|Historically, the timber of choice for our Lion Safety Matches was poplar. During the early part of the 20th century the bulk of this vital raw material was imported from countries as diverse as Finland, Canada and Eastern Europe.
In an effort to reduce its dependence on imported timber, The Lion Match Company (Pty) Ltd, adopted a tree planting scheme across South Africa in 1922, which today has evolved into the company’s substantial forestry operations in Mpumalanga.
|The company’s first properties were purchased in 1927 and through to the 1990s the various Lion Match factories were provided with poplar from the company’s own farms and from extension growers. By the early 1990s the incidence of “rust” on the poplar plantations had reached alarming proportions and had severely affected the growth rate of poplar. This problem, coupled with the environmental issues surrounding the growing of poplar, resulted in The Lion Match Company (Pty) Ltd investigating other timber species as an alternative for match manufacture.|