Profile: Cloudy Bay Sustainable Forestry


The Cloudy Bay Sustainable Forestry Company operates to a simple formula: ‘high quality at a fair price.’

Credit: Cloudy Bay Sustainable Forestry

Credit: Cloudy Bay Sustainable Forestry

Cloudy Bay Sustainable Forestry Company places high value on sustainability. It received a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Controlled Wood and Chain of Custody accreditation in 2011.

Since 2006, it has been developing a Forest Management Area in the Cloudy Bay region, 250 kilometres south-east of Port Moresby. It was awarded the country’s first 100%-downstream processing license by the PNG Forest Authority (PNGFA), covering 148,900 hectares. A subsidiary of the PNG Sustainable Development Program, its downstream processing capacity includes milling, planning, dressing, moulding, kiln drying and pressure treating.

Cloudy Bay also produces exotic furniture and kitchen units, and prefabricated homes and offices.

Credit: Cloudy Bay Sustainble Forestry

Credit: Cloudy Bay Sustainble Forestry

Expansion and quality improvement

The company has plans to investigate a sawmill and plantation project in Western Province. ‘Plantation development is the best opportunity for forestry in Papua New Guinea,’ says Cloudy Bay Managing Director Mike Janssen. The company also recently commissioned a new manufacturing shed, which will allow for the expansion of its prefabricated building division.

Exceptionally high rainfall in 2011 meant the mill had to be closed twice, but enabled equipment to be upgraded and rebuilt. Janssen says this work has improved board quality and made planned production targets possible. The company expects harvesting production levels of 4000 cubic metres per day to be the norm in future.

The company gets export inquiries from Asia and the European Union all the time, says Janssen, but with its current limited supply, it makes more sense to sell into the local market.

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Credit: Cloudy Bay Sustainble Forestry

Credit: Cloudy Bay Sustainble Forestry

Local employment growing

Janssen says he is looking forward to a period of ‘upgrading skills, reducing costs, and improving efficiencies and quality.’ Employment of workers from local villages continues to grow, standing at 74% of the workforce in 2011. This figure is expected to increase further as skills develop.

Cloudy Bay has also moved from supplying solely on a ‘made to order’ basis to becoming a stockist, because ‘if there are products in stock, people will buy them,’ says Janssen.

Under its Project Agreement with the PNG Forest Authority, Cloudy Bay must invest in infrastructure and many building projects have already been completed over the last three years. In 2012, it will construct five classrooms, two community halls, a health centre, road upgrading and building, and construction of three steel bridges.

First published in Made in PNG 2012

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