features
#018 / 1999

editorial

The one per cent solution

The number of smaller-scale BC furniture manufactures has declined sharply over the past three decades. One reason for this historical trend is our unreliable wood supply system. Without access to timber at consistent levels of quality, quantity, and price, no manufacturing venture can remain viable. furniturelink suggests the following solution:

How the solution works

As a condition of their access to Crown timber, sawmills would set aside one percent of their output. This material would be quarter-sawn, clear-grade boards in four thicknesses (as required) and veneer cants.

An agency would be established to collect the set-aside solid material, dry it to high-quality standards, abrasive plane it to stock dimensions and hold it in climate-controlled warehouses. The agency would contract with industry to provide veneered panels in species compatible with the agency's solid wood inventory.

background
Approximately one per cent of BC lumber sales equals 300,000 cubic metres. At one job per 75 cubic metres, this 300,000 cubic metres will create 4,000 direct jobs in average furniture plants. Typically a furniture plant employs 20-200 workers, therefore our "one per cent solution" could create 20-200 new and / or expanded operations.

The agency would make its materials available at cost on long-term, guaranteed-delivery/quality, fixed-price contracts, i.e., supply company X with Z thousand board feet per month for Y years (furniturelink suggests a minimum of 5 years).

In this way the agency would stimulate new value-created manufacturing ventures with minimal negative impact on established lumber suppliers.

New manufacturing ventures and expanding plants would have priority access to the materials.

furniturelink welcomes your feedback on our "one per cent solution."

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© furniturelink 1999 (text and images)