Our Journey – Holistically Transforming

Our Mission and Vision

To be the leading Pan African timber product and solutions providers, offering a fully integrated one-stop-shop through access to a range of high yielding certified forests throughout Africa and excellent insights, notwithstanding a well-reputed brand, a quality team of industry professionals with a vibrant entrepreneurial culture.

Our Operating Model

To be a market facing organisation that is globally-sussed, focused on solutions and performance, governed by sharp values with an entrepreneurial flair that subscribes to commercial imperatives such as governance and social and environmental responsibility at the highest level.

At MTO we live our culture

The MTO Culture

  • Open minded flexible approach
  • Globally-sussed
  • Up-to-date on market trends
  • Refreshing ideas – contemporary thinking
  • Proactively understanding market needs
  • People and relationships driven
  • Flexibility
  • Initiative valued
  • Ability to make personalised decisions
  • Latitude at all levels to make decisions fast within set parameters
  • Teamwork encouraged and highly valued
  • Contemporary work environment – not ‘old world’
  • Effectiveness valued more highly than efficiency
  • Action-orientated
  • Urgency
  • Solid efficient delivery
  • Effective support systems
  • Not tightly regulated


What makes a business sustainable? There is mounting pressure on our resources and collectively we have a responsibility to protect our planet.

We have to think strategically in this post-modern world. Every decision, in effect, has an impact on our sustainability.

Moving to a post-modern world:

  • Simplicity
  • Control
  • Separation
  • Uniformity
  • Certainty
  • Cause and Effect
  • Empiricism
  • Complexity
  • Influence
  • Integration
  • Diversity
  • Enquiry
  • Multi Cause
  • Intuition

Strategy is no longer a linear projection determined by retrospective contemplation. The playing field is different and complex.

The MTO strategy is defined on what we will not do. These principles address a broad context of philosophies and behaviours both strategically and operationally. All of these have an influence on who we are and how we operate, ultimately defining our values and setting out our commitment to sustainable management and rewriting the blueprint for the African timber landscape.

What We Will Not Do

  1. Compromise our purpose, values and ethics
  2. Compromise our work / life integration
  3. Compromise our professionalism
  4. Impede transparency
  5. Lose our focus redefining the market
  6. Stay in our comfort zone/ be afraid to make bold strategic decisions
  7. Forget our humility in pursuit of achieving bold aspirations
  8. Exploit stakeholders (employees, communities, shareholders, customers, suppliers, government, etc.)
  9. Partner or do business with anyone, who wants us to deviate from our core values
  10. Engage in unethical business practices (bribes, etc.)
  11. Act irresponsibly in our way of doing business, socio-economically and environmentally
  12. Operate outside the law
  13. Remain in damaging relationships
  14. Stop investing in the development of our people
  15. Forget our African roots
  16. Become corporate, bureaucratic or conservative in our thinking
  17. Tolerate negative influence on leadership
  1. Compromise strong operational business units
  2. Operate outside the strategic plan boundaries
  3. Operate in silos
  4. Exploit workers / employees
  5. Disempower or compromise relationships with our people
  6. Retain incompetent people
  7. Stem the growth of our staff
  8. Skimp on operational training
  9. Compromise on staff competencies
  10. Treat stakeholders unfairly
  11. Forget to reward success and penalise people for unsuccessful innovations
  12. Impede innovation
  13. Tolerate sub-standard service providers
  14. Allow ourselves to be price takers
  15. Compromise on technology
  16. Compromise on capabilities
  17. Disregard legislative framework
  18. Compromise the health and safety of employees and contractors
  19. Compromise on integrated fire management systems
  20. Compromise on and/or neglect to investigate best operating practices- continuous improvement
  21. Compromise on land sustainability and environmental standards
  22. Purposefully harm the environment
  23. Waste resources
  24. Ignore our social responsibility framework
  25. Compromise quality standards
  26. Compromise on sound management practice
  27. Be confined by systems, procedures
  28. Formulate decisions based on preconceived ideas
  29. Change decisions made by the group without consultation
  30. Be to slow to react or answer questions
  1. Make unilateral strategic decisions
  2. Compromise on core business growth
  3. Pursue business without understanding where and if it fits our vision
  4. Deviate from our value proposition and operate outside of our core competencies
  5. Look at the bottom line at the expense of the value
  6. Compromise diversity in products
  7. Limit ourselves to only part of the value chain
  8. Engage in investments that put the company at financial risk – “bet the farm” on one deal
  9. Continue supporting investments that add no value
  10. Commit to new markets / deals without having delivery capacity
  11. Ignore risk (operational, financial, strategic, personal)
  12. Be limited geographically
  13. Compromise the sustainability of assets (incl. forests)
  14. Ignore the environment
  15. Put profit before people
  16. Forget to look after the well-being our people
  17. Neglect the skills development of our employees
  18. Ignore the views of customers and the market
  19. Burn bridges unnecessarily
  20. Neglect to engage with knowledgeable local partners / directors
  21. Disregard supply and contractual obligations
  22. Disregard BEE but not pursue this to the peril of our business
  23. Lose entrepreneurial spirit at a company level and stop being creative
  1. Behave contrary to our values and culture
  2. Act unethically and break laws
  3. Act without integrity
  4. Go back on our word and forget to honour commitments
  5. Disrespect other employees
  6. Undermine other divisions
  7. Tolerate discrimination of any form
  8. Live in self-doubt
  9. Tolerate negativity
  10. Tolerate dishonesty
  11. Ignore constructive criticism
  12. Make empty promises
  13. Forget to have fun and work with passion
  14. Disregard ‘technical’ expertise
  15. Forget to be humble
  16. Tolerate a “cannot do” mindset
  17. Prevent our people from reaching their full potential
  18. Compromise communication – create silos
  19. Become complacent or self-centered
  20. Be scared of using our initiative
  21. Restrict / limit innovative thinking
  22. Tolerate mediocrity
  23. Make uninformed decisions
  24. Abuse company assets
  25. Behave in an unsafe manner
  26. Compromise on our disciplinary standards
  27. Tolerate ‘untouchables’
  28. Compromise the team
  29. Compromise family
  30. Alienate our communities

Sustainable Forestry Investment