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Nelson Forests rebranded OFO NZ

Linda Sewell

Following the purchase of Nelson Forests in 2018, including the Kaituna sawmill near Blenheim, by OneFortyOne (OFO) the company has decided to rebrand its New Zealand operations OneFortyOne New Zealand effective today. Source: Timberbiz

OneFortyOne Chief Executive Officer Linda Sewell said nothing hadchanged in operational terms for the management company and its associated staff in Nelson and at Kaituna Sawmill, both of which have remained as they were at the time of the OneFortyOne purchase.

“What has happened is that the new branding has galvanised our sense of a single business across Australia and New Zealand, communicating a collective purpose,” Ms Sewell said.

Ms Sewell said that the start to 2020 had been unprecedented with the Australian bushfires and now the impacts of COVID-19, which were completely unforeseen.

“We had already started the rebranding project long before these events were on the horizon,” she said. “We feel fortunate that we took an approach that was extremely mindful of waste and cost and so we felt we could finish the project very pragmatically. Ultimately, the branding project speaks to the unity of the business, which is very important in the current climate.”

While there will be a transition period in the community because Nelson Forests is a well-known brand in the areas in which it operates, there is now an opportunity for everyone in OneFortyOne New Zealand to share the great story behind the OneFortyOne name, according to OFO Executive General Manager New Zealand Lees Seymour.

“We are very mindful of the context in which we will be rolling out our new brand,” he said. “The process will be gradual but will give our team a morale boost. They have put a lot of hard work into the project and we want to complete it to honour the effort made by them.”

Mr Seymour said that OneFortyOne’s new brand represents the fibre that is at the heart of everything the company does.

“The new logo is based on the cross-section view of an individual wood fibre from one of our trees. It represents not only the physical shape of fibre that is at the heart of our business, but also the three strands of our purpose: strengthen, integrate, and extend. It has a dynamism to it. It’s energising, fresh and new and it fits with the wood industry we’re in. The team and I love it.”

To coincide with the rebrand launch and International Day of Forests on Saturday 21 March, OneFortyOne also released its 2019 Annual Review as a summary of what was a huge year for the company.

“The report is a comprehensive overview of our operations,” Ms Sewell said. “Plus a few selected stories that show the positive impact OneFortyOne is having on our environment.”

Ms Sewell said OneFortyOne challenged itself to grow and develop in 2019, with safety being one of its highest priorities.

“Our industry has risks and we work to mitigate these by putting best practice systems and processes in place. In 2019, we gave our people a mandate to put forward innovative approaches to improving safety. We are also promoting the importance of mental and emotional health as these are just as important, and valid, as physical health,” she said.

“Another key risk area is fire readiness. We take the responsibility of fire readiness very seriously and it is a key priority, every day of the year.”

Ms Sewell said the company had remained financially profitable in challenging markets while staying true to its practice of offering fibre first domestically and developing its strategy to increase domestic processing in New Zealand.

“We have supported the future of the industry by investing in education through curriculum development, scholarships, graduate roles, apprenticeships and vacation job programs.

“We have also supported the future of our communities by supporting initiatives that promote regions, culture, the environment and diversity,” Ms Sewell said.

“We now understand our carbon footprint and can diligently say that we are carbon negative which means our trees absorb and store more carbon than the business emits.”