Investing in Sustainable Timber Companies

For decades, Malaysian products have been coming at the expense of tropical forest. But stopping the extraction of commodities such as timber, palm oil, cocoa, tea, beef and fossil fuel is not an option. The option is rather: changing the approach. We still have a window of time to rethink our behaviour. It just requires responsible investments …

new forests taff
TAFF – Investing in sustainable timber companies. Credit: New Forests

TAFF – Sustainable Forestry Funds

TAFF stands for Tropical Asia Forest Fund. Founded in 2005 the fund is managed by the Australian company New Forests Pty Ltd. It invests in sustainable timber companies in Southeast Asia with the goal to combine commercial opportunities with sustainable forestry.

TAFF manages millions worth of investments in Malaysia, Laos and Indonesia. It generates returns through income from the sale of timber and latex as well as capital appreciation from biological growth of the asset and other sources. It also supports sustainable forest management, land restoration, conservation, and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

In 2012, New Forests’ TAFF launched a US$170 million fund – the first forestry fund dedicated to sustainable forestry in Southeast Asia.

In 2017, TAFF companies planted more than 6,700ha of forests, of which 3,700ha were for commercial reforestation = planting trees where there was no existing forest cover and supporting native reforestation and restoration.

In 2018, TAFF has announced an additional equity investment, a eucalyptus plantation business in Sabah, Malaysia. A new seedling nursery opened in January 2018 with a production capacity of 2.5 million seedlings per year.

To meet New Forests’ TAFF environmental and social investment requirements, Malaysian partner AFI (Acacia Forest Industries Sdn Bhd) has run a multi-year social engagement program culminating in a participatory mapping exercise that completed in 2016. AFI has since developed a new social forestry strategy. It bases on the outcomes of engagement and the need to address land tenure and support local livelihood opportunities.

With the additional investment from TAFF, AFI will continue to focus on re-establishment of its commercial plantations while piloting new models for out-grower forestry* in the Bengkoka Peninsula in Northeastern Sabah.

Find out more about TAFF funds and timber products ->
New Forests’ Tropical Asia Forest Fund


*Out-grower schemes are contractual partnerships between growers or landholders and a company for the production of commercial forest products. Out-grower schemes or partnerships vary considerably in the extent to which inputs, costs, risks and benefits are shared between growers/landholders and companies. Partnerships may be short or long-term, and may offer growers only financial benefits or a wider range of benefits.

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