Primary - Providing marketable products: 2007 Ellis - Primary Timber Processing

RWS theme(s)
Economic Development: “To encourage co-operation between growers to develop long-term supply contracts to provide stability in timber markets.” Action: ED3b

The strategy successfully identified a number of key issues and a major market opportunity.

Timber production remains the economic driving force for the majority of woodland management, both in the state and private sectors. It has been estimated that the net output (staff costs plus profit) associated with wood and timber production from the East of England is about £15 million per year.

Like all basic raw materials wood usually requires processing before it can be used effectively. Primary processing in generally the breaking down of round logs into square edged timber at sawmills or the commutation into wood chips for further processing into panel products or paper. Modern, highly efficient sawmills will only deal with softwoods or hardwoods and softwood mills in particular tend to specialise in differing log sizes (either small or large). It has frequently asserted that the lack of markets, in effect primary processing facilities, is a barrier to the effective management of the woodlands of the region.

Initiative description
RWS identified the need to create a new regional bulk market primary processing facility to shape round logs into square-edged timber. Ellis duly made the investment in a 100m3 processing facility.

Lesson(s) learned
Influencing just one component of a multi-dimensional problem, even in a substantial fashion (as was the case here where a multi-million pound investment was encouraged) is not sufficient to resolve a complex stability problem within the EoE timber market.

Future developments

Web Link

Website by Dynamic Creative.