Timber traders from the UK were taken on a Scandinavian journey of discovery at the Holmen Sawmill in Braviken, Sweden, as part of Arbor Forest Products’ (AFP) ‘Trading Closer’ initiative.
Participants from seven different AFP customers were given a rare opportunity to observe the supply chain in action, from the forests where Holmen plants, grows and harvests its Whitewood and Redwood, to the sawmill that processes the wood for the Europe, Middle East and North Africa markets.
The initiative aims to give timber traders insight and knowledge that is often difficult to access, but can be transformative to their ability to effectively sell timber products.
In Braviken, traders learned about the regulations that govern the management of forests producing wood to FSC and PEFC standards, and saw the grading, kilning and machining processes that take place before the products are shipped to AFP’s timber terminal at New Holland.
A tour of the Holmen paper mill also provided a detailed look at how the company creates products for the book, newsprint, and high-end magazine markets, and brought to light the synergies between the sawmill and paper mill, which ensure that every part of every tree is utilised productively – including waste material from the sawmill.
Traders learned how the relationship between the two mills see waste timber material become pulp for paper production, which produces steam that is bought back by the timber mill for use in its kilns. Excess energy from this process is then sold to the local city of Norrkoping.
The participants included staff members from G. Empson & Sons, West Building Supplies, Fall Timber, Green & Son Building Services, Cleveland Timber Supplies, South Tyne Building Supplies, Allan Banks Timber, and a team from Alloway Timber.