The Latvijas Finieris Group’s path to excellence spans 30 years. Thanks to all the colleagues, clients and partners with whom we have made our history. Thanks to all those with whom we are building a sustainable future!
We do not know who was the first to come up with the brilliant idea of plywood as a material. However, historical evidence suggests that it happened in ancient Egypt. Latvijas Finieris is not that old, but the origins of our company can be traced back to 1873, with the first steps towards the birch plywood production industry in Latvia.
Since then, history has taken many twists and turns. The most important milestone is 2 October 1992, when the joint-stock company Latvijas Finieris was established. Celebrating the thirtieth anniversary, we are proud that our company combines generations of knowledge in the Baltic Sea region in the production of birch plywood. We are pleased that our customers around the world appreciate the service they receive and the high quality of our plywood products. And we are sure of sustainable development because we base our future on renewable resources, modern technologies, and a smart team.
Promises delivered. Naturally.
Latvijas Finieris Group Mission, Vision, Conviction, Values
To enable customers, forest owners, cooperation partners, employees and other stakeholders of the company to develop long-term partnership: responsible work, responsible profit and responsible investments.
To be the global leader of performance oriented birch plywood based product solutions.
Plywood products are and will remain among the most beneficial industrial uses of birch wood, at the same time other birch based products will play increasing role in bioeconomy development.
Our core values are:
- Safety. We create a safe environment and act in a sustainable manner.
- Respect. We respect each other and promote honesty, loyalty and mutual trust.
- Development. We strive for self-improvement and encourage the growth of others.
- Leadership. We are the owners of our work, we take initiative to get job done.
Milestones in the history of Latvijas Finieris
- 1873The woodworking company F. V. Nather opened its doors in Sarkandaugava. In 1907 they were the first to begin production of plywood in Latvia. After several owner changes, in 1939 the company was renamed Latvijas Bērzs.
- 1918Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were established as independent countries.
- 1921Estonian woodworker Martin Luther established the joint-stock company Lignum, which in 1929 in Riga opened at that time the most modern plywood mill in the Baltic states.
- 1923Five Latvian entrepreneurs established the joint-stock company Furniers - the largest birch veneer and birch plywood manufacturer in the 1920s in Latvia, especially famous for their aviation plywood.
- 1940Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia were occupied by the army of the Soviet Union. All the local private companies were nationalized.
- 1975Lignums, Furniers and Latvijas Bērzs mills were united in Latvijas Finieru ražošanas apvienība ("Latvian Veneer Production Association"). At this time, the management of the company was strengthened in the conviction, that plywood as a material has vast future potential in multiple industries. Crucial decisions on the future technological development of the mills were based on this conviction. For example, the production of large format plywood sheets in Lignums.
- 1987A close interaction and transfer of knowledge about production technologies and product development with plywood industry colleagues in Finland. First joint steps in trade and commerce were made, but most importantly - knowledge and experience in international collaboration behind the "Iron Curtain" were gained.
- 1990The Baltic states - Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia - regained their independence.
- 1992Finnish company UPM decided to decline to form a joint company. So the resolution is made to take the initiative ourselves - on 2nd October joint-stock company Latvijas Finieris was founded. First shareholders are 209 workers of the Latvian Veneer Production Association.
- 1993Latvijas Finieris bought half of the capital shares of SIA Troja which produced toy rocking horses. The historical product hasn't disappeared, but through further development of the Latvijas Finieris course, the company specializes in further processing of birch plywood. ● Latvijas Finieris was one of the few companies joining the founding of the Employers' Confederation of Latvia - at the moment, one of the most essential and most influential organizations representing employers in Latvia.
- 1994First collective labour agreement was signed, where signing parties chose education and implementation of new technologies as the foundation of the company's development.
- 1995Latvijas Finieris joined the European Federation of the Plywood Industry (FEIC).
- 1996Company decided to put at the heart of further development not only the production of plywood but also provide the market with a package of related services. By buying and rebuilding factory space in Bolderāja, a new plywood mill for further processing, Hapaks, is formed. ● Beginning of the "Birch program", which creates new levels of long-lasting collaboration and mutual exchange of knowledge with scientists, state government and education institutions, and forest owners. Also, more active collaboration in importing wood from abroad develops. ● RSEZ SIA Verems was founded. In a year, it begins its first woodworking activities in Rēzekne.
- 1998The process of founding Latvian Plywood GmbH began, which shows the decision to be closer to the customer by forming a net of international representatives of Latvijas Finieris.
- 1999Tree nursery Zābaki was founded. Nowadays, it produces 1.5 million birch, black alder and other tree plants.
- 2000Latvijas Finieris bought forestry company SIA Liepājas MRS and AS Ludzas MRS with the intent to guarantee reserves of veneer logs for critical situations if buying of them from the state or private forests would be destabilized. ● A factory Iekārtu rūpnīca was formed to produce technical and customized machinery as a separate structural unit. Now it has grown into a noteworthy machinery manufacturer, which provides supervision and realization of product development for investment projects in the whole Group and provides its services also in external market. ● An agreement was made with Brian Martin to buy 50% of shares of his company, known in Great Britain with the brand The Latvian Plywood Company. ● After the purchase of Jorab Wood AB, Latvijas Finieris establishes its first fully owned product development and sales office abroad - Riga Wood Sweden. ● Reconstruction of heat supply was made in Lignums. Now the facilities are heated with renewable resource wood, not gas. This decision changes the perception of woodworking offcuts from waste to useful by-products.
- 2001Latvijas Finieris bought the former branch of Vaivari sanatorium - camping site Abragciems. Since then, this camping has hosted guests from around the world, and everyone who visits Abragciems, arrives at the natural environment laboratory of birch plywood. ● Product development and sales offices owned by Latvijas Finieris were formed in Germany (Latvijas Finieris Deutschland GmbH on 01.02.) and Spain (Latvijas Finieris España on 17.12.).
- 2002Product development and sales office Latvijas Finieris North America Inc. was formed in the USA.
- 2003With a written permit from the city of Riga, trade mark RIGA for birch plywood was registered; it has been in the market since 1999. ● Product development and sales offices, owned by Latvijas Finieris, under the name Riga Wood, are formed in France, Finland and Italy.
- 2004Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia join the European Union. ● The leadership of the European Federation of the Plywood Industry (FEIC) for three years was entrusted to at-the-time Latvijas Finieris CEO, Uldis Biķis. ● Product development and sales offices wholly owned by Latvijas Finieris were opened in the Netherlands and Japan. The remaining 50% of capital shares of British The Latvian Plywood Company were bought.
- 2007SIA Latvijas Finieris mežs was founded. It manages all the forests and land belonging to the company. Now – more than 10 000 ha. ● The sales office Riga Wood Baltic was formed. It deals with the Latvijas Finieris retail market in Latvia and imports wood panel materials. Also, all Group’s sales companies abroad have been renamed Riga Wood. ● A new production mill, RSEZ SIA Verems, was built, where production of unique large format plywood begins. It's also the first Latvijas Finieris wooden industrial construction building.
- 2008Corporations' first investments abroad were made - plywood mill UAB Likmerė began its work in Ukmerge, Lithuania.
- 2010Latvijas Finieris suffered a raiding attempt from Russian company Sveza. Therefore, to stabilize the structure of shareholders, with permission from the Cabinet of Ministers, 18 of Latvijas Finieris shares were bought by the joint-stock company Latvia’s State Forests.
- 2011Latvijas Finieris bought actives of a bankrupt plywood factory in Estonia. Kohila Vineer OÜ began production as a veneer factory in 2012.
- 2012Group's strategy moves its attention to more thorough processing of wood manufacturing by-products by investing in science and product development. Opinion forms that in energetics, only that wood should be used, which can't be rationally recycled otherwise. Later on, this way of thinking fits well with the European Green Deal. ● Riga Wood product development and sales office, belonging to Latvijas Finieris, is formed in Turkey.
- 2014To widen and diversify the availability of wood resources, a plywood mill was bought in Sastamala, Finland. Since 2019, it has specialized in producing and delivering wet veneer to other mill of the company.
- 2016The second stage of Kohila Vineer OÜ was built and opened - the most modern birch plywood manufacturer in the world at the time. ● The new impregnation workshop opened in Lignums - it is Latvijas Finieris first step in fundamental modernization and innovation in the chemical production.
- 2018RSEZ SIA Verems formed Latvijas Finieris Foundation for Sustainable Development. Its task is to manage Sarkaņkalns, owned by the company, developing it into one of the centres of culture, environment, education and physical activities in the Latgale region by creatively communicating about the rational use of land.
- 2019Latvijas Finieris presented into the market new component glue - RIGA ECOlogical. In this glue, traditionally used fossil phenol is replaced with bio-based lignin. This technological breakthrough, achieved in close partnership with Stora Enso, is considered the most significant innovation in decades in the field of plywood gluing technology.
- 2021The Chemical Products Plant was separated from Lignums as an individual structural unit. Its main tasks: contribution to the enhancement of quality indicators of plywood; further use of by-products; continue work on the development of new composition resin, also using lignin. ● Green light for the international VIOBOND consortium project, which under the leadership of Latvijas Finieris, unites nine partners from five EU countries. ● Birch plywood brand Riga Wood was presented internationally. It highlights Latvijas Finieris individual approach to clients providing tailored high-value birch plywood solutions to 40 different industries.
- 2022Official opening of betulin mill Betulin Lab. A project which symbolizes the European Green Deal, the development of bio-economics and the potential of possibilities in the forest industry.
Latvijas Finieris around the world
Today, Latvijas Finieris has grown international with production facilities in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland, as well as 12 fully owned product development and sales companies in Europe and overseas.
Our products are sold in more than 70 countries, providing high-quality, service and tailored technology solutions to customers.