TIPWG – What’s it all about and why the SOPs?

The Timber Industry Pesticide Working Group (TIPWG) exists to promote responsible and effective use of pesticides to ALL South African timber growers.

Regardless of whether you’re a small or large grower, a certified or non-certified timber producer, TIPWG is there for you. A sub-committee of Forestry South Africa (FSA), TIPWG is charged with promoting responsible and effective use of pesticides, in line with local legislation, international conventions and global certification programmes.

TIPWG achieves this by fulfilling the following four roles:

1) Technical support

2) Industry collaboration

3) Compliance

4) Provision of guidelines

Click here, to view the ‘Our Role’ infographic for more information on how we fulfill each role.

TIPWG website – communication is key

The TIPWG website has a central role in promoting the responsible and effective use of pesticides to all South African timber growers.

The website has a dual purpose:

  1. Through the use of infographics we have broken down some of the more complex aspects associated with pesticide/biopesticide use – like legislation – in order to make it more accessible.

  2. It provides a platform to inform South African timber growers of any changes in pesticide availability and standard operating procedures.

In 2019 we are planning to build on the website by adding:

  1. Research page – showcasing the pesticide research being conducted in South Africa and worldwide. This is currently under construction and is hoped to be completed by the end of the first quarter.

  2. Integrated Pest Management page.

  3. Stakeholder consultation pages – in an attempt to simplify the derogation process and improve transparency.

TIPWG SOPs – What are they and why do we need them?

An SOP, or standard operating procedure, is an “industry accepted way of doing something that works.” Aidan Lawes, CEO, itSMF.

An SOP is essentially a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organisation or industry to assist in the carrying out of complex or high-risk routine operations. SOPs aim to achieve efficiency, quality output and uniformity of performance, while reducing miscommunication and failure to comply with industry and legal regulations.

In our SOPs, we endeavour to use what is known as “best practice”. Best practice means finding – and using – the best ways of working to achieve your business objectives. It involves keeping up to date with the ways that successful businesses operate – in your sector and others – and evaluating your ways of working against those of the market leaders. This can be done through bench-marking and/or the use of standards:

  • Benchmarking: This allows you to compare your business with other successful businesses to highlight areas where your business could improve.

  • Standards: These are fixed specifications or legislation, which are established by independent bodies such as: the government, ISO, SAFAS or Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®).

Where are SOPs applied?

SOPs are applied through the entire value chain; from research and nurseries through to harvesting and logistics, including the support functions such as HR, SHE, finance etc.

Why is it so important to have and follow SOPs – especially for the forestry sector?

SOPs allow the forestry sector to benchmark themselves against one another and also against similar industries across the globe. SOPs ensure legal compliance is maintained, as a minimum, with room for continual improvement. In the forestry sector, SOPs are developed within the industry with experts in the various fields.

SOPs ensure a high consistent standard is maintained within the industry and that sustainable business practices are ensured.

Get in touch!

For TIPWG to succeed, we need to create a two-way dialogue, where those in the industry give feedback, enabling us to identify areas where focus is needed. So, if you want to find out more, have a question for our experts, want to share an opinion, or identify areas where we need to apply our collective minds you can:

  1. Visit the website: www.tipwg.co.za

  2. Contact TIPWG chairperson – Roger Poole chairman@tipwg.co.za, or TIPWG secretariat – Jacqui Meyer info@tipwg.co.za directly.

/ Getting to know TIPWG