What Bunnings Say
In February Blue Derby Wild wrote the following letter to Bunnings head of sustainability asking for a meeting to discuss whether Bunnings plan to continue selling Tasmanian tree ferns taken from our Gondwanic remnant forests:
Head of Sustainability & Community
Bunnings Group Limited
16–18 Cato Street, Hawthorn East VIC 3123
February 2, 2021
Dear Ms Rand,
This letter is in regards to Bunnings stocking Tasmanian tree ferns (Dicksonia antarctica) which are taken as part of logging operations in Gondwanic native forests in Tasmania, and sold to garden centres including Bunnings.
As you may be aware logging of native forests continues to fail to meet the standards necessary to obtain Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, and the ongoing logging of our rainforests in which these tree ferns are found is part of that ongoing failure. This failing is allowed as logging of native forests in Tasmania, and mainland Australia, is exempt from the federal environmental regulation of the Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBCA). This Act is supposed to protect native and threatened species found in our native forests.
This is especially pertinent after the landmark recommendation made in the Environment Heritage and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) report in which Professor Samuels calls on the federal government to "abolish the effective exemption from environment laws granted to all native forest logging covered by Regional Forestry Agreements (RFA) between the federal and state governments."
We would be very interested to know if Bunnings plan to continue to sell Tasmanian tree ferns taken from the native forest logging operations that are exempt from environmental protection laws, and continue to fail the standards for FSC certification.
As one of Australia’s most recognisable brands in the home improvements and garden space, your willingness to change your supply chains to exclude tree ferns taken from Tasmania's native forests would be a significant signal of your willingness to embrace more sustainable procurement practices. You may have seen a copy of this email sent to your colleagues in Procurement last month, I am yet to hear back from them and hope this issue is a live discussion within Bunnings.
We would welcome the opportunity to discuss how Bunnings can break free of the Tasmanian tree fern trade, and the logging of Gondwanic remnant forests in our state and be a leader in the Garden Centre sector in Australia.
Blue Derby Wild
We got the following response from Bunnings head of Sustainability and Community:
'Thank you for reaching out to Bunnings regarding the sale of Tasmanian tree ferns.
Bunnings sells mostly potted tree ferns that are grown from spore, however we do sell a number of harvested tree ferns which adhere to all state-based environmental laws.
In Tasmania the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment regulates this area and our local suppliers have permits to acquire tree ferns only from areas approved by the Department.
Proof of compliance with the state regulations can be identified by purple tags that are attached to the harvested tree ferns that we sell in-store.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact us.'
Not good enough Bunnings!
We need you to add your voice to tell Bunnings to stop buying into the logging of our Gondwanic forests and Tasmanian tree ferns.