22 companies representing the full span of the forestry supply chain have come together to form Forest Industries Ireland (FII). Launched yesterday, FII is a new business sector within IBEC and the association is chaired by Balcas CEO, Brian Murphy.
With a combined turnover of €800 million, the industry is forecasting major growth with the figure doubling to €1.6 billion by 2035. Mark McCauley, Director of FII, said the industry is now maturing, with 21,000 forest owners all over the country. “The trees that they have been growing over the last 40 years are now reaching maturity, so there is huge growth in supply from the private forest estate, and that requires a bit more coordination.”
Balcas processes a million tonnes of logs from Ireland and Scotland every year and Brian, who is the inaugural Chairman of Forest Industries Ireland, said the industry is “hugely sustainable”. “The ingredients for our industry are sun, carbon dioxide, rain, land, and employment in our rural communities. The forest output is a crop that is increasingly managed to optimise the value of timber that is being returned from the land for the grower, whilst also maximising the environmental benefit and increasing Irelands natural capital”.
The association has been formed to drive industry growth, increase industry visibility and profile, improve Government policy and regulation, co-ordinate joint industries, and to meet the Brexit challenge.
Photo Caption: Mark McAuley, Director (left) and Brian Murphy, inaugural Chairman of Forest Industries Ireland, pictured at the launch of FII