Meet the Finalists - Radial Timber
Radial Timber produces a highly unique, sustainable timber product utilising plantation timber sawn like a cake to minimise waste.
They are the only commercial radial sawmill in the world.
Not only does their product have an extremely high rate of recovery in comparison to conventional milling, but it is also less prone to warping due to the stress relief achieved through this method of sawing.
Radial Timber products are in high demand within the high-end architectural market, as well as locally across a broad segment of other markets.
They engage regularly and deeply with the local community, including the local indigenous community, to whom Radial Timber has donated a portion of land located on one of their plantations so as to facilitate the establishment of an on-land learning and a housing facility in collaboration with local elders.
They’ve made a considerable contribution to the fibre industry and are leading the way in sustainable practice. Their transition to plantation only has involved considerable investment and they continue to evolve their business with ongoing research and development.
With jobs for 22 people, they are a large local employer in Gippsland. They’re heavily involved in the Forestry Hub and are looking to set up an education centre onsite at one of their plantations, with a driving ambition to ”make forestry sexy again !”and encourage the next generation to consider a career in forestry.
Radial Timber has a highly innovative product and method of production, which is able to accommodate resource that traditional mills find problematic, such as small logs that measure 30-40cm in diameter. In a radial mill – this is an ideal size.
They contribute to the local community in many ways, including working with the Wellington Shire and Latrobe Valley Authority on a potential project to utilise the heat generated by their plant to heat the local pool at Yarram, as well as sponsoring local events and sporting teams.
They believe that “Anything you turn a tree into should be as beautiful as the tree itself; and encourage the thought process to the “don’t shut down the industry, make it smarter”
The Radial Timber team is passionate about the environment & sustainability, and have planted in excess of 2 million trees across Gippsland on their plantations – they continue to replenish and add more as they harvest, planning to plant over 500 hectares over the next few years.
They’ve also purchased 2500 hectares to be used purely for native plantations; their philosophy is that plantation timber and native go hand in hand and that we shouldn’t be chipping our native resource, rather we should be turning it into value added product vs pulp.
The maths is a compelling argument to support this - Sawn timber = $400/cubic meter vs pulp@ $40/m3
Their plans, ethos and approach to business definitely caught the judges eye and they are one of four inaugural finalists in the Excellence in the Fibre Industry Award, sponsored by East Gippsland Shire Council.