Timber goes 'pure' for Europe

06.10.2003 - By Pam Graham, New Zealand Hearld

Sawmillers are about to stick a 100% Pure New Zealand Pine label on timber for the European market.

A group of about 20 Timber Industry Federation members have an agreement with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to develop a market for wood products in Europe using the brand unveiled last week at the federation's conference in Nelson.

It features a "confident" New Zealand robin with its tail intersecting a circle to form a Q for quality. A Maori motif evokes the idea of the god Tane as a protector of products from the forests.

"This is the timber industry's answer to the challenge of improving investment returns on New Zealand's very substantial timber harvest," said Wayne Coffey, the federation's executive director.

The sawmillers work separately from the Forest Industries Council and Forest Owners' Association, which they regard as dominated by large forestry companies.

Federation members claim to be the industry's innovators, having developed the WOODmark and NZDri brands in the US to assure customers about quality and supply.

The brand for Europe will probably be used for a weatherboard product being developed to compete with non-wood cladding systems in New Zealand.