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  • Writer's pictureVaagen Fibre Canada

Vaagen Partner Spotlight: Interior Lumber Manufacturers’ Association (ILMA)

Forging new relationships and long-lasting partnerships that add value to the business all while supporting the mill operations is important to Vaagen Fibre Canada (Vaagen). The Interior Lumber Manufacturer’s Association (ILMA) is one such partner that aligns with Vaagen’s vision of sustainable forestry while supporting the small, local mills.

Vaagen is a proud member of the ILMA, the association which represents several independent and innovative lumber manufacturers all throughout the Southern Interior of B.C., and this membership means being a part of an association that cares for its members and advocates on behalf of them. ILMA supports the industry as a voice for sustainable, responsible, and community-minded forestry and manufacturing, as well as helps promote the work being done by its members.

For the ILMA, our key message is that the right log goes to the right mill. For example, the Association advocates for the members’ ability to buy and trade logs on the open market so that a specialty mill gets the specific wood it requires for its unique needs and products. Access to the right fibre is key.

The Association believes that small mills create more jobs per cubic-metre of timber than large forest product producers, keeping economies and communities strong.

“As one of our member mills, Vaagen Fibre Canada in Midway does an outstanding job keeping local people employed, and they understand what value over volume means,” said Dan Battistella, President of the ILMA. “Our association sees our members, like Vaagen, doing so much with our forestry resources, and appreciate how they have been one of those who are at the leading edge of doing more with less.”

The direct jobs created in ILMA-member mills equated to roughly 1,200 full-time equivalent jobs, explained Battistella. Apart from the economic benefits the member mills bring to the province, the ILMA appreciates the partnerships the mills forge in the process, as representing the small/medium sized independent wood product facilities in B.C. is a challenging task, but access to fibre for these smaller mills is essential for their survival.

“Common priorities like access to the land base, certainty of fibre supply, family supporting jobs, thriving rural communities and exemplary sustainable forest management makes our Association’s goals clear,” said Battistella. “All of our members know that the province needs these types of businesses to survive. Even though all these independent family-owned businesses are unique, they all work together to ensure the future viability of independent forest products companies in B.C.”

The work Vaagen undertakes routinely shows the clear benefits of sustainable forestry coexisting with other values in the working forest, something the ILMA strongly advocates for. And the support, encouragement, and promotion the ILMA provides Vaagen has proven to be invaluable over the years.

Thank you to the Interior Lumber Manufacturers’ Association for being a strong voice and fantastic supporter, advocating for provincial forests policies that will ensure sustainable, successful forestry management and manufacturing operations for the industry as a whole, and the independent specialty forest product companies within BC.

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