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Doyle Addresses AGM of Irish Wood Producers Group

Speaking at the AGM of Irish Wood Producers Group in Mullinavat, Co. Kilkenny, tonight, Minister Andrew Doyle, TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, highlighted the importance of such Groups.

The Irish Wood Producers Group is a relatively new producer group, formed by a collaboration of four groups in Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny and Laois, with a current membership of 650.

Commenting on the level of members of the Group, Minister of State Doyle stated that, “by any reckoning, a group that represents 650 owners is a substantial force within the Irish forestry sector and offers huge opportunities through co-operation, in the sharing of knowledge and experience and in acting as a unified negotiating voice on behalf of its membership”. 

Minister of State Doyle continued “I believe that such collaboration and growth in membership is a welcome sign of the health of our forestry sector overall and an important indicator of the potential that exists within the sector for the future as it shows the interest of the members in maximising the potential of their forests”.

The Minister of State noted that forecasts have indicated that roundwood supply will increase significantly over the next two decades, with almost all of the increase coming from privately-owned forests and advised the AGM that “Wood mobilisation is recognised as one of the most significant challenges facing the forest sector over the coming decade”. He also outlined the measures being taken by his Department to address that challenge, including the availability of Forest Road grants to encourage and facilitate thinning, harvesting and extraction and added that almost €28 million will be provided towards the building of forest roads over the period of the current Forestry Programme [2014-2020].

While noting the advantages to individual forest owners of membership of a forest owner group, Minister of State Doyle added “On a sectoral level, I believe that forest owner groups such as Irish Wood Producers are playing an important role in helping to realise the potential of our forests. Not only can groups serve as a trusted and independent source of advice and information for forest owners who want to learn more about managing their forests and selling their timber, they also represent an invaluable contact point for the industry that depends on a steady supply of timber as its raw material.”

View Press Release as a PDF: DAFMPR 60/2016 (pdf 366Kb) 

 

Date Released: 17 June 2016