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McEntee welcomes seminar on Innovation in Wood Usage, Design and Care

Shane McEntee TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, today opened a seminar entitled "Wood for All Seasons" dealing with the innovative use of wood and wood products mainly in external applications.  The seminar, organised by the Wood Marketing Federation, took place in Farmleigh House, Dublin.

Welcoming delegates, the Minister of State commented, "This is a timely and important topic as we seek to raise the level of use of wood products in the construction sector and in the outdoor environment". Acknowledging that "the sustained efforts by the sawmills and boardmills, in tandem with those of Government Departments and agencies, and the work of the Wood Marketing Federation, is winning export contracts and markets, in the face of stiff competition" with exports of forest products worth almost €290 million in 2010, he added that innovation and new thinking were critical to growing markets for wood products.

In his opening address to the Seminar, Minister of State noted the interdependence between timber growers and users, with growers seeking good prices and markets and timber processors and end-users requiring an adequate supply of quality raw material and added "While the market is a major driver of wood demand, the work of Teagasc and the Producer Groups around the country in raising awareness of the benefits of thinning and active management of plantations has also played a significant role".  He also spoke of the importance of ensuring that wood products are processed and graded according to accepted standards so they can be specified and used with confidence by engineers and architects.  To this end, he noted that his Department is involved with the industry and end users in updating relevant standards and codes of practice in relation to the use of wood in construction and supports work undertaken in these areas by the Timber Standards Consultative Committee of the NSAI.

Date Released: 11 May 2012