Sawing to success, a Swedish family business

Sawing to success, a Swedish family business

3rd May 2023

With the environment and sustainability a worldwide priority, it’s refreshing to discover a family business in Sweden operating six timber sawmills and a pulp mill producing paper and board for food packaging. 

Renewable resources is the buzzword at ATA Timber, one of Sweden’s largest privately owned sawmills, producing timber for the construction industry since 1945. 

Steve Place heads up their new regional office at Epsilon House, handling imports through their own terminal at Sheerness in Kent.  With more than 25 years in the business, he’s part of a dedicated team based at Ipswich and Colchester, with almost 100 years collective experience between them.  

ATA manages its own independent log procurement business, sourcing the finest quality raw materials from sustainable forests in southern Sweden.  Most of their timber is exported to markets in Europe and worldwide, with the UK an increasingly important market.

Spruce and pine are in high demand as softwood building materials, with ATA Timber suppling builders merchants across the UK.  Locally, Coastal Building Supplies and Collier & Catchpole (both still family businesses) buy ATA timber. Even their hauliers, Nicholls Transport, are an environmentally aware family business with exclusively gas-powered trucks.

Says Steve Place, “It’s all about our relationships with customers, the knowledge and experience we bring and the service we provide. The market is constantly growing and evolving. We’re working with a sustainable product where longer term demand is going through the roof.”

Choosing Masterlord Office Village for a new office was “ridiculously quick” says Steve. “It’s a great location for all our team and close to the A12 and A14. Having a staffed reception and being part of a business community is a real bonus. We moved in within a couple of weeks of deciding. It was very easy.” 

Steve travels between customers, ATA Timber offices in Colchester and Sheerness and their head office in Sweden, with his colleagues, Karen and Lucy, at the Epsilon House office. 

ATA Timber plants around 3,000,000 saplings in Sweden each year as part of their commitment to renewable resources. It’s a policy reflecting their commitment to the environment and the sustainability of their business.

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