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Minister Killeen launches 'Irish Forest and Forest Products Association'

Mr. Tony Killeen TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food with responsibility for forestry, today officially launched the Irish Forest and Forest Products Association (IFFPA) at Confederation House, the head office of the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC), in Dublin.

The new body, which has been formed under the auspices of IBEC, aims to align all the interests in the forestry sector under one umbrella organisation with a view to maximising the economic, social and environmental benefits of the forestry industry.

Welcoming the formation of the new body, Minister of State Killeen noted the range of forestry related businesses that are eligible for membership and expressed his confidence "that the new body will, as IBEC intends, provide a platform for development, consultation and partnership and help to promote the whole of the timber and forestry industry to its maximum potential".

He also considered the formation of the association to be timely in view of the comment in the Malone report on forestry that "there is a need to promote the sector more effectively, to bring more cohesion as well as encouraging a wider and deeper forest culture in this country".

The Minister added, "I am hopeful that the establishment of the IFFPA will add impetus to the forestry sector, help to generate a stronger forest culture, draws together the totality of views in the sector and formulate views on promotional initiatives".

Minister of State Killeen concluded by reiterating the importance of forestry to the economy, environment and society in general and looked forward to working with organisations such as the IFFPA in the promotion and development of the forestry sector.

Date Released: 21 May 2009