Finland’s forest industry – A lesson for the world

Oulanka National Park, Finland

The large quantity of forests that inhabit the Finnish lands is quite staggering and is something that needs to be seen for yourself to believe it. Forests for many years now have always had a significant role on Finland’s economy and even for the Finns themselves.

The industry wasn’t introduced until the 19th century. Well after the role that tar production and the hunting of world animals for fur began. Sawmilling exploded in the 20th century, alongside the extensive pulp and paper industries that are all based on wood.

Wood and the Finnish economy

The value of the forest industry was more than a staggering EUR 22 billion in 2017. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland, 20% of Finland’s export revenue is thanks to the huge forest sector that dominates their economy.

The special thing about the forest industry and what it makes it so important is the fact that the inputs and services needed to grow the production is driven domestically.

Again, in 2017, services for wood harvesting and long-distance transport of wood together accumulated to over EUR 800 million.


The commercial utilisation of forests is based on the management of forests with decisions and measures taken away by forest owners. The operations in forests must be profitable economically speaking so that investments are made in forest management allow the wood market to function and run smoothly as they should.

For hundreds of thousands of Finnish forest owners, forests are a significant source of income and is the most commonly used property item.

In 2018, the stumpage earnings of private owners of forests rose to mare than EUR 2.3 billion and grossed EUR 2.66 billion. Furthermore, owners invested approximately EUR 300 million in forest management at the same time.

These investments cement themselves as insurance in the sustainability of forest operations and opportunity to use forests for generations of the future.


You would think the chopping down of forests would be an impact to recreational activities and sports that depend on these kinds of regions. However, forestry operations are no obstacle to berry and mushroom picking.

Everymans right – the right of public access – enables everybody to benefit from forests. About 60,000,000 kg of wild berries are pricked from forests every year.

To put into perspective the shear amount of forestry that covers this country, Finland has about 10 trees per every person in the world.

Proper soil preparation together with planting breeded seedling material and fertilization of older forests can further increase tree growth.

With efficient forestry, the annual level of cuttings of timber can be increased by 40% without reducing the volume of wood in the forests. This is due to their cut and plant method to ensure that forests do not lose their value.

Who said money doesn’t grow on trees?

Credit: William Wand – The Figure Head

Source: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Finland

Author: The Figure Head

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