Top Finnish official: Maine’s forests are huge asset in emerging biobased economy

Maine needs to tap the potential of its forests for new frontiers in business and innovation, a top government official from forest-rich Finland told hundreds gathered at the Maine International Trade Center’s Trade Day 2019 event in Portland on Friday.

“The market is huge,” said Jaana Husu-Kallio, permanent secretary of Finland’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

She was speaking specifically about market opportunities for value-added, sustainable forest industry products, which her own country has begun to seize on, guided by a national strategy that’s regularly updated. Citing examples, Husu-Kallio said that men’s underwear in Finland is already made from wood fiber, and that her dream is to one day have all her clothes made of Finnish wood fiber.