In other news, read on for Planting kicks off; Freedom and Fantastic Furniture owners lose big; Sustainable Rehau announces new CEO; Interzum 2019 even bigger; US News; China fighting back; LivingKitchen 2019.

Planting kicks off

Planting has kicked-off for the second year of the Officeworks’ initiative, Restoring Australia, with partner Greening Australia aiming to have 326,000 trees in the ground across 650 hectares by the end of this year, supporting 31 farmers and landholders. Launched as an Australian-first in August 2017, Restoring Australia sees two trees planted for every one used, based on the weight of paper based products that customers buy at Officeworks. Native seeds and seedlings are being planted across the Tasmanian Midlands, Southern Highlands in New South Wales and Victorian Volcanic Plains, as well as Kangaroo Island and Lake Eyre in South Australia. Source: Timberbiz. In related news, the New Zealand government is doubling to nearly NZ$500 million the funding for forestry planting from its Provincial Growth Fund, meaning one-sixth of the $3 billion, three-year fund will be spent on trees. Source: Scoop Media. And did you know that August 1st was The National Forestry Planting Day? If you missed it, 70 million trees are planted each year, the perfect opportunity to highlight the sustainable practices of the forestry sector.

Freedom and Fantastic Furniture owners lose big

The owner of Australian furniture businesses Freedom, Fantastic Furniture is examining how much lost cash is lost from inflated asset deals. Steinhoff International Holdings NV reported early July that they have written off the value of assets by 12.4 billion euros and this figure is expected to increase. Former Chief Executive Officer Markus Jooste quit when the accounting irregularities emerged and has been referred to a South African anti-corruption police unit, which is investigating three cases of fraud related to the company.

Sustainable Rehau announces new CEO

REHAU supports the seventeen United Nations sustainability targets, and has set itself clear goals in the matter of environmental protection. By the year 2020, the internationally active company wants to reduce the consumption of water by 40%, and that of gas and fuel oil by 25%; the CO2 emissions should be decreased by 25% and, 30% less electric power should be consumed. In other Rehau news, the Board of the global REHAU Group announced that William Christensen was appointed the new CEO of REHAU. Christensen was previously the Chief Marketing Officer and is replacing Rainer Schulz, who has run the company since 2010. The REHAU Group is a polymer specialist with an annual turnover of more than 3.5 billion euros and is an independent and stable family-owned company with more than 20,000 employees.

Interzum 2019 even bigger

With five percent more exhibitors, the foreign share continues to rise to around 80% for the upcoming edition of interzum to be held June 2019. 13% of the companies registered so far will be attending interzum for the first time. Koelnmesse expects more than 1,800 exhibitors from all over the world to attend the world’s largest industry event for the supplier industry. Matthias Pollmann, Vice President Trade Fair Management said “This will make interzum 2019 not only the largest, but also the most international industry event and the place-to-be for the furniture supply industry.”

US News

Kerry Knudsen of Wood Industry US reports that the $200 billion in tariffs the Trump administration has assessed against China over hardwood plywood cabinetry and other wood products has every chance of succeeding. Kerry reports that “Until recently there was an organized crime market in trainloads of logs coming into China through Russia, avoiding duties and taxes on both ends. However, the Russian government got wind of the bonanza and decided the crime bosses had to share.” Another cost factor for the Chinese is their entry into the World Trade Organization. This opened up markets for the Chinese, but it also added work-related (job safety) restrictions. Additionally, the Chinese have been complaining bitterly about losing manufacturing to other low-cost countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia; Karma? Kerry also says that if Trump is successful at cutting off illegal immigration, it will put even more pressure on the US labour market. He says “Workers; now enlightened by the internet are learning how to optimize themselves as a resource.”

China fighting back

Relating to the previous news and opinion by Kerry Knudsen; China is fighting back after the US recently proposed tariffs saying it would impose tariffs on US products including timber. The Chinese government said it would add duties to a number of timber products varying from 5% to 25%. China’s Ministry of Commerce issued a new list of US goods subject for tariff. The list includes a wide range of timber and timber products including logs; lumber; OSB; sheet materials and veneers with tariff increases between five to twenty-five percent. The list affects US$60 billion worth of US goods and tariff. Source: TTF UK.

LivingKitchen 2019

In January 2019, LivingKitchen will open its doors again. The most international kitchen event in Germany and the world brings together the most important national and international companies in the kitchen industry. In the three LivingKitchen halls alone, around 200 exhibitors from more than 20 countries are expected once again– around 60 of which are first-time exhibitors, such as Lube, Driada, Gessi, Infinity Surface, Zampieri, Pino. And with Nobilia, Schüller, Nolte and Leicht also attending, almost the entire kitchen furniture industry will be represented at the event. Three presentations will cover Future Technology, Future Design and Future Food Styles to form a futuristic concept that offers visitors a glimpse of the possibilities of tomorrow’s kitchens.