Ireland’s forestry and timber sector is a real success story currently employing an estimated 16,000 people across the state. It comprises a vibrant forest products sector with state-of-the-art boardmills and sawmills and exporting a high proportion of product output.
In fact, since the downturn in the home construction industry over 80% of the output from our panelboard sector is exported along with over 70% of our sawn timber production.
With half of the forest estate less than 25 years old, timber production and employment in the sector are set to grow significantly. Incredibly, at present roundwood is being imported from Scotland by sea to supply our timber industry while most of the industry’s production is exported.
‘The forestry sector has the potential to make a major contribution to our economy in both planting new forests and also in harvesting its growing wood resource through the thinning of woodlands. With economic output from the wider forest and timber industry calculated at c. € 2.2 billion, the sector is poised to contribute significantly to Ireland’s economy’, according to Donal Whelan, Technical Director of the Irish Timber Growers Association (ITGA).
To highlight the growing and future importance of the sector, the Association have announced its support for the upcoming Irish Forestry, Woodland and Bio Energy Show to be held at Stradbally Hall, Co. Laois, the site of the Electric Picnic on May 10th and 11th next. Announcing the programme of speakers at the ITGA Conference centre at the upcoming Show, Donal Whelan said that Stradbally Hall has a long tradition of forestry and is a particularly fitting venue for showcasing our forest and
Information on the Show and the full range of talks at the ITGA Conference centre can be
accessed on www.itga.ie and www.ifwshow.ie