Tree Frog Forestry News

Value-added Wood Products is BC’s Fastest Growing Forest Products Sector

By Kelly McCloskey
Tree Frog Forestry News
September 13, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

WHISTLER, BC — Doug Donaldson, BC’s Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, opened the 16th annual Global Buyers Mission (GBM) in Whistler, BC to a standing room crowd of more than 700 delegates. Introducing the Minister was Greg Stewart, BC Wood’s Chairman and President of Sinclair Group Forest Products Ltd.

Prior to introducing the Minister, Mr. Stewart thanked the government and industry sponsors of the GBM but also the hundreds of buyers, architects and delegates whose participation ensures the event’s success. Speaking to these delegates and the hundreds of manufactures and suppliers of value-added wood products present, Stewart noted the good works of the association in helping grow the value-added sector. “BC Wood is the voice of value-added wood sector and given that it’s the fastest growing sector in the forest products industry—it’s a great time to be that voice”.

Mr. Donaldson in turn, welcomed the 400 international buyers from 20 countries, emphasizing the importance of the event, their attendance and the millions in business being done. Anticipating potential concern over BC’s continuity of supply—due to the current market situation, US tariffs, tight fibre supply, etc.—Donaldson emphasized his government’s efforts to support supply, diversify markets and encourage more value-added wood manufacturing (and thus jobs) from each log harvested.

Primary sponsors of the GBM include the Federal Ministry of Natural Resources Canada and BC Forestry Innovation Investment. Other government sponsors include Global Affairs Canada and the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, while corporate sponsors include Interfor, San Group, The Waldun Group, PPG, Glandell Enterprises, BFL Canada, RBC and Bell Enterprises. Stewart emphasized that ‘”without their financial support, the GBM would not exist”.

Each year the GBM generates about $35 million in new direct sales, but according to BC Wood CEO Brian Hawrysh, “the larger benefit lies in the number of quality leads and relationships fostered for future sales, as well as the time and money saved by smaller firms who lack the critical mass to market overseas”.