biesse and Shinx are two manufacturers of individual fortes and experiences, both companies share the same values of integrity and technical sensibility that anchor the policies, objectives, procedures and strategies of both parties.” The Shinx-Biesse alliance was inaugurated with a joint open-house on 13th and 14th June 2018 in Shizuoka with two ranges of edgebanders, a 5-axis CNC machining centre and a seminar on Biesse’s software.

‘Lidloc’ Paperboard Cup

Metsä Board is a leading producer of European fresh fibre paperboards. They recently announced that their disposable and environment-friendly paperboard cup design ‘Lidloc’, has been awarded the coveted ‘Red Dot’ for design excellence and creative achievement. The Lidloc design is based upon an extension to a standard cup structure that folds and locks into an integrated lid. The one-piece construction made of paperboard removes the need for a separate plastic lid. The cup is easy to fold and assemble with a secure lid-locking design and offers extra branding power as it can be printed as one piece with the rest of the cup. Source: Timberbiz

Italian machinery exports down

Analyzing the results for the third quarter 2018 by the Studies Office of Acimall, the Italian industrial member association that represents the manufacturers of machinery and plants, on the whole, figures indicate a slight slowdown of orders. Italian companies are substantially holding on and keep showing great strength, achieving an expansion of domestic orders 14.7 percent higher than the same quarter in 2017. However, an issue for Italian machinery makers like Biesse and SCM is that generally, foreign orders were down by 10.9 percent in the July-September period of last year, compared to the same quarter of 2017. On the whole, orders in Q3 2018 decreased by 7.7 percent. Such reduction, however, is explained by the fact that 2017 was a wonderful year for Italian export, with a trend that could not last forever.

Anniversary of a fallen icon

A giant sequoia in California famous for a car-sized hole carved into the base of its trunk was blown over by a severe storm January 2017. The tunnel that made the tree famous and ultimately weakened it was carved into its trunk in the 1880s to allow tourists to pass through, first with horses and buggies and later with cars. The tunnel was limited to pedestrians in recent decades. The largest tree species in the world, sequoias can reach diameters up to eight metres and have shallow root systems that make them vulnerable to toppling. The drive-through tree had a diameter of 6.7m and was about 2000 years old, said Tony Tealdi, a supervising ranger at California State Parks. When the already mostly dead tree hit the ground in January 2017 it shattered and was completely unrecognisable.

New forest certification standard

FSC Australia’s National Forest Stewardship Standard joins the existing ‘Responsible Wood’ certification standard in ensuring that Australian wood products are from sustainably managed forests. The new standard is effective from 10 February 2019 and within 18 months will supersede all interim FSC standards. It has been developed over the past five years and has the backing of industry, environmental and community groups. Australia now has two national standards aligned to the two global certification schemes, PEFC and FSC, which have been specifically tailored to Australia’s unique conditions and high-quality regulatory framework.

Made in Italy takes off

The brand that certifies the Italian origin has been officially presented in a major world furniture fair, the Orgatec in Cologne. The director of Catas, the Italian furniture research centre, Andrea Giavon commented “We can finally say that the definition ‘made in Italy’ is no longer an abstract concept. It was sometimes abused or even usurped, but ‘made in Italy’ is now the result of a certified path which offers operators in the sector and especially to the final public all over the world, the absolute certainty of being in front of an Italian product. These products boast a series of requirements not only in terms of origin, but also and above all quality and performance.”

Other “other” news

A Christmas tree grown by Forestry Corporation of NSW sat in Government House in the Centre of Sydney as a visual reminder of the forestry industry and the value it provides. In the spirit of Christmas, the Forestry Corporation donated the 5-metre tall Christmas tree – a radiata pine sourced from its Moss Vale softwood plantation – to Government House, where over the Christmas period it took pride of place in the building’s iconic foyer.

The HIA’s Acting Principal Economist, Geordan Murray reports that Victoria has once again come ahead of New South Wales as the number one state on the Housing Scorecard. Based on the performance of 12 key residential building indicators, Victoria scored 74 to NSW’s 69 with West Australia coming last with a score of 24.