Name / Title
Case Study Region
Coillte is a national based company that operates offices in the West of Ireland – A Regional Office is based in Oranmore, County Galway.
Coillte office and forestry specialist based in Galway, Mayo and Roscommon
Business; advice service; training scheme; government
Main activity / focus
Coillte is a commercial state owned company operating in forestry, land based businesses, renewable energy and panel products. The company employs approx 1,100 people and it owns over 445,000 hectares of land, about 7% of the land cover of Ireland.
Target beneficiaries / market
Benefits local farm foresters and land owners, contractors to work in harvesting, haulage, engineering, establishment, and nurseries. The general public who enjoy the tourism and recreational aspects of Coillte.
Established in 1988.
Current Funding source(s)
Coillte is a private limited company with all shares in the company held by the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Minister for Finance on behalf of the Irish State.
The Board of Directors is appointed by the Minister for Agriculture and Food.
Coillte was established under the Forestry Act 1988, which defines the principal objectives and duties of the company. The company started trading in 1989 when it acquired ownership of the State’s forests. The principle purpose of the company was to commercially manage these forest assets. The company has undergone a major transformation since that date by becoming a European scale forestry and forest products business.
Coillte owns over one million acres of land, most of which is forested. Its forestry businesses include log sales, farm forestry services, plant sales and laboratory services. Coillte Farm Forest Investment Services, which was established in 1993, provides a comprehensive range of forest establishment and woodland management services and products. Additionally, Coillte provides advice on financial and silvicultural aspects of forestry from seed to sawdust and to date have planted over 50,000 ha for clients who include Private Land Owners, Pension Funds, Investment Companies, Consultants, and Local Authorities. Coillte employs contractors to work in harvesting, haulage, engineering, establishment, nurseries and districts and are central to the success of a wide range of operational programmes. Coillte’s Plant Sales business produces a comprehensive range of trees, shrubs and forest seed for both the Irish and European forestry market.
Coillte have a clear focus on maintaining a balance between commercial success and environmental and social benefits. In 1999, they developed a nature conservation strategy for its estate in line with its policy of responsible forest management. Coillte’s forests are certified to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) scheme since May 2001, which demonstrates that they are well managed in accordance with strict environmental, social and economic criteria. Coillte demonstrates its commitment to responsible forest management throughout its estate which now offers: 15% (88,000 hectares) of Coillte’s estate managed with biodiversity as the primary objective; Over 2,000 km of walking and cycling trails across some of the most beautiful Irish landscape; More than 150 recreation sites and 10 forest parks maintained by the company; Habitat restoration projects.
An additional division of Coillte is its Panel Products Division which consists of SmartPly Europe Ltd. This segment produces Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and Medite Europe Ltd. which produces Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF). These sustainable timber products are a key part of building for a carbon neutral future.
Looking to the future Coillte have established Coillte Enterprise as a venturing arm of the Coillte Group, which seeks to identify new business opportunities and to extract value from the Group’s broad asset base. It explores business potential in areas such as Land Sales and Development; telecommunications; Renewable energy; Wind farms and Biomass. Business interests were also explored within Ancillary Businesses such as Coillte Nurseries; Wood Products and Coillte Training and Safety Services.
All Coillte services are nationally based with a strong presence and concentration in the West of Ireland.