North Enderby Timber is applauding a move by the province to help the forest industry.
For the first time, small and medium-sized secondary manufacturers will have a dedicated fibre supply under a new licensing program. The BC Timber Sales value-added manufacturing program will be open to facilities producing high-value products, such as mass timber, plywood, veneer, panelling and flooring.
The program will provide dedicated access to timber and accelerate the growth of value-added manufacturing, supporting innovation and creating jobs.
“We are encouraged to see government set policy that will improve fibre flow to the value-added sector. We appreciate the work that has gone into making this improvement, and encourage government to continue securing fibre needs for facilities like ours,” said Warren Carter of North Enderby Timber.
Value-added wood products are increasingly in demand as alternatives to carbon-intensive construction products such as cement.
The growing demand has resulted in steady job growth and market expansion and by providing greater certainty of long-term timber supply the new BCTS program will accelerate further expansion.
The program will be restricted to facilities that have minimal or no forestry tenure and will require that facilities be accredited as a value-added, secondary manufacturer. Initially, BCTS will dedicate 10 per cent of its available timber supply to the program for licensees to bid on.
More volume is expected in the future.
While overall harvest levels in the forest industry have decreased over the past decade, employment in the value-added sector has grown steadily – by approximately 35 per cent – since 2012. Value-added facilities have also better withstood global market volatility, helping to build a more resilient forest sector.
The new program supports other recent initiatives from the province, such as the $90-million BC Manufacturing Jobs Fund to support capital investments in the value-added sector, and changes to strengthen manufactured forest product regulations to limit exports of raw logs and unmanufactured lumber.
“We are encouraged to see government recognize that a dedicated fibre allocation for the value-added sector is required. We will continue to work closely with the government to ensure the required volume gets delivered to value-added facilities,” said Paul Rasmussen of the Interior Lumber Manufacturers’ Association.