Support and tools for forest service entrepreneurs - digital solutions for climate-smart growth in North Karelia

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The growing demand for remote services and the general pressure to curb and adapt to climate change bring new opportunities for forest service entrepreneurs. In the changing conditions, forest owners have more and more individual needs related to climate change. When climate aspects are taken into account in forest management more effectively than before, this growing demand can be met. Providing services for climate-smart forest management can be a strong marketing argument. By utilizing digital tools, it is possible to create added value for both the customer and the service provider with a well-planned service package.

These considerations have arisen in the joint Nomadi project of the Finnish Forest Centre, the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) and EFI, where service concepts for North Karelian forest service companies were created in cooperation with experts and entrepreneurs in the forestry sector. In practice, service concepts are suitable drafts for further work, which present examples, ideas and justifications that forest service entrepreneurs can use in developing, marketing and implementing their own services. 

Five service concepts in a nutshell

Concept I is a service concept for marketing climate-smart forest management. In this concept, the entrepreneur offering forest management services knows climate-smart forest management methods and is able to explain its benefits to the forest owner. The entrepreneur also knows how to carry out forest work taking climate aspects into account. The project has produced electronic material that entrepreneurs can use in their marketing and to support the implementation of their work. The concept explains how climate-smart forest management can be implemented when choosing periodic or continuous cover forestry and what voluntary compensation means. A series of audio recordings consisting of short episodes, “Productive forestry in a changing climate - this is how you sell your services” which can be found on YouTube, has also been produced as material.

Concept II introduces the possibilities of the forest (house)mastership service. A growing number of forest owners utilize external service providers in forest management. Forest (house)master can meet their needs with full-service packages. Forest (house)master enables effortless and worry-free forest ownership when a professional takes care of the necessary forest management tasks. The service can be tailored according to the goals of an individual forest owner. The video "The Forest (house)master - new business concept" explains the concept in more detail.

Concept III utilizes the possibilities of the Metsää service in customer acquisition. Metsää is a free meeting place for forest owners and service providers. A forest service entrepreneur can do business on behalf of the forest owner after receiving authorization, look for new customers, and market their services. By utilizing open forest resource information, the forest management service provider is able to offer the customer services where they are needed. Finnish Forest Centre’s QGIS online training package is available to support the work.

Concept IV presents standardized service packages for forest regeneration. In the service concept, the forest service entrepreneur offers the forest owner a standardized advisory and planning service as well as full packages related to forest renewal. Standardized service packages facilitate and speed up negotiations when agreeing on subcontracting and the service to be sold, and improve customer satisfaction. Descriptions of standardization of subcontracting and self-monitoring instructions for different types of work (soil preparation, seedling logistics, planting, machine planting, forest seeding, tending of seedling stands) can benefit the entrepreneur in marketing, work implementation, and quality control.

Concept V presents a webstore for forest seedlings. The goal of the service concept is to make trading of forest seedlings easier. The forest owner or forest expert orders seedlings directly from the online store, without the need for personal work on the part of the seller. The customer benefits from clear prices depending on order quantities and saves time. Time doesn’t have to be spent on separate price inquiries, seedlings can be acquired to the right place and time effortlessly, and the establishment of a new forest is smoother. The online store saves the seedling producer's time and serves as a marketing channel.

The Nomadi project was funded by the Regional Council of North Karelia through the European Regional Development Fund as a part of the European Union’s COVID-19 activities (REACT-EU).

Descriptions of service concepts and related materials are available here: Forest management service concepts

More materials available on the project partners' websites: Finnish Forest Centre; Natural Resources Institute Finland and EFI. 


More info: Michael den Herder, EFI,