2019 was a tough year. We were all hoping that 2020 and the new decade would be better; it seems we couldn’t have been more wrong!
The challenges ahead for forestry, the forestry value chain, and South Africa as a whole are enormous.
But, forestry is a dynamic industry. We are used to challenges every day and this has cultivated adaptability and innovation, as well as determination and discipline. This, I believe, has helped our industry tackle lockdown and its associated and unintended consequences.
I share Michael Peter’s sentiment that “the determination that the Sector has shown, from large-scale vertically integrated companies to the small-scale growers and other SMEs, often in the face of great adversity, has been inspirational”.
I too am thankful for “the foresters, processors, manufacturers, technicians, machine operators, drivers, the thousands of committed individual suppliers of goods and services throughout the various forestry value chains, who have selflessly continued to go to work, to supply these essential products and services and in the process, support the national and international crisis”.
The supply of products during the lockdown and beyond is a topic on everyone’s lips, in particular, the potential product shortages for activities such as tracer belt preparations. This is something TIPWG is keeping tabs on and will continue to inform members as things develop.
While writing my previous Chairmans Note, the 1 August deadline for the implementation of FSC’s revised Pesticide Policy felt far in the future. This is no longer the case and I am increasingly aware that it is approaching fast and furiously. Jacqui has been hard at work on the ESRAs to make this deadline. Although her efforts at the moment are raising more questions than answers, she should be commended on the progress she is making.
With winter fast upon us, my thoughts go out those preparing for fire season in the summer-rainfall catchment. I hope by now all tracer-belts are prepped and all that is left is to burn them. Wherever you are in the country, I wish you and your loved ones all the best as we face the challenges and uncertainty of this global pandemic together.
Yours in all things pesticide.