French national radio channel reports on Estonian wooden house industry
08. June

Last week the French public radio channel Radio France Internationale  (Rfi) visited different wooden house manufacturers in Estonia and collected material for reporting on the subject of wood industry.

Laurent Berthault, a journalist of the radio channel visited the Estonian Wooden Houses Cluster and the companies. According to Lauri Kivil, Manager of the Estonian Wooden Houses Cluster, involvement of different media channels for presentation of the sector has really great impact in the context of international marketing. “It is extremely
important to create consistently positive image of our wooden house manufacturers and the wooden houses on the target markets. In the case of Rfi, it is to do with the biggest radio channel in France with 40 million listeners. A talk show in such media channel on the subject of Estonian wooden house sector and the wooden houses certainly creates credibility with regard to Estonianwooden houses and their manufacturers among the potential interested people."

On the first day, Sven Mats, the Chairman of the Estonian Woodhouse Association and the Executive Director of ASi Matek gave Laurent Berthault a full overview of the wooden house industry. Within the framework of the radio interview they spoke about the development and experience of the sector, export markets and the arrival to the success story of today. “It was not a surprise for the journalist that it is one of the most developed sectors of industry in Estonia but he was still surprised that small Estonia is the biggest wooden house exporter in Europe,” said Mats.

The journalist selected one wooden house manufacturer from South Estonia and two from Harju County for his visits. First, the journalist visited the manufacturing of EstNor OÜ, where Renee Mikomägi, the Chief Executive introduced the business activities of the
company. “Since we make both prefab as well as handcrafted log houses, the journalist was first of all interested in how it is possible to operate the manufacturing and marketing processes of two totally different products,” Mikomägi brings out the most important subject of the meeting.

Siim Leisalu, Member of the Management Board of the company Timbeco Woodhouse OÜ who headed the meeting, said that some international media reporters had visited their company now and then but the arrival of international journalism at their manufacturing via the Wooden Houses Cluster was for the first time. Leisalu points out that the journalist was mainly interested in the company's Japan-oriented export, its volumes and the types of buildings. The journalist also liked the Timbeco Woodhouse OÜ warehouse building with quite complicated wooden structure, built last year. “The building for storing the material already works as a local reference object for our customers,” is Leisalu pleased.

On Thursday, the journalist visited the biggest manufacturing complex of Palmako AS in Kavastu where Katrin Reiljan, the Export Specialist and Ingrid Lamp, the Marketing Manager gave a thorough overview of the activities of the company and the factories. “France is certainly a very important market for us. For example, in 2014 we sold 8,000 sets of wooden houses there," says Reiljan. In addition to garden houses, Kavastu also produces glulam products and since some wood is always left over in the production
process, Berthault was especially interested in the process of adding value to the wood entering the manufacturing. “We make effective use to the last piece of our sawn timber,” says Lamp. “Some years ago we decided that we need to consider the manufacturing leftovers not as a problem but as an opportunity. We built a fully automatic wood pellet production building and today the pellets have become a notable export article,” describes Lamp.

Information about the broadcast commentary going on the air will be made public on the homepage of the Wooden Houses Cluster. Rfi stories can be listened to afterwards also on the Internet.

Laurent Berthault and Siim Leisalu, Member of the Management Board of the company Timbeco Woodhouse OÜ