PEFC certified timber expands timber industry’s export opportunities 05.04

PEFC certificate compliant timber from the State forest has expanded export opportunities for companies in Estonia’s timber industry, with RMK’s sales in the first three months already exceeding 790 000 cubic metres of high standard timber.

The biggest nearby market where timber with the PEFC sustainable forest management certificate is prized is the Nordic pulp and paper industry, where most of Estonia’s spruce, pine and birch pulpwood is going.

One of RMK’s biggest customers is AS Metsäliitto Eesti, which is currently exporting the most certified timber to Finland.“Without a doubt, the fact that the State forest now also supplies PEFC certified timber has expanded our business opportunities,” Enn Sapp, Managing Director of the company, said.“Demand for this timber is considerable, and we can only hope that in the future it will be matched by supply from private forests.”

RMK was awarded the PEFC sustainable forest management certificate at the end of last year.According to Ulvar Kaubi, Head of the Timber Marketing Department at RMK, there are currently 14 PEFC certificate holders in Estonia, including forest owners, companies trading in timber and print shops.“Several companies are seeking a PEFC supply chain certificate, as they can now buy certified timber from the State forest and thereby turn out products prized highly in Europe,” Kaubi said.

PEFC is a widely recognised global scheme for assessing sustainable forest management under which compliance with the set standards is confirmation that the forest is being managed in a balanced manner in environmental, social and economic terms.

The PEFC forest certification scheme was set up in Europe in 1999 to promote sustainable forest management and, above all, to involve smaller forest owners.As a scheme to better consider the interests of forest owners, PEFC quickly spread in Scandinavia – occasionally in tense contrast with FSC, the certification scheme set up earlier.

In addition to the PEFC certificate, RMK continues to supply FSC certified timber as well.The FSC forest certification system was set up in the United States of America in 1993 and was initially aimed at the conservation of rain forests.As a trademark proving the sustainability of forest management, the certification scheme soon spread to European countries as well.The certification schemes impose on the forest manager standards somewhat higher than normal, that is, the legislation in the country of its location, and monitor compliance with the sustainability standards in environmental, economic and social terms.

RMK is a profit-making state agency established under the Forestry Act, aimed at sustainable and efficient management of the state forest.RMK grows forest renewal material, organises forest works, carries out practical nature conservation works and deals with the sale of forest and timber.In addition, RMK establishes opportunities for hiking in nature and forest recreation on recreational areas, in Estonia’s five national parks and 40 other protected areas, and shapes awareness of nature.RMK manages 38% of Estonia’s forests.

Further information:
Ulvar Kaubi
Head, Timber Marketing Department, RMK
Tel +372 676 7042, +372 513 7042