Europe and Ownership Guidance Minister Tytti Tuppurainen and her special assistant Roosa Pöyhönen were on a business visit at the Junnikkala Kalajoki sawmill on Saturday, September 10th. The event was hosted by CEO Kalle Junnikkala and Sales Director Veli-Matti Junnikkala
Minister Tuppurainen discussed the current prospects of the sawmill industry, the current situation of the industry, challenges and future needs. In the discussions, securing the availability of raw materials, which is important for the profitability of the entire industry, as well as decisions related to logistics and energy solutions, all of which play a central role in ensuring the profitability and vitality of the entire sawmill industry were highlighted.
Without forgetting the forest owners. In the discussions, a message was conveyed that the ownership and control of Finnish forest owners should be preserved and that decision-making should take into account the fact that control shouldn’t be transferred to an increasing extent to the EU.
Prosperity and tax revenue
Sawn timber is Finland’s fourth largest export item, with a value of 2.8 billion euros. It is often forgotten that the significant added value produced by sawmills for Finnish forest owners, a significant amount of about 2/3 of the logs, is returned to the forest owners as stumpage money, which in turn generates tax revenue for the state and thus for all Finns. In addition to the export market and Finnish forest owners, the sawmill industry creates well-being through employment, the sawmill industry being a significant employer both nationally and regionally. The Junnikkala sawmill, which has operated in Kalajoki for 60 years, has been one of the largest employers in the area throughout its history.
During the visit, it was also emphasized that despite the ever-changing and uncertain situation in the world, the Finnish sawmill industry is ready for significant investments.
The EUR 75 million investment and construction plans of the Junnikkala’s Laanila sawmill to be built in Oulu were naturally one of the topics discussed during the visit. For family-owned Junnikkala, the investment is historic, and the to-be completed sawmill will be a significant buyer of log wood and employer. The employment effect, both directly and indirectly through subcontractors, is more than 200 people.
Finnish wood to the world market
In honor of the prestigious visit, the production lines at Junnikkala’s Kalajoki sawmill were exceptionally started on Saturday. During the sawmill tour, the production and sawing process was familiarized and reviewed from start to finish, just as it happens during production. The Minister of Europe and Ownership Guidance Tuppurainen asked questions and was very interested in learning about the sawmill production processes. Junnikkala delivers board goods to about 40 countries, with the share of exports being about 60% of the total production.
The influencer tour of the sawmills
The visit was a part of the Sawmill Influencer Tour organized by Sahateollisuus ry and its member sawmills, which lasts the whole autumn. The aim of the tour is to make the industry familiar to decision-makers, to highlight the effects of decisions regarding the operating environment on sawmills’ operating conditions and competitiveness, and to open up the industry’s regional and national role.