Forestry has proven itself over many decades as a reliable alternative asset for investors seeking to minimise risk and maximise returns, says the head of a leading Australian forestry and forest products company.
Mr Andrew White, CEO of FEA Plantations which has established hardwood plantations in Tasmania and northern NSW, says there continues to be strong interest and involvement shown in long term forestry investments by retirement and pension funds around the world.
“Forest products are the backbone of any economy because they are enduring raw materials,” he says.
Enormous investment in forestry has seen the Australian plantation estate expand at around 70 000 hectares per year over the past 10 years. In the 2007/8 financial year, $705 million was raised for timber projects, an increase of 5 per cent on the previous year.
Mr White is a speaker at the Australian Forest Growers National Conference “Forestry for a Better Future: climate, commerce and communities” to be held in Albury-Wodonga on 19 to 22 October, 2008. The conference is supported by Charles Sturt University’s institute for Land Water and Society (ILWS).
The forest conference brings together small and large scale forest growers, researchers, government policy makers, program managers and the diverse private sector, such as brokers, processors and manufacturers.
Other speakers at the conference include:
- Barney Foran, an adjunct ILWS futures analyst, talking on ’Australian forestry for a better future: Challenges, opportunities and strategies’;
- Roger Sands, forest scientist and educator and recently Head of New Zealand’s School of Forestry on ’The relationship between forests and agriculture – an historical and international perspective’;
- Alan Cummine from Treefarm Investment Managers Association speaking on ‘Implications of recent policy changes for Managed Investment Schemes’; and,
- Hugh Stewart, ILWS researcher, speaking on the ‘role of planted forests in rural landscapes’.