Lands used for forestry cover about 86 per cent of the total land area of Finland. Sound forest management practices applied in previous years mean that these woodlands now have more wood than ever before, so logging may even be increased considerably in a fully sustainable manner. The new bioproduct mill in ÄÄnekoski will increase the annual use of pulpwood in Finland by an estimated four million cubic metres, meaning a rise in national pulpwood demand of about ten per cent. Most of this increase will comprise softwood fibre. Logging of softwood species in Finland can be sustainably increased by as much as 7 million cubic metres.
Timber trading and forestry services at Metsä Group are the responsibility of Metsä Forest, which is another business area of the Metsäliitto Co-operative parent company. The Metsäliitto Co-operative is a consortium of about 122,000 forest owners who supply most of the wood used in Finland by the Metsä Group. Most of Finland's forested lands are held by smaller private owners or families with an average holding of only slightly more than 30 hectares per owner.
"A clear restructuring is taking place among forest owners in Finland as they move into cities and generation shifts occur. At 62 years, the average age of forest owners is also currently quite high, although it is gradually falling and the ability to use electronic instruments is increasing accordingly. On the other hand, the forestry management skills of owners are declining at the same time," explains Juha Jumppanen, Member Services Director at Metsä Group, who is responsible for sales, marketing and development of forest services.