Introduction

Forestry Economics Services is an independent organisation operating out of South Africa, which has published annual Benchmarking Cost and Business Reports on South African plantation forestry since 1978. These are the most comprehensive forestry economics reports produced anywhere in the world and provide valuable guidelines to a wide range of organisations that use the information.

Forestry Economics Services began operations in 1975 as the Economics Division of the South African Timber Growers Association (SATGA). In 1994 SATGA decided that its Economics Division should become a self funding independent body and the new association, named Forestry Economics Services (FES), was formed with its founder members being Sappi Forests (Pty) Ltd, South African Forestry Company Limited (SAFCOL), SATGA and South African Wattle Growers’ Union (SAWGU). In 2000 the members of FES, who over the years had grown to include Mondi Forests and several of Shell Forestry’s South American and African forestry operations, agreed to sell the business.

Since July 2000 Forestry Economics Services has operated as a privately owned South African registered company. It continues to provide its service to its previous forestry company and other members whilst also providing similar services to other South African forestry entities as well as to companies in Australia and South America. Similar services are planned in other regions of the world where timber is grown in fast growing man-made plantations.