Forest Operations Working Group

Ensuring the sector runs smoothly

The field of forest operations is diverse, including all activities that deal with the harvesting and production of marketable timber (i.e. timber that is of the right specifications required by primary processors), the extraction of timber from plantations to in-field landings / depots and primary short-haul transport within plantations. The scope of forest operations also covers the building of and maintenance of forest roads, bioenergy and the transportation of labour. After the disbandment of Forest Engineering South Africa (FESA) in 2015, the Industry subsequently acknowledged the constructive contribution that it had made to the sector and, as a consequence, the FSA Forest Operations Working Group was established to deal with matters related to forest operations and to co-ordinate its efforts in this field.

Key objectives

  • Establish Industry standards, such as those related to labour carriers, roll over protection system, etc.
  • Updating of Industry handbooks related to forestry operations.
  • Serve as a community of best practice, where people can exchange ideas regarding the development and implementation of best practices.
  • Optimisation of forest operations through the introduction of new technologies.
  • Systems and Inventory management.
  • Striving towards appropriate modernisation, keeping a balance between creating a safe workplace and creating employment.

The FSA Forest Operations Working Group holds regular meetings and is chaired by FSA. The Working Group is comprised of representatives (usually Operations / Harvesting Managers) from the major forestry companies operating in the Industry. Meetings are also held with suppliers to discuss issues of importance or concern. Submissions are also compiled on matters of importance which are presented to the relevant authorities.

The overall objective of this Working Group is to reduce the cost of timber harvesting and extraction as well as to improve safety and productivity.