Tasmanian forest industry group calls for halt to the Australian state's forest peace deal following visits by former Greens leader to Ta Ann customers over wood sourcing

LOS ANGELES , October 21, 2011 () – Visits to three Japanese customers of Ta Ann Tasmania Pty. Ltd. by a former leader of the Tasmanian Greens party have led to a call by the state's Forest Industries Association (FIA) for a halt to the forest peace deal, The Mercury reported Oct. 20.

Peg Putt, a member of the Huon Valley Environmental Centre, said that, while in Japan, she told the companies to immediately ask Ta Ann to switch its wood sources. Putt said the Ta Ann customers should ask for their purchases to be made from logs from outside the disputed forest areas and to move quickly to plantations, reported The Mercury.

FIA Chief Terry Edwards called for state and federal governments to refuse to set aside any forest under the Intergovernmental Agreement while protests continue. Edwards called the Huon Valley Environmental Centre an “ecoterrorist” in Tasmania's forests and the sector's markets.

David Ridley, director of Ta Ann Tasmania, rejected Putt's statements, The Mercury reported. And Edwards said Ta Ann's Japanese customers had looked at the areas that supply their wood.

Ta Ann has two Tasmanian rotary peeling veneer mills, one at Smithton and one in the Huon district, according to the company's website.

Parent company Ta Ann Group is based in Sarawak, Malaysia, and has about 6,000 employees worldwide.

The primary source of this article is The Mercury, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, on Oct. 20, 2011.

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