Why Have Timber And Wood Imports Surpassed €1 Billion In Under 3 Years – Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle, to clarify why Ireland has had to import over 1 million 840 thousand tonnes of timber and crude wood materials since 2015. Deputy McGrath was speaking after a Parliamentary Question addressed to the Department of Taoiseach revealed that the total cost of the imports from 2015 to July 2017 amounted to €1.011 Billion:

“I think there are serious questions to be asked here in terms of the obvious lack of capacity within our own indigenous forestry sector.

We need a clear answer as to why we are importing timber and wood on this scale, to the tune of hundreds of millions of euro each year.

In 2015 alone we imported €157 million of wood and €226 of timber related product. Surely a sizeable proportion of that could have been purchased from indigenous businesses if we had the capacity to match demand.

As I understand it, the total value of the forestry and forest products sector to the Irish economy is estimated at €2.2 billion, with close to 12,000 employed in the area.

This is a clear indication that we need to be doing more to grow this sector while striking a prudent balance with other aspects of land use,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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