Global trends outlined to north forestry sector

Around 70 professionals from the north’s forestry sector will learn about the impact of global forestry trends on the future forest products market this week.

Issued by HIE on behalf of the Highlands and Islands Forest Industry Cluster

Around 70 professionals from the north’s forestry sector will learn about the impact of global forestry trends on the future forest products market this week.

The Highlands and Islands Forest Industry Cluster (HIFIC) is behind the event being held at the Scottish School of Forestry, near Inverness this Wednesday 17th June at 5pm.

The programme features London based independent advisor to the forest products industry, Clive Suckling, who will provide a global perspective using key trends and research data relating to timber demand and supply world wide. Simon Hart from Egger Forestry will also present a more focussed, first hand insight by exploring issues affecting the local forestry industry.

Leading timber products supplier Balcas which operates a combined heat and power plant producing brites wood pellets in Invergordon has kindly supported this week’s event that has attracted a wide range of forestry workers, from harvesters, processors and contractors to estate personnel and public sector employees.

Chairman of HIFIC Neil Stoddart said: “What is happening in forestry in other parts of the world, including Scandinavia, North America and China has a direct impact on the industry in the UK and at a local level in the north of Scotland. It is therefore essential that we understand the significance of this activity and how it impacts the local processing sector and activity in the forest.

“Clive Suckling will outline these trends and his presentation will explore a number of areas from why we should be planting or replanting commercial forests to potential shortages in wood fibre availability.

“Simon Hart’s observations on forest industry investment and what Scotland is doing to capitalise on emerging opportunities will then provide those attending with valuable information that may help with operational and management planning at a local level.”

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has provided core funding to HIFIC to deliver eight events over a two-year period, as well as the services of a facilitator to help organise these.

Caoimhe McCarthy, HIE’s development manager for energy infrastructure and supply chain, said: “This latest event by HIFIC provides the forestry sector with excellent intelligence from two recognised industry experts. HIFIC events stimulate a great deal of discussion and the latest thinking around important subjects in the forestry sector. The networking element of these is also highly beneficial.”

Mr Nigel Manley, group supply manager with Balcas said: “Balcas is delighted to be supporting this event. Not only does it provide the opportunity for joined up thinking on issues affecting the forestry industry but it allows us to network with our neighbours in Scotland, raising awareness about our additional work in the renewables sector, in particular biomass and our brites pellet production.”

Members of HIFIC and others from the forestry sector will also take part in a Scottish School of Forestry schools event organised and run by Inverness College UHI earlier on 17th June. The afternoon event is aimed at helping young people understand more about careers, skills and working in the forestry sector.

For further information about HIFIC, please contact Simon Stewart on 01349 877477. For further information about the schools event contact Liz Barron-Majerik on 01463 273601.

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