- Economic Dynamics
Wood / Furniture
Midi-Pyrenees is the French region with the 3rd largest surface area of its timber natural resource
The forested land of Midi-Pyrenees, covering 1.37 million hectares, accounts for 30% of the region, making it the 3rd largest forest in France in surface area and the 4th largest in terms of standing timber. Hardwood species constitute 3/4 of the overall resources.
Approximately 60% of the natural growth of forests is harvested annually, which represents 3 million m3. Issues in the timber industry lie at the heart of sustainable development with the shared objective of companies and public authorities to foster better exploitation of this natural wealth used by the regional economy and for job creation.
Alongside large pivotal companies in the sector (Fibre Excellence and Tarnaise Des Panneaux), many very small businesses and SMEs in primary and secondary processing are actively involved in regional planning, particularly in rural areas.
While some sectors have undergone total transformations with the closure of production sites (sawmills, furniture manufacturers, paper industries), overall, the sector has maintained a good level of activity thanks to wood construction and wood energy that offer real prospects for growth. Furthermore, the chemistry of wood rather than petroleum represents one of the opportunities to promote the development of biomass.
Wood industry - Paper/cardboard - Panels
These sectors are represented by the 3 most important companies in the timber industry in Midi-Pyrenees: Papeteries de St Girons (cigarette paper manufacturer - 300 employees), Fibre Excellence (Manufacturer of paper pulp - 250 employees) and Tarnaise des Panneaux (manufacturer of hard-wood fiberboard - 120 employees).
Fibre Excellence procures +/-40% (i.e. +/- 400,000 T/year) of its supplies from the region. Moreover, thanks to its cogeneration installations converting related wood products, the St Gaudens site ensures its energy independence.
In Midi-Pyrenees, this segment is the largest employer of the forest-products sector, and is growing steadily particularly for construction framing, with a rate of 20% in 2009 (source AFCOBOIS).
One of the challenges of our region is to develop reconstituted solid wood from regional tree species, whereas local framework manufacturing companies must buy from external suppliers in particular Germany or East bloc countries.
Wood is the second important renewable energy source after hydropower, and is one of the areas of development of the industry as it benefits from the proximity of abundant natural resources. In Midi-Pyrenees, wood consumption by households (1.8 million m3) is 80% of the total consumption of wood energy.
Meanwhile, the public authorities encourage the creation of industrial and collective heating systems. There are over 150 units including forty of more than 2 MW and about thirty heating networks.
- In Q2 2012, the forest-products industry in Midi-Pyrenees had 3,538 registered establishments with 16,978 employees of which nearly 50% were concentrated in Haute-Garonne and Aveyron Departments.
- 87% of the establishments have fewer than 10 employees and are mainly involved in forestry and logging activities.
- 270,000 forest owners, 3 forest cooperatives, 520 forestry contractors, 114 sawmills.
- Turnover of the industry: 1.2 billion Euros, including 42% in wood-construction.
- Exports: mainly paper pulp, paper and cardboard, i.e. 44% of the total exports of the sector in Midi-Pyrenees.
- Imports: furniture tops the list of imported products, representing 33% of the total imports of the industry, coming mainly from China.
- Fibre Excellence (31 - St-Gaudens)
- Papeteries de St Girons (09 - Eycheil)
- Tarnaise des Panneaux (81 - Labruguière)
- Valmont-Séverac (12 - Séverac-le-Château)
- Jeld Wen France (32 - Eauze)
Forestry cooperatives/ONF/Forest communities/ Private owners
- ONF (Sud-ouest)
- Union Régionale des Communes Forestières
- Centre Régional de la Propriété Forestière
Education & Training
- Lycée Vincent Auriol (81 - Revel)
- Lycée des métiers d’art, du bois et de l’ameublement (81 - Revel)
- Lycée professionnel des métiers du bois (31 - Montauban-de-Luchon)
- Lycée des métiers Le Garros (32 - Auch)
- Lycée des métiers du bois et de l’habitat (12 - Aubin)