Mahogany Processors Coop Ltd, a co-operative of African Mahogany timber growers in North Queensland, held a Field Day at Majors Creek, Townsville, last Saturday November 18 to launch their project.
The day was a major success for the co-operative who bought together interested parties and stakeholders, to not only celebrate all the hard work they have done but to also launch the co-op to the public.
The Townsville-based collaboration was awarded a $125,000 grant from the Coalition Government to identify and develop markets for African Mahogany as part funding to support new cooperative and collaborative business arrangements.
The endeavour was created in order to benefit from shared resources and collective bargaining power, while protecting cultural, social and environmental values. All timber is sustainably grown in local plantations.
African Mahogany is a specialty timber, used for centuries. It has desirable characteristics such as ease of sawing and drying, ease of peeling for veneer, and it is easy to machine and turn for furniture application. It has a unique colour and texture and is highly stable.
The Field Day was held on the property of one of the growers at Majors Creek and included a range of speakers and guests from the industry. Senator Ian MacDonald was on hand to help launch the co-operative and addressed the crowd.
Guests were also treated to a demonstration of the harvesting process at the Majors Creek plantation.
Director of the co-operative Sandra Richards said the Mahogany Processors were excited to share their new endeavour and begin marketing to domestic and international manufacturers.
“Saturday was an excellent day out in Majors Creek,” said Mrs Richards. “We were so happy with the turn out and the interest in our project. We’ve put a lot of work into creating this co-operative, and our individual plantations, so it was wonderful to be able to launch it all to the public and others in our industry.”
“We had some great speakers come along and share their own stories and insights into the project,” she said. “And having Senator MacDonald come out to support us was a highlight for everyone.”
“We’re really proud of our co-op and of the day we had.”
Mrs Richards said she is looking forward to the next stage of the project, which includes beginning to market the grower’s product to domestic and international markets and growing the member numbers of the co-operative.