Thursday 26th April, 2018 was a big day for CERES' newest social enterprise Fair Wood - our name got called out and now we are extremely grateful recipients of $20,000 in start-up funding from Darebin Council and Melbourne Innovation Centre's Darebin Pitch-It Competition.
It’s been a big learning curve ever since architect Paul Haar suggested that CERES should be doing the same thing with local timber as it does with local produce.
We knew deforestation was a major contributor to carbon pollution but it was a big shock finding out that behind drug dealing and counterfeiting, illegal logging was the third largest criminal activity by value in the world.
Discovering that up to 800 million dollars of illegally logged timber, complete with "genuine" sustainability certificates, is entering the Australian market each year, was also pretty disconcerting.
But it was seeing the scale of illegal logging wiping out indigenous-owned forests in Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea just for wood to build our houses, furniture and patios - that was an utter heart-breaker.
The counter to all this has been getting to know local farm-foresters and small saw-millers who operate around Victoria as well as indigenous-owned timber mills in Northern Australia and seeing this burgeoning fair timber movement growing by the day.
CERES Fair Wood looks forward to helping our community learn where our wood is coming from and bringing responsibly grown timber from local and indigenous tree farmers and saw-millers to more and more people's building projects.
We’d like to offer our congratulations to fellow finalists MUVi, Medical Connect, Refillr and The Pollinator Alliance (aka - Benedict The Practical Beekeeper who also leads CERES Bee Group). We feel very lucky to have received this prize in your company and wish you all the best.