Adding Value and Minimising Waste
TIDD is encouraging the industry to use a greater number of the very many tree species which occur in Ghana's natural forest in order to take the pressure off the better known traditional species. Lower extraction of well known timbers allows greater harvesting of lesser known species without jeopardising principles of selective controlled logging and sustainable harvesting.
Because overall log supply for exports cannot be increased, TIDD has a key role in helping industry to create more valure through additional processing. The aim is to provide machined and shaped timber as well as components and finished products. Profitable production of such items helps utilise wood offcuts and residues arising in Ghana's primary wood products sector.
At present Ghana's industrial base has limited financial and technical resources. Working with Ghana's investment Promotion Centre and other institutions, TIDD seeks to create technical and investment collaboration between Ghanaian timber processing companies and their opposite numbers in overseas markets. Partnerships offer the potential to enhance incomes and abilities of local companies and their workers, and at the same time offer cost savings benefits to companies in developed countries.
Promoting Ghana's Timber Interests Overseas
The Ghanaian Forestry Commission through its Timber Industry Development Division and in particular its London office, promotes Ghana's timber products worldwide. A broad range of promotion methods includes technical leaflets, publications about Ghana, its industry and forests, and by being present at trade fairs, seminars and trade meetings, and undertaking one-to-one consultation with timber businesses. Promotion efforts for species and products are always in the context of Ghana's positive efforts to ensure that export timber comes from sustainable practices in the forest.
TIDD helps represent Ghana's views in the global debate about environment, forests and tropical hardwoods. Ghana is moving, step by step, towards formal certification of timber at company level.
A Monitoring Role
The Division produces comprehensive monthly statistics for its export trade division - probably the most detailed in the tropics. A key role is the monitoring of all export contracts in terms of price, species, specification and quality, linked with physical inspection at the two ports of exit - Takoradi and Tema. Related to this are the strategically positioned roadside checkpoints where inspectors check vehicles carrying logs for property, tree and species reference marks to ensure that logs have been legally sourced. A primary role for the Division is monitoring the quality and standards of Ghana's wood and wood products so that they fully meet market expectations.