KNYSNA NEWS - The Knysna Timber Initiative (KTI) - which owns and manages the Knysna Timber Festival (5 to 7 October, 2018) - has embarked on a campaign to bring more companies into the fold for the ultimate benefit all people and businesses in the timber value chain.
FORMALISING THE KTI
Members of the Initiative met on Wednesday, 18 July, to choose an interim board that will see the organisation through the process of formally registering the organisation as a non-profit company (NPC). Morné Smith of Fechters will serve as chairperson, with Russel Burland (JB Furniture), and Karl van Lith (Timber Village) as directors until the company is registered, at which point an AGM will take place to elect a board in accordance with the company’s constitution.
“Besides the governance issues, the main purpose of the meeting was to start looking seriously at our strategy for KTI,” said Mr. Smith.
He emphasised that the success of the exercise will lie in the participation of members - and that the KTI aims be a broader-reaching organisation.
“It’s not just for the furniture manufacturers,” he said.
“Membership is open to any business or person with an interest in the timber value chain - including forestry companies, nurseries, growers, land owners, harvesters, wholesalers, construction companies, government bodies, and individuals who provide services to businesses in the timber economy.”
“The KTI sees its mission as finding synergies between the various sectors. We want to get all the role players around the table, and we want to facilitate networking to grow the sector by providing a forum for consultation and discussion,” said Mr. Smith
To achieve these synergies, the meeting on the 18th identified three focus areas, which will be addressed by the following sub-committees:
- Skills development - Karl van Lith, John Noble (Kluyts Furniture), Gerald Bouwer (Hands & Hearts)
- Marketing - Morné Smith, Ilse van Schalkwyk (Economic Development Department of the Knysna Municipality), Kim Snook (JB Furniture)
- Raw materials - Dalena Wolmarans (Stander Sawmills), Roy Southey (Sawmilling SA)
The KTI’s proposed memorandum of incorporation mandates the company to identify matters affecting members’ businesses and interests, and to devise appropriate solutions and implement action plans to address their needs. Amongst other things, this includes representing members on public bodies and associations; lobbying at provincial and national level; influencing local authorities by emphasising the benefits of the timber industry to the local economy; encouraging support, cooperation, and clustered activities amongst members; developing and instituting marketing plans for timber-related products; and promoting and providing access to skills training.
Mr. Smith said that the KTI will now embark on a concerted drive to sign members.
“The larger our membership, the more we’ll be able to talk with a united voice when it comes to negotiating with government - which always prefers to speak to representative industry bodies rather than individual companies or people,” he said.
“We expect that members will develop strategies for the KTI that serve their needs - in the same way that our first three sub-committees are doing - because we recognise that the identified challenges aren’t the only challenges affecting the timber economy.”
Mr. Smith said that membership includes listing on the company web site - which also has a section for becoming a member. (Annual membership costs R 1,200.00 - but since we’re almost at the half-way point in the financial year, members who sign now will pay pro-rata amount of R 600,00 until the end of February 2019.)
Membership information and sign-up: www.timberinitiative.co.za
To join the KTI’s skills development, marketing, or raw materials discussion groups, please mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Knysna Timber Festival: www.timberfestival.co.za
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