Lack of raw materials threatens the sustainability of the pulp and paper sector


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The forestry sector accounts for 9% of Portuguese exports and the pulp and paper cluster secured 55% of this sector’s sales abroad in 2022, but the growing shortage of raw materials threatens its sustainability, warns Navigator.

“The shortage of raw materials has been increasing, threatening the sustainability of the activity and forcing hundreds of millions of euros of imports of wood that could be produced in Portugal and contribute to the enhancement of the rural economy,” reads a statement released today by the pulp and paper company.

According to The Navigator Company, the forestry sector in Portugal, and in particular the pulp and paper sector, “has been responsible for creating high added value, exporting tradable goods, creating jobs (with a large number of agents involved in the production, processing and marketing of its products) and playing a role as a driving force in disadvantaged areas”.

“The vitality of the forestry sector, and in particular the importance of its processing industries, is today strongly expressed by its significant export character, totaling around 9% of national sales abroad,” he says, adding that, “in 2022, the pulp and paper cluster alone ensured the equivalent of around 55% of sales abroad for the entire forestry sector.”

On the other hand, Portuguese forests also ensure the creation of qualified jobs, the generation of wealth in the rural world and the settlement of populations, Navigator points out, adding that “the eucalyptus sector alone generates more than 80,000 jobs in the Portuguese economy”.

Responsible for managing around 109,000 hectares of forest across the country, Navigator appears in Iberinform Portugal’s 2022 ranking of the “2,000 largest companies in the Setúbal district” as the company that has created the most value for the region, having strengthened its position as the third largest exporter in Portugal and the largest generator of national added value.

According to the data in this ranking, cited by Navigator, “the company ranks second in turnover in that region, closing the gap to first place”: For the first time, this ranking places the company just 2.8% behind the turnover (not consolidated) of the leader in the ranking, Autoeuropa.

Navigator claims to represent approximately 1% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), around 3% of national exports of goods and more than 30,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs throughout the country, having invested a total of 210 million euros in the forestry production value chain by 2022.

More than 92% of the group’s products are sold outside Portugal, in 30 countries on five continents.

Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert
Hervé Hubert is a 55-year-old writer and journalist based in Porto, Portugal. Born in France, he brings a unique blend of French and Portuguese perspectives to his work. Education Hervé studied Journalism and Literature at the University of Lyon in France. After completing his studies, he gained valuable experience working with various French media outlets (Portugal France also). Career He worked for several years as a journalist in France before making the move to Portugal. In Porto, he joined the Portugal Pulse team as a staff writer. Skills Hervé specializes in storytelling, investigative journalism, and cultural commentary. He has a flair for capturing complex issues in a relatable way. Personal Life He currently resides in Porto and enjoys the city's rich culture, from Fado music to Francesinha cuisine. Hervé continues to maintain strong ties to his French heritage, often traveling back to France for family visits and cultural exploration. With his unique background and diverse skill set, Hervé Hubert adds a layered, multicultural lens to every story he covers.

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