Contractor forestry. Proceedings of the 2013 OSCAR workshop held in Honne, Norway, 11-13 November 2013
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Skilled, motivated and well-informed contractors today form the backbone of a professional, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly forest sector in the Nordic countries. This understanding forms the playground for policy makers, forestry certification bodies, forestry education, business standards and research in forest operations. The aim of this workshop is to provide a special forum for researchers, practitioners and other interested parties to get together in exchanging information, experiences and outlooks in the field of contractor forestry. The fundamental goal and our prime hope is that events like this will bring the Nordic-Baltic forest sector further in improving local and global competitiveness. These proceedings are a collection of abstracts that represent a range of issues being faced, and the status of research within the field of contractor forestry in participating countries. Contractor forestry is a term that includes both operating skills and business management acumen of forestry contractors, but also the formulation of the special environment in which they operate, not least the conditions set and information passed on by landowners, forest management companies, other supply chain actors, and the markets themselves. As such, it represents the whole spectrum of ‘service provision’ in the forestry sector – both the process of placing the work tasks on the market, successfully winning the contract, and carrying out the work in both an economically and environmentally sustainable way that promotes the long-term existence of professional contracting outfits. Not only is the Nordic forestry sector fully dependent on contractor forestry, but the region plays an important role in determining international trends in forest operations and the world closely watches developments and emulates many of them, as the CTL method continues to expand into new markets. This places special impetus on the importance of the research work being done in this field. We wish to thank the OSCAR coordinating committee for their constructive input, as well as all those who participated or contributed to making the seminar a success. We also would like to thank the Nordic Forest Research Cooperation Committee (SNS) for the financial support of the OSCAR2 network, and the Forestry Extension Institute at Honne who provided an exceptionally suitable environment and hosting for the workshop participants.