Södra is continuing to invest in non-toxic saplings. During the first half of the year, 28 million saplings were sold, half of which featured mechanical plant protection, meaning they were entirely free from toxins. For the full-year 2015, Södra forecasts sales of 16 million non-toxic saplings, corresponding to an increase of 80 percent compared with 2014.
The figures were presented by Södra's Chairman Lena Ek at a meeting of forest owners at Rimforsa on Friday.
"Innovation and sustainability are key issues for Södra's members. It's fantastic to see that the plant protection system that we have developed has now captured a significant share of the market. As I can see it, the obvious benefits are an enhanced work environment for members and employees and the elimination of toxins harmful to nature," says Lena Ek.
In 2009, Södra initiated the development of its own non-toxic plant protection against the pine weevil and, in 2013, it introduced Cambiguard, currently the dominating protection system in the market. Cambiguard has demonstrated excellent results and sales have increased steadily. In 2014, some 9 million saplings with mechanical protection were sold, while the forecast for 2015 is 16 million, indicating an 80-percent rise in the share of non-toxic saplings to more than half of all saplings sold. There has also been considerable demand from forest owners.
"Our protection system is so effective that we are now seeing the elimination of the use of insecticides on saplings. If this trend continues, we will soon only produce non-toxic saplings," says Göran Örlander, Head of the Silviculture Department at Södra.
Södra has invested and is continuing to invest in switching over its production to produce only saplings that feature mechanical and non-toxic protection. The application of Cambiguard currently takes place at Södra's nursery in Falkenberg, where the company has a fully operational production line.
The results in Falkenberg have been so positive that Södra has also decided to invest SEK 15 million in the nursery in Flåboda. The investment in Flåboda, located outside Tingsryd in the province of Småland, will go to the construction of an extension of the building and the purchase of equipment to apply Cambiguard. Currently, Cambiguard is applied to spruce saplings. Part of the project will focus on adapting the line for pine saplings.
The investment will provide the opportunity to offer the Cambiguard plant protection system to even more forest owners in the future. As a result of the investment in Flåboda, Södra will be able to double the number of saplings sold with the Cambiguard system in the coming spring.
Cambiguard is flexible and stretches as the sapling increases in diameter. This high level of elasticity means that the plant protection is effective for up to two years, and thus the forest owner does not need to re-treat the sapling. It is no coincidence that Cambiguard has a bright colour. A number of studies have shown that pine weevils avoid bright surfaces. However, the most important reason for the white colour is that it does not absorb as much heat as a dark colour, thereby offering better conditions for the sapling in the forest.
Södra Skogsplantor produces and sells about 35 million sapling per year to forest owners, primarily in Southern Sweden. Production takes place at facilities in Falkenberg and Flåboda, which is located close to Tingsryd. Södra Skogsplantor reports sales of approximately SEK 110 million.
For further information, please contact:
Johan Jonsson, Head of Södra Skogsplantor
Tel: +46 470 893 34
Göran Örlander, Head of the Silviculture Department, Södra
Tel: +46 470 893 62
Annica Gerentz, Director of Communications, Södra,
Tel: +46 470 894 81