The visit was arranged by forestry and wood trade body Confor. Its Chief Executive Stuart Goodall stressed that planting more trees and using more wood could deliver an economic and environmental double-whammy for Scotland.
Mr Goodall said: “With COP28 taking place in Dubai at the time of the visit, this was the perfect time to discuss how forestry and wood processing can do even more to help achieve the Scottish Government’s ambitious target for net zero by 2045.
“Planting fast-growing trees for wood production will lock up the most carbon by 2045. By locking up that carbon in timber frames and throughout houses, then planting more trees in their place, we can also provide long-term, well-paid jobs across Scotland’s rural economy.
“Realising that ambition will require co-operation between the industry, Parliament and Government, and it was great to meet with Jim Fairlie to discuss how that can be highlighted at Holyrood.”
Jim Fairlie MSP said: “I was delighted to meet with representatives from Confor and RTS Forestry, a very important local company in my constituency.
“The wide-ranging discussions took in everything from the need for timber, environmental concerns, the need for better engagement in the farming community but probably most importantly, the incredible potential that the £1 billion forestry timber industry represents for Scotland.
“The silo thinking that it’s a choice of either trees or farming isn’t necessarily the case and I am very keen to work with stakeholders from all sectors to maximise the opportunities that are available right now. That should result in Scotland importing far less of its timber needs and creating a vibrant sector that employs even more people in well paid highly skilled jobs.”