The new industry-funded Softwood Lumber Board (“SLB”) is set to promote softwood lumber products in outdoor, residential, and non-residential construction. A majority of softwood lumber companies doing business in the U.S. voted to approve the creation of a check-off system to fund a unified lumber promotion effort. The “check-off” program, which has been used by other U.S. agricultural commodities, has a great track record for perception-changing success. It’s exciting to have a formally funded mechanism to promote wood products, which is projected to have over $6 million available for marketing projects in 2012.

SLB members determined that funding for programs should be focused on: 1) market development initiatives for non-residential buildings, such as WoodWorks and codes and standards (AWC);  2) supporting research and innovation for mass timber building systems; 3) market development initiatives designed to protect solid wood’s market share; 4) retail merchandising and promotion of decking and related specialty products; and 5) benchmarking and performance metrics.

The SLB is committed to using funds for the betterment of the industry by maintaining, strengthening, and growing markets.

It’s about time!

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a dinner for B.C. Prime Minister, Christy Clark. In her energetic and positive style, she proclaimed the importance of the forest products sector as an economic engine for B.C. Audience applause was instant and resounding. How refreshing to hear that.

Take a look at the new SLB website and stay tuned for good wood news!

Steve Zika
CEO, Hampton Lumber