CMO expands its services in Forestry

August 7, 2014

The College for Machine Operators, better known in the forestry industry as ‘CMO’, has been restructured and expanded to provide a wider range of services to the forestry industry to include training, consulting and auditing. The company has been renamed the ‘Centre for the Modernisation of Operations’, and will continue to trade under its familiar brand, CMO.

Services offered include:

• CMO is the best known service provider in Africa offering machine operator training, and this will continue to be a core function of the business. The company already has a well-established trainer in KwaZulu-Natal in Janie Brooks. Gilbert Khumalo has recently been appointed as a trainee instructor in Mpumalanga. Gilbert has many years of operating experience on mechanical harvesting equipment and has been released by Bosbok Ontginning to join CMO due to the potential they saw in him as a future instructor. Bosbok Ontginning believes that by developing Gilbert, he will reach his full potential and that they will gain by having a top class instructor at their disposal in Mpumalanga. Gilbert will be working with Hans van den Berg, who is CMO's Training Manager in Mpumalanga.

• CMO will also continue to do training in harvesting at all levels of management.

• CMO will continue to provide training in fire management under the leadership of Ben Potgieter. Ben has over 30 years of experience in fire management systems. This training covers all levels, from the forest worker to the fire boss.

• Higher level forestry courses will be offered under a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) being signed with NMMU. Offerings include a range of fire management and forest engineering courses.

• Both technical and managerial/supervisor training is a new focus area that CMO will be actively pursuing.

• Legal requirements, such as HIRA training, First Aid and safety and health representative training, are now part of the services being offered.

• Lower level courses covering the full forestry value chain are being offered under the FP&M SETA accreditation.

CMO has dedicated, high profile consultants and an array of associates who can be approached to cover the full forestry value chain from seedling to processing plant. CMO specifically focuses on providing consulting services in Forest Engineering and Fire Management due to the world-class expertise it has in these two disciplines, but also addresses the rest of the value chain, including nurseries, silviculture, forest management and planning, forest economics, sawmilling and pulping. Additional services include FSC certification consultation and forest valuations.

International harvesting and transport cost benchmarking – along with its partners HB Solutions (South America) and Forme (Australasia), CMO carries out an annual benchmarking of harvesting and transport costs. Clients can compare their costs with comparable global operations. The benchmarking information is published in June each year.

Conformance systems
This has two focus areas:

1. The provision of technical first party and second party auditing to the forest and forest products industry. The audits include the five key performance areas of forestry, namely:

• Safety and health;
• Productivity improvement;
• Environmental management;
• Quality improvement; and
• Social responsibility.

2. Focus on international conformance standards under the leadership of Michal Brink, who has visited over 80 countries during his 34-year forestry career – mostly related to consulting work and auditing. CMO has identified several high profile conformance standard experts around the world who are now associates of the company. The international CMO auditing includes:

• Providing forest certification auditing capacity to certification bodies around the world;
• Providing capacity building services to developing countries that are implementing legality systems in collaboration with the European Union;
• Providing auditor training for certification schemes such as FSC and PEFC. This training uses an e-learning platform, combined with face-to-face training to optimise costs and time in the development of competent auditors – the so-called blended training approach; and
• Developing and implementing international conformance-based forestry standards worldwide.

CMO organises the annual Focus on Forest Engineering Conference along with its two partners FESA and NMMU. The 2014 conference will be held in Mpumalanga on 5-6 November 2014. The theme of this year’s conference will again focus on the current modernisation drive in the forest industry.

Africa and the world
CMO is focused on serving the forest industry in Africa, but will continue to offer its full range of services across the globe. The company’s head office is in Pietermaritzburg and has opened a permanent office in Mpumalanga, managed by well-known Hans van den Berg. CMO is also opening up an office in the Cape province.

Gilbert Khumalo
Ben Potgieter
Hans van den Berg
Janie Brooks
michal brink
Michal Brink


*Zelda Immelman – Email: / Tel: +27 83 778 5746

**Published in April 2014

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