Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Shane McEntee TD, has launched Teagasc Forestry’s new e-Newsletter.

Published by Teagasc’s Forestry Development Department, who are responsible for providing a programme of forestry advisory, promotion and training services to the farm forestry sector, the newsletter will be circulated free-of-charge to signed-up subscribers and will provide updates on events affecting the forestry industry.

At the launch Minister McEntee welcomed the creation of the newsletter saying: “this initiative is a continuation of the excellent work that the Teagasc Forestry Development Department is doing to promote forestry and address the information needs of a growing complement of forestry owners.”

The launch comes just days after the Irish Forestry and Forest Products Association (IFFPA) published its 2012 Annual Review. The Review warned that Government afforestation targets need to be met in order to provide the industry with the raw material it requires. The accompanying figures highlighted this need showing that there were just 6,653 hectares of new forest planted in 2011, a 20 percent decline from 2010 figures. Speaking about the report, IFFPA Director Marian Byron said: “Increased productivity may not translate into job creation unless Government addresses a range of issues that are preventing the private sector from planting trees”.

The Government is aiming to achieve 17 percent forest cover in Ireland by 2030. In doing so they hope to further develop the forestry industry which has so far proved a significant success story for the Irish economy. As IFFPA Director, Ms Byron, stated: “The industry has demonstrated a genuine capacity to develop export markets, generate wealth and create sustainable regional employment. IFFPA maintains that the realisation of Government afforestation targets alongside the required infrastructure development to mobilise raw materials to market, in conjunction with a supportive regulatory framework, will facilitate the continued growth of the sector.”