Companies and state entities launch the Brazilian Tree Industry (Ibá)

Created: 01 April 2014

The new association brings together the wood panels and flooring, pulp, paper, and energy forests industries, as well as independent planted tree producers

São Paulo, April 29, 2014 – Aiming at creating a new economic and industrial industry, whose main vector of production and social, economic and environmental development are planted trees; 62 companies and 8 state entities have just created the Brazilian Tree Industry (Ibá). The association will seek to increase the competitiveness of products obtained from planted eucalyptus and pinus and other species, which are planted for industrial purposes, with special mention to wood panels, pulp, paper, energy forests, as well as independent producers of planted forests and institutional investors.

Headquartered in Brasília, with an office in São Paulo, Ibá will now represent the member-companies of the Brazilian Wood Panel Industry Association (Abipa), the Brazilian Association of High-Resistance Laminate Flooring Industries (Abiplar), the Brazilian Association of Planted Forests Producers (Abraf) and the Brazilian Pulp and Paper Association (Bracelpa).

This union is a result of a benchmarking study which showed the touch points that the industries represented by these entities had in common, having mainly the forestry base as the strong differentiator of the business in addition to social and environmental awareness. The study also highlighted the companies’ investments in technology for multiple uses of the forestry base, the use of biotechnology focused on the development of genetically modified trees and nanotechnology.

The study also stressed that this industry, as result of the potential to absorb CO2 from planted trees, may contribute to mitigate the effects of climate change and, consequently focus even more attention on the Brazilian proposals for the topic. "The natural consequence would be to seek more synergy and more intense institutional work, through one single spokesperson. Ibá was created after two years of debates," said Carlos Augusto Lira Aguiar, chairman of the Deliberative Council of the new association.

Ibá has already been conceived with a solid and significant foundation for the domestic economy. The planted tree industry had a gross revenue of R$ 60 billion in 2013, and represents 6% of the Industrial Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Exports totaled US$ 8 billion, which is equal to 3% of Brazilian exports. Additionally, the industry is responsible for five million jobs in the Country, which represents approximately 5% of the economically active Brazilian population. This performance is a result of 7.2 million hectares of planted trees that occupy less than 1% of Brazilian territory. Of this total, approximately 50% of plantations are certified, thus guaranteeing the sustainability of and good practices in the industry.

"The R$ 53 billion in ongoing and forecasted investments of our companies are based on planted trees, aimed at increasing plantations, expanding mills and new units by 2020", states Elizabeth de Carvalhaes, CEO of Ibá. For Elizabeth, while giving the forestry base higher relevance, the entity will aim at making Brazil the global benchmark in planted trees. The plantations will become more and more relevant as result of the growth of the world population, which in 2050 will reach nine billion people, and they will replace fossil materials for renewable and recyclable products.

Elizabeth also highlights that Ibá member-companies stand out for their investments in social programs, forestry management practices, certified plantations, conscientious consumption of natural resources and programs to foster small rural producers, which generate evermore social value in Brazilian regions that are far away from urban areas.

"By valuing family farming, these programs help to reduce the pressure on native forests and to recover degraded soil. Moreover, they diversify local activities, create jobs and income and contribute to develop the communities in which the plantations and industries are located," she adds.

Competitiveness agenda - Ibá’s competitiveness agenda is built on the certainty that planted trees are the future of renewable and recyclable raw material, which is friendly towards the environment, biodiversity and human life. The negotiation agenda includes, among other items:

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