B.C.’s value-added wood manufacturing expanded through collaboration
October 13, 2023 By Government of B.C.
Value-added wood manufacturers are encouraged to join three new accelerator tables that will work to expand the sector in B.C.
Expanding local production of higher-value wood products creates family-supporting jobs, supports thriving local economies, and ensures B.C. gets the most value from harvested trees. A strong value-added manufacturing industry diversifies the forestry sector, buffering against global market challenges.
“I’ve spoken with forestry businesses and value-added wood manufacturers in every corner of the province and I can attest to the challenges they face, and the many great ideas they have,” said Bruce Ralston, minister of forests. “These accelerator tables will bring people together to address those challenges, find ways to keep more fibre in the province to support local manufacturing, and get new ideas on the docket and moving forward to support local jobs and regional economies. This is part of how we’ll get more value out of the trees we harvest.”
The province, in partnership with the BC First Nations Forestry Council, the BC Value-Added Wood Coalition and the Council of Forest Industries (COFI) are hosting the tables to bring together First Nations, value-added manufacturers and forest licensees. Together, the tables will develop joint solutions to sustain, grow and diversify B.C.’s value-added sector with a focus on increasing the flow of fibre that manufacturers rely on and finding ways to expand local production of high-value wood products for B.C. and international markets.
“By bringing diverse parties from across the forest value chain in B.C. together, this initiative will help increase collaboration between primary and secondary producers. New partnerships in wood manufacturing will support economic development in Indigenous and local regional communities while meeting growing North American and global market demand for innovative low-carbon wood products,” said COFI president and CEO Linda Coady.
There will be north, south and coast accelerator tables to focus on the unique characteristics and manufacturing requirements of these regions. The first regional sessions will be hosted virtually and are scheduled for (all times Pacific):
- North Table: Oct. 19, 2023, 9-11 a.m.
- South Table: Oct. 19, 2023, 1-3 p.m.
- Coast Table: Oct. 24, 2023, 1-3 p.m.
Accelerator tables will continue to meet through winter 2024 to focus on solutions for key themes identified in the initial sessions and will conclude with a series of recommendations to support expanding the value-added manufacturing sector.
Value-added manufacturers are operations that make wood products such as mass timber, furniture, veneer, plywood, panelling, shingles, flooring, utility poles and log homes, and includes the emerging bioeconomy sector. A valuable part of B.C.’s construction industry, value-added wood products are less carbon intensive than steel and concrete, supporting the province’s CleanBC goals and the continued shift to a clean economy.
The value-added accelerators are the next step in a series of programs the province has introduced to support the growth of value-added manufacturing in B.C. In January 2023, the Ministry of Forests introduced a new Value-Added Manufacturing Program, run by BC Timber Sales, to establish a dedicated fibre supply for small and medium-sized manufacturers.
To support the upgrading and retrofitting of mills to produce more value-added products, the province introduced the BC Jobs Manufacturing Fund, with a $180-million investment.
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