Supplier’s search for a buyer to buy its land for timber and its timber products in Ireland has begun after a massive storm last week.
The company said it has been in contact with the Government to offer help and was in the process of contacting more than 1,500 landowners and suppliers for help.
“We are looking at the options available to help get us back on track and to be able to provide the best product for the customer in our industry and the best value for our customers,” said Simon O’Neill, senior vice president of marketing and marketing services at Supplier.
“I’m very hopeful that we will be able help our customers and the market in the short term and then see how it evolves in the longer term.”
He said that the company would provide a further update as it gets closer to the date of sale.
“As the process moves forward we will continue to work closely with suppliers and retailers to offer our products to the best possible pricing and delivery options available for our industry,” he said.
“The Government has been very supportive and we are looking forward to continuing to work with them in the future to make sure we can support our customers in our efforts to find a viable buyer for our land and its products.”
Last week, a storm brought torrential rain to the north west of Ireland and heavy winds.
There were severe power cuts and landslides, and some roads in and around the region were closed.
The storm caused widespread damage and killed three people, including an eight-year-old boy.
It was the second time this year that Supplier has been affected by storms, having been hit by a storm in August.
In January, a wind-driven storm dumped more than 6m tonnes of rain on the company’s land and forest products, including a total of 1.6 million trees.
“Supplier’s position is not strong and is not secure,” Mr O’Neil said.
“We have had a great run of luck with the weather in recent months and we’re hopeful we will find a successful buyer for the land and our timber products and hopefully move on to other business activities.”
The company had been looking for a new buyer for some time, with a number of other companies, including Irish Forestry Association and the Irish Forest Council, also offering to help.
Mr O’Donnell said the company was working with a range of suppliers, and that its goal was to find the right buyer for all of its timber and products, and to get back on the right track.
“This is not a decision that we’ve taken lightly, and we’ve been working closely with our suppliers in recent days and weeks,” he added.
“While we have a lot of work ahead of us and our team will continue work with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (DAAR) and the Department’s Land and Plant Management Branch to determine the best way forward to get our products back into production.”
The government said the Government would continue to support Supplier, and provide a range the company could use as it moves forward.
“It’s vital for the forestry industry to continue to provide value to our customers, as the market is increasingly demanding,” said a spokesman for Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly.
“Over the coming weeks, the Government will work with suppliers to help them find the best options for sourcing and processing their timber products.”
A spokesman for the Dáil’s environment committee said the committee was not aware of any specific request from Supplier for assistance.
“However, if there is a request for assistance, the committee will be reviewing it and will consider the relevant legislation,” the spokesman said.