Project “Enhancement of production of Acacia and Eucalypt peeled and sliced veneer products in Vietnam and Australia”

Background

Vietnam has a very large furniture production and export industry, with exports worth US$2.8 billion in 2008. Timber for this industry is to a large extent imported – at very substantial cost (US$854 million in 2009). Vietnam also has a very large plantation estate of acacias (300-400k ha) and eucalypts (500k ha). ACIAR has provided much support in establishing and improving this resource. The resource has been used largely for the production of low value pulpwood. Acacias and eucalypts from natural forests in Australia have long been used for the production of specialty veneers, but the use of plantation acacias and eucalypts for this purpose is in its infancy. The aim of the project is to promote higher value utilisation of Vietnam’s eucalypt and acacia plantations by optimising veneer production from this resource.

Logo-veneer

Objectives

Underpinning objectives will be to: 1. Analyse existing resource, supply chain, wood processing methodologies and to support market focusing on both veneer and veneer based products. This will include assessment of the veneer value chain and analysis of the potential for certification to impact favourably. 2. Investigate and optimise current process: development of optimal processing methods according to quality and sizes of plantation logs of Acacia and Eucalyptus 3. Test and develop new processing methods and products from veneer: new techniques will be tested in order to increase the recovery and the quality as well as to improve product added value produced from Acacias and Eucalyptus. 4. Monitor and analyse economic impact to smallholders and SMEs during the project, and to investigate potential new value creation 5. Implement education and training related to veneer production and use in manufacturing

Based on the differential between pulpwood and veneer log prices, the benefit to Vietnamese smallholders from new veneer log markets would be in the vicinity of some tens of millions of dollars annually. Led by DAFF, the project will feature a very strong team of researchers from DAFF, Univ. Melbourne, Forest Science Institute of Vietnam, Vietnam Forestry University, Prosperity Initiative, GIZ and most importantly commercial processors. The project will strongly complement project work underway in Australia on production of veneers from some plantation eucalypts.

Methodology

Methodology will follow closely approaches that have proven highly successful in other project work. Industry and value chain analyses will be based on appropriate surveys and then interpretation by relevant experts. Technical development of new processing approaches and new engineered products will be conducted jointly in Australia and Vietnam, with the emphasis in the latter being testing and scaling up by industry partners. Analyses of potential distribution, across the value chain, of economic benefits accruing from the project will be conducted by the Prosperity Initiative, mirroring their excellent work with engineered bamboo products. The integral involvement of industry champions in the project will be an important strategy to achieve industry uptake. The use of the excellent forest products training facilities and expertise of GIZ in Vietnam will also be prominent, including in relation to certification.

Read more at: http://vafs.gov.vn/en/

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