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Fiji Time: 4:22 PM on Saturday 19 April

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Pine industry eyes $30m

Repeka Nasiko
Friday, May 11, 2012

RETURNING the pine industry to sustainability could mean potential profits of about $30million every year, says Tropik Wood Industries Limited CEO Faiz Khan.

The company has now shifted its focus from harvesting to replanting.

"In the past we harvested at a much faster rate than what we have planted. This means that our forests in Viti Levu are not sustainable at current rates of production," said Mr Khan.

"To return to sustainability we have to reduce production for at least the next seven years and focus on planting. A successful return to sustainability will mean that we now have to plant more than we harvest."

He said the company was looking at shipping four loads a year from Viti Levu for the next seven years starting next year in comparison to the usual eight vessels.

Mr Khan said although this would affect profitability, sustainability could not be compromised for short-term profits.

"The good news is that with good management we can maintain good profit levels while focusing on the sustainability of the forests in Viti Levu.

"The better news for the future is that if we are able to return the industry to sustainability we can make huge potential profits of at least $30 million every year from eight years onwards when we can return to full production."