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  • Writer's pictureWayne Mulligan

"From volume to value"

I have stolen, I mean borrowed these words for the headline from Hon Peeni Henare's recent announcement on 27 April to the Wood Processors and Manufacturers Association conference in Rotorua. (link to Release). These words resonated with NZ Bio Forestry as we have been designing our model to actualise these statements. Why? Because there is more money to be made and it reduces the use of fossil fuels. And why would a business knowingly waste 30 percent of their forestry resource to only export a log with no branding or added value? From volume to value. Yes. But please, Minister and officials, there are different voices you need to hear if you are serious about forestry and economic transformation. Do you think YouTube, Uber, AirBnB and Facebook went to the existing sector players to create the change? Enough said.

And here is the proof of what we have been saying. An old video, (I look a lot younger :) NZ Bio Forestry produced some 2 years ago, that details the need for a circular bio-economy model for our NZ forestry industry. A model that augments the existing industry, but processes all parts of the tree, producing value for our country in so many ways - supports decarbonising and helping reduce emissions; creating high-value employment opportunities in local communities; reducing reliance on fossil fuels; higher export earnings; and reducing forestry waste.

It makes so much sense the Government invests in this area and it is a good start. The new $57 million fund will enable the government to partner with wood processors to co-invest in wood processing in New Zealand.

And it cannot be just about reinvesting in the sawmills. It has to be about enabling land and forestry owners and the forestry processing industry to better integrate with a wider bio-economy model that can produce biochemicals and bioenergy, reducing New Zealand's reliance on fossil fuels.

We know pictures are better than words, and the diagram simply shows the potential value of our forestry, not just a raw exported log. It can build our homes, heat them, fuel our economy, package up our goods, and make biochemicals that replace fossil fuel products.

And as I write this Blog, I am about to head off to Asia, (Taiwan, Japan, Thailand and Singapore) for further discussions on funding and partnerships. I am really pleased that Tupu Angitu * (commercial arm of Lake Taupo Forest Trust) and Lake Taupo Forestry Forestry Trust members are coming up to Taiwan and Japan, to see for themselves the global demand for bioenergy, biomaterials, and biochemicals. Together we will view refineries, biotechnology research, biomaterial applications, semi-conductor biomaterials, bioadhesive, biosolvents, and bioenergy businesses. And importantly meet investors.

Then I will be going to Thailand after Japan, to meet some of their leaders in their BCG- Bio Circular Green Economy - here is a link to some research we did, in conjunction with Nuku Toi, for the Thailand Embassy.

I'll keep you up to date. And reach out if you want further information.

* We are working together with Tupu Angitu, as outlined in our MOU, as announced in 2021. See full release.

Wayne Mulligan



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