The largest forestry expo on the planet
THE WORLD’S largest forestry expo was bigger than ever this year both in terms of area and number of exhibitors. Many visitors were drawn to Elmia Wood to see new forestry products and services and to learn about new hightech solutions and expertise in the forest industry, about 30 kilometers south of Jönköping, Sweden.
Elmia Wood in 2017 continued its long-standing tradition not to disappoint, with records being broken on many counts. A total of 555 exhibitors from 28 countries, of which 200 were there for the first time. There was over 85,000 square meters of stand space, 7km of forest trail, around 131,000 square meters of demo area where forest machines were shown in operation. The expo saw 41,834 visitors walk through the door along with more than 200 accredited journalists from 24 countries all viewing 143 large-scale forest machines positioned along the fair’s large-scale trail.
More than 230 Australians plus a small number of Kiwis made the long-haul trek to Sweden, inclusive of companies such as Komatsu, John Deere, Tiger Cat plus representatives from AFCA, IFA and many contractors and individuals. It was Brenton Yon from Komatsu Forest Australia’s sixth Elmia Wood Expo. Brenton was impressed by the variety and number of exhibitors on site as well as the large number of Australians who were present. He said that at times on the forest paths there were 5 to 6 people abreast and you were continually bumping into Australians! He believes that Elmia Wood also shows our AUSTimber equivalent is without a doubt a world class event and what equals success is the holistic support from industry and exhibitors alike.
Jon Lambert, from Heartwood plantations in Gippsland, Victoria, is a fourtime veteran of Elmia Wood and said “It’s the busiest I have ever seen it”. Typical to Nordic weather, the first two days saw mother nature open up the rain clouds and caused some issues with traffic leading into the expo, however, by day two Elmia Management had put in place control measures to ensure a smoother flow. The rain did not dampen spirits nor deter the Europeans who came in droves. By days 3 and 4 the weather improved significantly.
For Stacey Gardiner, General Manager of the Australian Forest Contractors Association and first time Elmia Wood attendee, the fair was an invaluable experience with planning for AUSTimber2020. “Not only did I get a firsthand appreciation of the breadth and scale of exhibitors possible, I also left with knowledge of ways in which AUSTimber can grow and the range of possibilities going forward,” she said.
She also hoped the connections made and promotion for AUSTimber during the visit would open future international opportunities for 2020.
What can we learn from the Swedish and Europeans? They are definitely years ahead of us in terms of innovation and technology. The stats say they have been doing forestry for a lot longer so they admittedly have had a head start, but their efficient ways such as self-loading log trucks, have evolved due to their intensive small plantation sizes. Could this be adopted with our large-scale operations? More extreme weather patterns and hours of daylight have also forced the Europeans to adapt over time and innovate. All in all globally forestry is in good shape and this was reflected by the numbers of both exhibitor and attendees at Elmia Wood 2017.
Not many people down under are aware of Skogs Elmia which is a smaller version of Elmia Wood attracting around 26,000 visitors but by all counts not one to be dismissed due to the size. Skogs Elmia is the Nordic region’s biggest forestry expo with around 200 exhibitors from 24 countries. The event is held at the same venue as Elmia Wood from 6-8th June 2019. For more information regarding this please contact Nick Reynish firstname.lastname@example.org
Left to right: Francis Weston (ForestryConnect) Bob Gordon (CEO IFA) Nick Reynish (Elmia Wood Aus/NZ representative)
The Australian flag flying high at Elmia Wood among other big forestry nations.
A leg of the 7km forest trail.