Wednesday, 19 December 2007


The Finnish forest industry together with the paper and pulp industry are facing hard in the near coming future.

Just today one of the two big paper manufacturers announced their plans to invest 4 billion Euros in a pulp mill factory in north western Russia right after having announced layoffs for about 2500 employees and several factory closings around the country as well as several hundreds in their factory in Canada, claiming it to be effects of future decreasing demand on paper as well as increased costs of wood,

The other big paper manufacturer is just negotiating with the unions on how to proceed with their layoffs affecting another 600 workers in several factories and closing dons of production lines as they are not, at least to my knowledge, closing down whole factories, as Xmas bonuses this year yet. But next year maybe?

Now the agricultural- and forest producers union state that the forest owners are not to be blamed and they claim the factory closings is not a result of increased raw wood prices as this is less than 10% of the costs but more the result of a global overproduction on many paper qualities instead together with the climbing energy prices and increased wages for paper industry workers. This being the result of the several weeks’ long strike of paper workers union in spring 2006.

Anyway, the Saimaa Canal has been leased by the Finnish from the Russians and a new contract is due to be signed by end of this year as the old agreement runs out in 5 years time and a great deal of the raw wood material for the pulp industry imported from Russia has been transported to Finland on boats on the Canal. Maybe there won’t be any need to sign another lease on the Canal for the Finns as it won’t be affordable anymore to import any wood from the east.

The Russians have also denied abolishing the high export taxation on wood despite talks with both the Finnish government representatives as the representatives of the EU and the increasing taxation will have the effect that hardly any wood will be imported from Russia in the future as it will be too expensive.

So here comes my clever question, of course as an ignorant foreigner, what is wrong with using domestic wood instead?

There are great forests here in this country and the forest industry has announced them only being in need of birch wood as there is not enough natural resources to match the demand. Maybe grow more birch forests to match the future demand on it or has this just been another Finnish scheme to get Carelia back unnoticed and this time in wood, buy it back in small pieces of wood. At least it would be a much healthier way than it being involuntarily inhaled by the people all over southern Finland as tiny smog particles from forest fires burning in Carelia during the summer of 2006.

Anyway, today is your last chance to send you Xmas greetings if you want them to arrive in time for Xmas Eve here in Finland. During the years the habit of sending each other Xmas greetings with a paper cards seems to have grown more and more outdated as hardly anyone seems to bother sending cards anymore. I am not sad about receiving my Xmas greetings by e-mail, on the contrary, I prefer the more personal greetings with photos of the family or drawings from our friends children or even clips from Xmas parties, singing Xmas carols or some schools’ theatre play more than the traditional greetings sent with the postman to be delivered on your door step as I can save them to my hard drive.

The Xmas cards one still tends to throw away after the holiday season anyway and they are more and more becoming a waste of paper, except for elder people who are not into this high-tech society we nowadays live in.

1 comment:

  1. That's so sad.

    The forests of Finland seem so beautiful (at least from what I can tell in photos)

    Luckily, nowadays I send e-cards :)