Follow Us! Like Our Page!

B.C. supports growth in local wood manufacturing

Jan. 29, 2024

VICTORIA – 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 Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests. “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 at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/forestry/bc-timber-sales/category-4-value-added#apply

“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 Ltd. “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.

A backgrounder follows.Contact:Ministry of Forests
Media Relations
250 896-7359

BACKGROUNDER

What to know about programs to grow the local wood manufacturing sector

The value-added manufacturing sector in B.C. is being supported with a series of programs to grow the wood products manufactured in B.C., generating highly skilled employment opportunities and prosperity for forestry-dependent communities.

BC Wood:

BC Wood is a trade association with a membership of 120 wood manufacturers across the province. BC Wood is being provided with $250,000 to support marketing efforts in key growing markets for wood products. This will be done by establishing in-market representatives and promoting the benefits of manufactured wood products to potential customers, helping to expand opportunities for B.C.’s high-value wood manufacturers.

To learn more about BC Wood, visit: https://bcwood.com/

Value-Added Accelerators:

First announced on Oct. 12, 2023, the Value-Added Accelerators initiative was developed in partnership with the First Nations Forestry Council, the BC Value-Added Wood Coalition, the Council of Forest Industries and the government. The purpose is to develop a suite of solutions to support local wood manufacturing, making the wider forestry sector more competitive, diversified and resilient to market swings.

There is a north, south and coast accelerator table, focusing on the unique characteristics and manufacturing requirements of these regions. The tables began in mid-October and will run until spring 2024.

The objectives of the accelerators are to:

  • build trust and positive working relationships among the members, increasing business partnerships between primary and secondary wood manufacturers for long-term, mutual benefit;
  • gather data, such as fibre usage and needs, to enable the development of programs to expand local production of higher-value wood products;
  • work with industry on durable and sustainable actions, programs and policy solutions to support the sector; and
  • increase First Nations participation and partnerships in the wood manufacturing sector.

The next steps relating to the Value-Added Accelerators are being developed, which will include expanded workshops on specific topics and themes, and the development of a plan to support high-value wood manufacturers.

As a partner in the Value-Added Accelerators, the First Nations Forestry Council will host a series of five events throughout the province to provide an opportunity for local First Nations to learn more about the high-value wood manufacturing sector and meet with manufacturers, forestry businesses and others involved in the high-value wood manufacturing sector.

These sessions will take place 4:30-6:30 p.m. (Pacific time) in the following locations:

  • Nanaimo on Jan. 31, 2024
  • Chilliwack on Feb. 28, 2024
  • Kelowna on March 13, 2024
  • Terrace on April 3, 2024
  • Quesnel on May 1, 2024

First Nations interested in registering can email: Forest.Policy@gov.bc.ca.

Expanding local production of higher-value wood products in B.C. is a key part of the continued shift to a clean economy, supporting the Province’s CleanBC goals.

BC Timber Sales’ Value-Added Manufacturing Program:

On Jan. 24, 2023, the Province announced a new BC Timber Sales Value-Added Manufacturing Program that provides a dedicated fibre supply for small and medium-sized higher-value wood manufacturers. The BC Timber Sales’ licensing program will support high-value wood manufacturing facilities that are minimally tenured, untenured or have limited access to fibre supply. This will provide more certainty, allowing wood manufacturers better long-term planning to connect harvest volumes with production levels to meet customer demands.

This program was developed as part of a larger government initiative that supports long-term growth and innovation in forest manufacturing, while also responding to the challenges faced by the high-value wood manufacturing sector.

The Value-Added Manufacturing Program opened for registrants on Dec. 11, 2023.

Japan forest sector mission:

2023 marked the 100-year anniversary of B.C.’s timber trade relationship with Japan. Through a week of site visits, government-to-government meetings, events and customer meetings, the 2023 B.C forestry sector mission to Japan proved to be a resounding success.

Mission delegates from the Ministry of Forests, First Nations and forestry-sector strengthened international relationships, increased market opportunities, met with customers and partners, and encouraged the use of B.C. wood products to Japanese businesses. This can be seen in some of the numbers from the mission, including:

40 B.C. delegates met with more than 200 Japanese business and government representatives;
approximately 140 Japanese business representatives attended the Wood Forum and reception; and
six site visits, three networking events and a series of targeted meetings were held by Bruce Ralston, Minister of Forests.

The mission highlighted how Japan can benefit from B.C.’s high-quality wood products, from use in low-carbon homes to mass-timber commercial buildings. Building new markets and strengthening existing ones is integral to a strong future for B.C.’s forest sector and economy.

Contact:

Ministry of Forests
Media Relations
250 896-7359

ILR4

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More