Palmako’s compact garden houses have conquered Europe
TIMBER IS IN THE DNA
MADE IN ESTONIA STANDS FOR PREMIUM QUALITY
Palmako’s main products are small wooden houses, playgrounds, garden furniture and fences – all sold under their own brand at DIY and gardening shops everywhere in Europe. The level of quality and confidence has allowed Palmako to move higher in the value chain, they no longer need to focus on rebranding to others or white label sales. “Our customers on our main export markets already associate “Made in Estonia” with premium quality, but our key strength lies in flexibility and a diversified portfolio,” explains Raudsepp.
The company’s clients include B2B wholesale centres and B2C retail chains – the former are happy with Palmako’s wide variety of products shipped from a single source and the latter appreciate the level of quality at affordable rates. It has taken years to build a network of trusted partners, but today Palmako’s products are available at thousands of points of sale.
COMPETING INTERNATIONALLY FROM DAY ONE
Raudsepp believes that Estonian timber producers got a jumpstart in the early 90s because they immediately set their sights on export markets due to the small size of the domestic market. “This forced us all to be more efficient and provide better quality than anybody else, strengthening the entire sector.” There haven’t been any attempts to protect the market or build a system of subsidies – survival in the fierce free market economy has made Estonian business more resilient to change and upset.
Today the timber industry in Estonia relies on modern and flexible technology as its competitive edge, providing world-class products through investing in state-of-the-art equipment. Hard-working Estonians can deliver superhuman results in their niches, as larger operators are unable to provide smaller production series or more complex solutions. The ability to adapt to quickly changing circumstances and to interact with different cultures set the foundation for Estonians’ success on global export markets in other fields as well.
NO ALTERNATIVE TO TIMBER
The business model of Palmako is founded on the belief that there’s no alternative to timber as a building material in the long run. “We won’t be able to save our planet by switching off the lights once per year, but choosing appropriate renewable building materials can contribute a great deal to the Earth’s future sustainability.”
Forests cover nearly a half of Estonia’s territory. Not only is wood a source of income, forests also serve as a spiritual haven. “We need to manage our forests to ensure a balance between the economy and the ecology,” explains Raudsepp. As a locally-harvested material, timber is more resilient to disruptions in the global supply chains. The local importance of timber upgrading is beyond comparison, as most of the sawmills and production facilities are in the countryside, providing work to at least 60 thousand people in Estonia and balancing the inequality between rural and urban areas.