The annual report of Economie Forestière Suisse (EFS) describes the activities of the association, but also looks at the evolution of the forest industry in general. Timber harvesting decreases as forest owners must adapt to a though market. The financial results of the Swiss forestry have hardly improved in 2013. Most forestry are in red numbers, prices are low and the timber harvest has decreased. The issue has become a highly debated political object. Indeed, the Forest Policy 2020 launched just last year has set a goal to leverage the potential of sustainable logging. But the Swiss forestry sector is still far from this goal, despite the boom in the use of wood in construction and renovations and despite the positive development of the wood energy market.

 

Why are harvested always less

The annual report of the EFS identifies some causes of this state of affairs. In addition, Hans Gerber, Head of Economics Department of EFS analysis in the next edition of LA FORÊT (June 2014) the changes in demand and supply of wood over time. The reasons for the steady decline in the harvested volume are numerous. Because the price of the euro, and because some wood products (elements prefabricated, wood materials, cellulose) are not or no longer produced in Switzerland, the domestic demand for round wood and wood in general has declined. The wood used in the construction of buildings is now only 40% of Swiss origin. Over the past twenty years, Swiss industry orders for pulp and paper catastrophically dropped by 85%. An increase in demand for Swiss wood is observed only in the wood energy, but neither the price nor the quantity able to offset the decline in other sets. Contrary to received opinion, Hans Gerber notes: "The owners of forests and forest guards closely follow market demand. Production "just in time" also made its debut in the forest."

 

We could use more wood

The Swiss forests, grows about 10 million cubic meters of wood per year, of which about 7,000,000 are exploitable. But we only reaped 4.7 million in 2012, for example. Nationwide, so the potential is far from exhausted. According to the National Forest Inventory, the largest untapped volumes are in the Jura, the Préalpes, the Alps and private forests. These forests are often those where harvesting costs exceed the proceeds of the sale, and where the service is insufficient to achieve the forestry work effectively. And like many owners - private, municipalities, corporations – can’t cover their losses in tax revenues, they simply give up exploiting. To break this vicious circle, there is no choice: he must become more competitive at all stages of the value chain of wood and better educate consumers about the use of Swiss wood. Only logged forest is stable and able to consistently meet the multiple needs of society.

 

Economie forestière Suisse (EFS)

Economie forestière Suisse (EFS) is the umbrella organization of the Swiss forest owners. It represents the interests of some 3,500 public forest owners and 250,000 private forest owners. The EFS is committed to the framework conditions for the Swiss forest enterprises manage forests economically viable and environmentally sustainable. Its members are the cantonal and regional associations of forest owners, most cantons and some private forest owners. The headquarters of Solothurn employs 28 employees. EFS helps forest owners and operators to market in best conditions their timber and other forest benefits. It develops specific software and provides advice in business. In collaboration with some 200 part-time trainers, organizes more than 300 professional foundation courses. The EFS-Shop sells tools and high quality garments for forestry work. The EFS also publishes two major forest journals Swiss WALD und HOLZ and LA FORÊT.