The industrial company Jarcrac Forest Finland develops its operations at a rapid pace in Ranua. The entrepreneur tells that exports from Lapland to abroad are running smoothly, and there is also no lack of labour force.
– Construction and manual work have always interested me, describes Entrepreneur Jari Konttila as he explains why he started working as an entrepreneur.
Jarcrac Forest Finland Oy was established in Ranua, in Southern Lapland, in 2010. Jarcrac produces powerful and reliable small forest machines for challenging wood harvesting sites according to customer wishes. Contracting companies and private landowners mainly purchase the machines.
Entrepreneur Konttila is proud of the products he has developed. He says it has been aimed to be made into the best machine in its size category. Konttila believes that since the product development stage has been completed, the company can focus on increasing sales and production.
The company’s turnover had had a good growth rate when it increased from one million euros in 2020 to almost two million euros in 2021. The target turnover for 2022 is three million euros. During the following year, the aim is to build approximately twenty forest machines.
The speciality of Jarcrac’s small forest machines includes, among other things, environmental friendliness and adaptability. Konttila explains how most customers want a machine that is customised in one way or another, and for this very reason, they have been interested in Jarcrac’s product.
The environment has been considered in the design of the machine. Due to the load-bearing rollers, the root damages of trees remain small, and the ground surface remains in better condition. Furthermore, the machine has been designed with rugged terrains in mind; for example, travelling through soft and wet soil does not cause problems.
Exports and connections work well in Lapland
Most of the forest machines are sold abroad, particularly to the Baltic countries, such as Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, and further to Canada and Japan. Jarcrac’s machines have been sold to a total of eight different countries. In addition, they have been delivered closer to Lapland’s municipalities, such as Rovaniemi, Sodankylä, Kolari and Tornio.
Lapland is an export province. Lapland’s share of all the exports in Finland is seven per cent, although the share of its population is only three per cent.
– We receive components from all over Finland. This is a central location. Machine construction has been successful here in terms of distances and cargo too, and Konttila adds, – Exports have been smooth. Cargo transport is nowadays easy, simple and affordable.
The location of Ranua in Southern Lapland is quite excellent: the international airport and railway connections are just an hour’s drive away in Rovaniemi, and the port of Kemi is 120 kilometres away.
Skilled labour in Ranua for the growing company
Jarcrac has recruited more workers and currently employs six employees in its one-thousand-square-metre premises in Ranua – and soon more shall be employed. Konttila states that he has not had any difficulties finding labour force in the area.
Ranua is an excellent place to live, and skilled labour also arrives in the area as returning residents. For several consecutive years, Lapland has received migration gain in the working-age population and an increasing amount of people dream of moving to Lapland. A study mapping the migration potential of Lapland (in Finnish) reveals that more than half a million Finns in the 18–59-year-olds age group would be interested in moving to Lapland. Five per cent of the respondents said they would move to Lapland permanently or temporarily.
The increase in labour force has been necessary because Jarcrac is making more sales than ever before. The year 2022 has started well during the first three months, and new domestic customers are coming up. There is certainly enough work, Konttila admits.
– We carry out everything we have sold and more, he says before returning to work.