Mere Plantations, a UK company, established in January 2007 to reforest 10,000 Acres of UNFCCC classified degraded forest land within the Afram Headwaters Forest Reserve in Ghana, are the latest member to the UK Timber Trade Federation.
Prior to selecting Ghana, the principles of Mere had conducted commercial and environmental assessments of all potential growing countries located within a 10-degree band of the Equator, where Teak is known to grow to its optimum in commercial conditions. Mere grow Teak, due to the resilience of the tree and the high value of the associated timber. For the sake of good husbandry and essential biodiversity, Mere intersperse stands with indigenous species.
Mere are 13 years into its business cycle of developing and growing a commercial hardwood Teak plantation and are able to develop planting on a truly industrial scale. Mere have reduced the time from planting to the first generation of return to under 10 years. In turn, this makes the industry attractive to a new demographic.
Mark Hogg, CEO of Mere, strongly believes that teak as a sustainable resource grown through commercial plantations represents a glimpse of a new future for forestry. “With a rapidly expanding global population, the global demand for timber is unlikely to reduce. We can, and will, all alter our relationship with the planet. The reality though, we are not going to give up the reliance on timber. The only way to accommodate everyone is to simply grow more”, he says.
Mere now have a process that allows large scale planting within the prescribed process and structure of the UNFCCC framework, that is fully compliant with the Paris Climate Agreement. “With the pace timber grows in the tropics and approached in the right way, Africa could supply a large part of the demand for timber globally”, he says.
Mere Plantations are growing high quality Teak for the export markets, however at this point are growing for the construction, flooring and decking markets, rather than the much longer veneer and furniture markets.
As Mere begin importing into the UK and EU market, they represent a new future for commercial plantations in Africa being developed through the FLEGT VPA process.
The Timber Trade Federation welcomes Mere Plantations as a new member!