COFI 2023: Event preview
Focusing on partnerships, resiliency, modernization, and sustainability
April 10, 2023 By Jennifer Ellson
The annual BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) convention returns to Prince George, B.C. with the theme “Sustainability is Growing”.
“A lot has changed since COFI held our last convention in Prince George in 2018 and we’re looking forward to being back in the heart of the interior forest industry in British Columbia,” says COFI president and CEO Linda Coady. “We will be gathering with industry, suppliers, as well as Indigenous, government, community and workforce leaders to focus on what we can do together to address current challenges and opportunities.”
From April 12-14, speakers will highlight the importance of B.C.’s leadership in helping the forestry sector shape a sustainable future for the province, including B.C.’s Premier David Eby who will be addressing the delegates for the first time since assuming office in October 2022.
“One thing we do know for sure is that demand is going to be growing locally and globally for the type of products our industry is capable of providing – products that are renewable, sustainable, and can help fight climate change. So, discussion at the COFI convention this year will also focus on what kind of role the forest sector in B.C. wants to play in meeting that demand and creating more value moving forward,” Coady explains.
It is no secret that the B.C. forest industry is struggling. At the Truck Loggers Association convention in January, Eby described the industry as being “clearly in crisis. But crisis precipitates change, and we have to find new ways of doing business.”
The COFI convention is intended to be a forum to discuss those new ways of doing business.
“The B.C. forest sector is facing a major market downturn amidst elevated uncertainty over access to economic fibre. And recent curtailments and closures demonstrate that companies, workers, and communities across B.C. are feeling these effects right now. But forestry is a resilient industry. With the right decisions made today, we can be better positioned to be a stronger and more diverse and innovative industry going forward,” Coady says.
The three-day event will kick off with an ice-breaker event on April 12. The next two days are filled with sessions on different issues surrounding the sector, including:
- The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act: Where we’re at and where we’re headed with Regional Chief Terry Teegee, B.C. Assembly of First Nations.
- A conversation with B.C. Minister of Forests Bruce Ralston.
- Supply chain reality check: Building resilient networks with speakers from CN, the Prince Rupert Port Authority and Arrow Transportation System.
- New expectations in B.C. and Canada – hear current data and analysis on the key issues people care about today from CEO and founding partner of Abacus Data, David Coletto.
- A panel discussion on modernizing and growing sustainability in B.C.’s forest industry.
- A conversation with panellists about carbon and timber – competition or collaboration?
- A panel discussion with industry CEOs.
Find the full agenda and register to attend the event at www.cofi.org/2023-convention.
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