Celebrating Progress in Cameroon
In honor of Earth Day we asked Anne Middleton, Crelicam's Environment and Community Relations Manager to offer an update on progress at the mill.
So much has been happening in Cameroon the last few months we’ve barely had time to write about it. Taylor experts from both the El Cajon and Tecate manufacturing facilities have been visiting our forests and factories here in Cameroon.
Taylor’s wood buyer, Chris Cosgrove, was here recently and trekked deep into the jungle with me to deliver his expertise on how, when and where to cut ebony trees for optimum yield back at the factory. What we thought was going to be a nice 30-minute walk to an ebony tree turned out to be a 4.5-hour jungle excursion. We’re both experienced hikers, but when you only plan to have enough snacks and water for 2 hours and you’re out more than twice that long, the only thing we both could think was, “This ebony is hard to get to!” We both now understand, literally, what it’s like to have ants in your pants. Ants the size of a quarter.
Bob Taylor was here, too, with a crew of forest and shop experts. He and his team designed, assembled and installed two new “blockworks” on two of our saws here to enable the sawyers to cut the ebony exactly straight. The sawyers are so excited to have new equipment with pneumatic devices to hold the wood in place and guide it through the saw with precision and ease. We all send a big “Thank You” to the blockworks team.
Charlie Redden, Taylor’s Supply Chain Manager, has taken over at Crelicam as our new Managing Director. With the help of our team here, he has already managed to dramatically increase the yield of the wood just by altering their cutting techniques. More finished product for less raw material means more trees standing in the forest.
We’ve celebrated International Women’s Day, monthly birthday parties, and are now getting ready for the biggest party of all: Labor day (La Fete du Travaille in French). We’re progressing faster
than ever, and spirits, and yield, are high. We all said 2013 would be the year for Crelicam, and so far, so good!