Is France about to witness a renaissance for its timber industry?

A log yard in France. Image: French Timber.

With a turnover of EUR60 billion and 440,000 jobs distributed across the country, France’s timber industry is witnessing a renaissance and revitalisation as the nation looks to sustainable timber production.

 Made up of a long value chain consisting of numerous individuals and companies, woodlands, sawyers and woodworkers, the wood industry in France is well-established in the country. Home to the third-largest collection of forests in Europe, the French wood industry is also stepping up its efforts to industrialise, making the industry more competitive by promoting timber construction and improving access to forests.

After a long and continuous downward trend in employment levels in the wood industry, which was also the source of the second-largest deficit in France’s trade balance where unprocessed timber was exported and finished products of greater value were imported, technical and technological innovations in the industry have brought about positive prospects for economic growth and job creation, according to the International Labour Organization, Forestry and Wood Industries Committee.

Moreover, an initiative is addressing the trade imbalance and contributing to the rise of timber construction in the country. With this development, new markets can be found in the industry, with the expansion also potentially creating 60,000 new jobs, as well as making France’s forests a renewable source of an industry that is innovative, modern, responsible, and sustainable.


This article is part of a longer series in the Sylva Wood 2018 show preview. It was first published in Panels & Furniture Asia (May/Jun Issue). Sylva Wood 2018 runs from 25 – 27 June in Shanghai.