FHCL Plans for the Expansion of Timber Production on Track

The cost of attain­ing this certification would cost FHCL approximately $200,000.
17 Apr 2019 11:58
FHCL Plans for the Expansion of Timber Production on Track
Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited chairman, Adrian Sofield.

Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited (FHCL) has plans to attain its independence certification for timber produc­tion in the coming months.

This was revealed by FHCL chair Adrian Sofield while pre­senting his submission on the Public Enterprises Bill 2019, Bill No. 4 of 2019 to the Standing Committee on Justice, Law and Human Rights yesterday.

In 2013, FHCL were indepen­dently certified.

Mr Sofield said he was unaware for the reason of lapse, because he was not part of the board then.

Mr Sofield highlighted coun­tries like New Zealand have re­fused to take Fiji’s logs due to the absence of independent certifica­tion.

He added the cost of attain­ing this certification would cost FHCL approximately $200,000.

“The certification and license gives us recognition toward working through our principles and also improve export,” he said.

“It gives us the recognition that we are harvesting in a sustain­able manner.

“Many countries who import timber like to know that they are working to international stand­ards.”

Other submissions made by Mr Sofield included:

  • Election of FHCL general manager Shakeel Maharaj, since the association had been without a chief executive officer for 18 months.
  • FHCL has re-established their financial setup and the manage­ment operation, Mr Sofield is confident that FHCL will show a profit for the first time in its his­tory.
  • FHCL mill in Vanualevu now have contractors who harvest the logs and those who deliver to the mill gate.
  • There was no audit done in 2009-2016 it was done from 2016-2017 which have queried the val­ue of the resources.
  • With the leases there has been lack of communication with the land owners, Mr Sofield said Landowners have been margin­alised so they are trying to meet with and have more communica­tion.
  • Currently FHCL has five members on the board, two from private enterprise and three are government appointees, Mr Sof­ield said they needed a board that meet and set policies.


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