Date Posted: 17.12.2015
Forestry Services Ltd win Forestry Agribusiness of the Year 2015 Award
By Graham Clifford - The Sunday Business Post
For 30 years Forestry Services Ltd has been the ‘go to’ company for all forestry services in Ireland – from planting to management – and at the recent National Agribusiness Awards they collected the Forestry Company of the Year award.
“We were thrilled to receive this award. It’s recognition of the vast array of services we offer and helps grow our status within the industry in Ireland,” explained Paddy Bruton, the Managing Director of Kilkenny-based Forestry Services Ltd.
Established in 1985 the company provides services in forest establishment and management, road construction, forest thinning including harvesting and timber sales, national and international forestry investment, woodland valuation, taxation advice and a wide range of associated services.
“The Government has an afforestation target of 14,000 hectares per annum in Ireland but the annual rate is currently just over 6,500 per annum. The list of incentives for landowners who consider planting forestry are numerous and we anticipate more will opt for forest plantation in the coming years,” said Mr Bruton.
Indeed the Cope21 agreement, as set out at the recent Climate Change conference in Paris, is likely to further boost the forestry establishment sector in Ireland, as forests sequester CO2 from the air and also provide a key to building resilience to flooding by reducing surface water run off.
“It will be necessary to have more land planted to offset the CO2 increase which is inevitable with an expansion in dairy and beef herds, this has many additional national benefits including rural employment and increased timber supply into the future particularly to the emerging biomass market” explained Paddy Bruton.
He points out that forestry plantations are fixed assets and by their nature increase in value each year with growth - giving a solid yield.
There are no establishment costs as these are paid for by the Government by means of afforestation grants and landowners can earn between €440 and €615/ha/yr in income tax-free forestry premiums which can also be combined with the basic payment scheme in the case of farmers.
Plantations require moderate to low added capital investment
over time - relative to asset value.
Additionally their value does not fluctuate in comparison to property price fluctuation and with the cost of timber increasing, both nationally and internationally, the wisdom of the investment is indisputable – especially on marginal land.
“Another incentive is at the last budget the Minister for Finance abolished the high earners income tax restriction which previously limited the exemption to €80,000 per annum. From January 1st next this change comes into law,” Paddy Bruton told the Sunday Business Post.
Forestry Services Ltd provides free consultations for those landowners thinking of forestry planting.
A core part of the business includes forestry management and plantations set prior to the Celtic Tiger era are now in need of major thinning.
Paddy Bruton explains: “In the late 80s and early 90s between 12,000 and 20,000 hectares were planted each year. Now thinning of those forests is required. The yield from the material removed is significant and sold to the sawmilling & biomass industry, amongst others, leading to profits for the landowner. “We take care of everything from the thinning process to the actual marketing stage. We ensure the entire process is seamless for the forest owner.”
With the increased range of incentives available to landowners in terms of planting forestry the sector is set to see a significant upturn in 2016 and beyond. From small acorns then large successful and, in the case of Forestry Services Ltd, award-winning companies grow.
A full list of the comprehensive services provided by Forestry Services Ltd is available on the company’s new and easy to use website www.forestryservices.ie
The whole team with the Forestry Agribusiness of the year award 2015