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 B.C. supports growth in local wood manufacturing
[Jan 31, 2024]

The province will help made-in-B.C. manufactured wood products access new market opportunities with $250,000 to promote B.C.¡¯s competitive and sustainable wood products suppliers.

¡°Wood manufacturing is growing in British Columbia as more forestry businesses retool and expand their facilities, helping make sure we get more jobs for every tree harvested,¡± said Forest Minister Bruce Ralston. ¡°Having our local manufacturers take centre stage in global markets that are increasingly looking for renewable wood products will support highly skilled and good-paying jobs here at home.¡±

The funding, provided through the Ministry of Forests, is for BC Wood to market the province¡¯s wood manufacturing sector in global markets.

¡°Showcasing and marketing B.C. wood products on the global stage is important work that spotlights the innovation our sector is known for,¡± said Brian Hawrysh, chief executive officer, BC Wood. ¡°Our recent involvement with First Nations, industry and the newly formed Ministry of Forests¡¯ forest sector transformation team has reinforced the importance of this work as a key strategy in diversifying and strengthening B.C.¡¯s forest economy.¡±

The need to promote B.C.-manufactured wood products was reinforced by the newly established Value-Added Accelerators, an initiative that is bringing together wood manufacturers, First Nations, forest licensees and the province. The accelerators are identifying opportunities to grow forestry jobs in high-value wood manufacturing. The first round of accelerator workshops took place in fall 2023 through four virtual sessions and three in-person workshops, with a total of 564 participants bringing their ideas to the table. Next steps include a series of networking events to promote partnership opportunities and a plan of recommended actions to continue growing B.C. wood manufacturing.

To further support local wood manufacturers, the province has a Value-Added Manufacturing Program, run by BC Timber Sales, which provides a dedicated, open-market supply of fibre for small and medium-sized manufacturers. Registration for the program is open and businesses are encouraged to apply here.

¡°We are excited to participate in the new BC Timber Sales Value-Added Manufacturing Program. This is going to help us access the fibre we need to make the high-value products Silva Timber Products manufactures, and create jobs here at home,¡± said Richard Kaufmann, chief executive officer, Silva Timber Products. ¡°Coming together at the Value-Added Accelerators is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with others on innovative ways to support diversification of wood manufacturing in B.C.¡±

Examples of manufactured wood products include veneer, panel products, decking, flooring, moldings, shingles and siding.

In December 2023, Ralston led a delegation of forestry sector representatives and First Nations leaders to Japan for a sector trade mission, including growing the international wood manufacturing and mass timber markets. Forty delegates met with more than 200 Japanese business and government representatives across two cities in four days. Japan¡¯s preference for manufactured wood products makes it a strong market, as B.C.¡¯s forest sector becomes increasingly higher value.

Source:  news.gov.bc.ca