IFA President Tim Cullinan has welcomed the establishment of the Irish Forest Owners group. It’s a national producer organisation, which will have an important role to play in supporting forest owners in the management of their forests; improving market access; and increasing the bargaining power of forest owners.
“IFA has advocated for many years the importance of establishing a national network of producer organisations for forest owners. Producer organisations have proven to be one of the most effective ways to create efficiency and scale in the supply of timber from small fragmented family forests that we have in Ireland,” he said.
He said that many members of the Irish Forest Owners are also members of the IFA Farm Forestry Committee, and IFA looks forward to working closely with the group to deliver for forest owners.
Nicholas Sweetman, Chairman of the Irish Forest Owners, said he appreciated the support from IFA during the formation of the national network of forest owner groups.
“Irish Forest Owners will focus on supporting local producer groups in the areas of timber mobilisation, afforestation, education and training, as appropriate to the needs of each group. A key element of that is having a functioning licence system and we support IFA’s emergency plan to resolve the current crisis,” he said.
IFA Farm Forestry Chairman Vincent Nally said groups like Irish Forest Owners are critical to support the mobilisation of the farm forest resource.
“Co-operation will enable small farm forests to be managed more economically, and to take advantage of new value-added opportunities in the bioeconomy. To avail of any of these opportunities, they must first be able to get a licence to manage their forest,” he said.