MTO Forestry is committed to sustainable forestry for the health of the environment and the economy.
MTO Forestry owns 14 pine plantations between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. This represents a total area of 118 476 hectares and yields a harvest of some 480 000 cubic metres of timber per annum. MTO also owns three sawmills in Tsitsikamma, Wemmershoek and George.
The trees are harvested at an age of 30-40 years and are used to produce high quality saw logs and veneer logs for construction furniture, panelling, doors and laminates. Other products from our plantations and processing plants include poles for agriculture, electricity and telephone lines, and biomass for electricity generation.
Investing in people
MTO Forestry supports a range of programmes that benefit local communities. For example, the Grabouw Food Garden is sponsored by MTO in partnership with the Grabouw Municipality. The vegetables produced by this training and job creation project are then used by the Grabouw Food Kitchen to feed unemployed people in Grabouw. MTO also supports environmental and conservation programmes that protect the natural environment and create opportunities for people to learn about the importance of trees and forests. For example, MTO partnered with the Wilderness Foundation to establish the Khula Nam environmental education programme and the programme has proved so successful that the Department of Water Affairs is planning to launch it nationally.
Forestry Corporate Services
Corporate services conduct forestry research and annual plantation audits to ensure MTO maintains international standards in silviculture, conservation and fire protection practices.
The planning division manages the growing resource to ensure sustainability and optimum utilisation for the group.
Concordia Training Centre in Knysna provides SAQA accredited training in all forestry-related disciplines.
Karatara Nursery is certified by the Seedling Growers’ Association of South Africa and supplies all of MTO’s seedling requirements.
MTO is also a member of FABI (a forestry tree health institute) and Camcore (a global tree breeding programme).
MTO Forestry is the proud custodian of the Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail and our ecotourism division actively promotes the recreational use of its land on a sustainable and environmentally responsible basis.