- 21 September 2012
Irish Economy: The Irish Forestry and Forest Products Association (IFFPA), a branch of IBEC, today published its 2012 Annual Review. The report claims that in 2010, the sector was worth €2.2bn to the Irish economy. In 2011, 77% of the forest products which were manufactured in Ireland were exported. These exports were worth €286m.
However, the IFFPA said that the failure to reach Government afforestation targets meant that the industry may not have enough indigenous raw material in the coming years to meet demand. In 2011, 6,653 hectares of new forest were planted, a decline of 20% on 2010. Current Government targets are to increase forest cover from 10.6% in 2011 to 17% by 2030. If these targets are not met, the timber processing industry may have to import raw material.
Speaking about the report, IFFPA director Marian Byron said: "Increased productivity may not translate into job creation unless Government addresses a range of issues that are preventing the private sector from planting trees. The timber processing industry is a real Irish success story having turned itself from largely supplying the Irish construction sector to exporting 77% of what it produces to the UK, France and to new markets in continental Europe. The industry has the capacity to capture more export markets if it has access to raw materials in the years ahead.
Key stats: In 2011 the sector:
- employed just under 12,000 people;
- harvested 2.7 million cubic metres of industrial roundwood from Irish forests;
- planted 6,653 hectares of new forest.
Click here for the Report (pdf).