Spanish plywood producer Garnica is a leading force in the European plywood industry with an estimated turnover of €350m and seven production plants.

Its 1,200 employees are spread over five mills and two offices (Logrono and Madrid) in Spain, as well as two production sites in France. The mills are situated in the five main poplar farm basins in Europe.

With such a large production base and easy access to poplar wood, it’s not surprising Garnica is promoting a solution to the Russian birch plywood shortage affecting Europe.

International sanctions imposed against Russia following the invasion of Ukraine are still in place, with the effect that no Russian or Belarusian wood products can be imported into the EU and other allied countries.

Russia was one of the main suppliers of plywood, mainly birch plywood, exporting more than 1 million m3 of wood to the EU in recent years.

Hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of birch plywood have also been historically exported from Russia to the US, according to the USDA foreign agricultural service.

At the same time, the international timber certification bodies FSC and PEFC have declared wood from Russia, Belarus and the conflict zones of Ukraine to be “conflict timber”, causing their certifications to be suspended for the duration of the conflict.

As existing stocks of Russian birch plywood dwindled in Europe, industry suppliers have been looking for alternative plywood specifications for birch ply applications.

Garnica is promoting the fact that the European poplar, eucalyptus and pine tree farms it sources its wood from allows it to offer products made from combination of species that can be used for all applications, including decoration, furniture, construction, transport, packaging, flooring and other uses.

The birch plywood applications therefore can all be covered by alternative products.


Garnica’s main alternative to Russian birch is Reinforced, a mixed hardwood core plywood, which combines poplar and eucalyptus globulus.

As the name suggests, the Reinforced range is billed as having high strength and resistance properties and typical uses include exposed edges in furniture and decorative applications.

The outer face is available for decorative applications in North American hard maple.

Garnica says maple has a style, in terms of colour and grain, that is very similar to birch and believes “maple is the new birch”.

Maple is of unquestionable origin as it is sourced 100% from North America, from both the US and Canada. The wood originating from these areas promises a stable and reliable supply with no volume restriction.

Reinforced is also available with European poplar faces,

Garnica also has alternatives for other applications such as construction, transport and packaging with the Laudio range, which is radiata pine-based plywood from certified farms in northern Spain. The radiata pine core is reinforced with eucalyptus globulus. Within this alternative are the Laudio Form range, a smooth phenolic film designed for formwork and Laudio Wire, with a non-slip surface for industrial and vehicle flooring.


Other news at Garnica includes plans to open a new plant in Uruguay, the company’s first factory on the American continent, whose last stage will involve the production of finished plywood panels. The factory will be located in the city of Treinta y Tres, in the north-east of the country.

Garnica plans to create more than 150 jobs, representing a great source of high-quality employment in the region.

Construction was expected to start during the summer and production will begin from 2024 onwards.

“Our new Uruguayan plant will serve us in two ways,” Garnica said.

“First, it will provide access to a new type of wood, eucalyptus grandis, cultivated on local FSC-certified tree farms. Secondly, it reinforces our sustainability strategy, which is to promote the use of tree farm wood while encouraging innovation and rural area development.”

The land transfer was made on April 18, 2023. The following day, the Uruguayan minister of work and social security, Pablo Mieres, received the Garnica team to highlight the value of the project, as it represents a significant source of quality employment in the area.