When considering roundwood sales, a clearly defined and comprehensive sale/harvest contract is required to ensure the accounting and security of timber movements.

Standing roundwood sales is the favoured system for growers, usually based on the weight of timber removed, with the purchaser offering an average price per tonne for all product categories in the sale.

Payment for loads removed can be on an instalment basis, with an agreed price per tonne forming the core part of a sale agreement.

It is in both the buyer’s and seller’s interest that all sales are fully agreed between parties

When timber is sold on a weight basis, payment is made for timber weighed and accounted for over a weighbridge and reported back, usually on a weekly basis by the buyer.

It is in both the buyer’s and seller’s interest that all sales are fully agreed between parties by having a comprehensive contract in place before commencement and also that there is a secure accounting system in place for load removals as part of an agreement.

To assist forest owners and timber buyers, the Irish Timber Growers Association (ITGA) has published a Template Tree Sales Agreement.

This can be adapted by forest owners and buyers to a particular timber sale and is considered best practice. The template agreement is structured under various headings for clarity and ease of use.

The terms and conditions are designed to cover a range of potential sale situations and forest types, including definitions, warranties, payment terms, rights of access, harvesting operational procedures and controls, indemnity and insurance, compliance, risk, health and safety issues, environmental conditions, force majeure and an arbitration clause.

Good contract

In the recent past, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine circulated this Template Tree Sales Agreement with tree felling licences to assist growers in the thinning, felling and sale process. It is always prudent to use a good contract and get professional forestry and relevant legal advice before embarking on a timber sale.

ITGA also developed a Timber Sales Dispatch System, which is referenced in the Template Sale Agreement, to aid accounting for roundwood movements. Both are available to Irish Farmers Journal readers on itga.ie/services/information/sales-systems. Further information on timber sales is available in the ITGA Forestry and Timber Yearbook (www.forestryyearbook.ie) or by contacting ITGA (email info@itga.ie).