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Forest industries strategy aims to boost economic growth

A new ambitious forest industries strategy published this week aims to double the sector’s economic growth to £2bn a year by 2030.

Launched by the Scottish Forest and Timber Technologies Industry Leadership Group (ILG) the “Roots for Further Growth” strategy sets out a long-term vision for economic growth up to 2030.

Chair of the ILG and Chair of the BSW Timber Group, Martin Gale CBE said: “The Forest and Timber technologies sector is an important sector for Scotland’s economy.

“Over the last decade the sector has grown significantly and our ambition is to double our contribution to the Scottish economy by 2030.

“The potential of a sustainable natural material like wood fibre is an exciting one in a low carbon future world, offering opportunities to sequester and store carbon, substitute high embodied energy products and even provide a feedstock to replace fossil fuel derived products.

“All these outputs, and more, can provide significant economic and environmental benefits for the people of Scotland to 2030 and beyond.”

Welcoming the strategy, Rural Affairs Secretary Fergus Ewing added: “The outputs of these forest industries are very important to Scotland, contributing significantly to our economic sustainable and inclusive growth in the rural economy and delivery of our climate change plans.

“In response to the healthy forecasts of increased wood fibre availability, the sector has invested heavily over the past 10 years to achieve world-class wood processing facilities. This in turn has created many new jobs, often in the more fragile rural communities.”

The Roots for Further Growth strategy covers the wide-ranging economic and business activities of the forest industries sector. This includes domestic and imported wood supply chains, engineered wood products and systems, recycled wood and wood energy. It also offers opportunities for new green industries such as wood-based biotechnologies.

The forest industries sector contributes significantly to Scotland’s climate change mitigation by sequestering carbon in sustainably managed forests.

The strategy also includes a detailed action plan showing how all the priorities will be achieved in partnership with others, including Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Forestry Commission Scotland and Skills Development Scotland.

Market round-up

Messrs Craig Wilson Ltd sold 137 store heifers at Ayr on Thursday to a top of 223p per kg and an average of 184.8p (-0.8p on the fortnight), while 155 store, beef-bred bullocks peaked at 231.3p and levelled at 190.2p (-3.5p). Twenty store, dairy-bred bullocks sold to 138p and averaged 130.4p (+2.5p).

C&D Auction Marts Ltd sold 4465 prime lambs in Longtown on Thursday to a top of £156 per head and 276p per kg to average 174p (-1.7p on the week).

The firm also had 5054 cast sheep forward when heavy ewes averaged £720.4 (-36p) and light/export-type ewes levelled at £39.71 (+£4.55). Rams averaged £72.32.

Source : HeraldScotland

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