Can’t see the forest for the trees?
April 1, 1999 By Pulp & Paper Canada
SUPPLIERS to the pulp and paper and other forest products industries have to become ambassadors for the industry, said Ken Glover, Executive Director, Forest Industry Suppliers Association of Alberta …
SUPPLIERS to the pulp and paper and other forest products industries have to become ambassadors for the industry, said Ken Glover, Executive Director, Forest Industry Suppliers Association of Alberta (FISAA). “From a suppliers perspective,” said Glover, “few industries provide a constant source of business” through good and bad times. Glover said that the forest industry, unlike, say, the oil industry, is faithful to its suppliers. “The oil patch will drop suppliers in unstable periods. The forest industry will stick with its suppliers.”
For this faithfulness, Glover says, suppliers need to understand and spread good news about the industry.
FISAA endorses a more “participatory and ownership” approach to the role of suppliers to Canada’s forest industry producers. “In our opinion, a supplier to the forest industry ought to know and be involved in the forest industry, as well as accept an advocacy responsibility. Canada’s forest industry requires the help of its suppliers and any other affiliated sector,” stated Glover.
Through education seminars, industry tours and its website, FISAA has set itself up as a mechanism to educate suppliers. Examples of the association’s education initiatives include:
An education seminar held in February included speakers on kraft pulp manufacturing, mechanical pulping, and forest management.
Another seminar held in November asked the question “Where will Alberta’s Forest industry get its electricity from in the future?” Opportunities regarding co-generations were part of that discussion.
A “Forest Industry Outlook” seminar provided a review of the industry, and outlook for the pulp and paper and other industry sectors, and market forecasts.
An upcoming FISAA seminar (May 1999) invites Gordon Leary of the Alberta Research Council to speak on new technologies in the pulp and paper sector.
A recent battle that FISAA has fought in its role as advocates for the industry regards a Federal Court ruling involving Environmental Assessments (EA). Sunpine Forest Products in Alberta obtained federal and provincial approval to build two bridges within its forest management area. Those opposed to the project challenged that the federal review was inadequate. A Federal Court judge agreed. In a bulletin to its members, FISAA noted that, “Conceivably based on this ruling . . . a full blown EA would be required for every well site, bridge or cutblock thereby duplicating current provincial project approval processes and affecting suppliers.”
Glover said, “We engaged FISAA members to get active via letters and phone calls to encourage the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to appeal the Federal Court ruling,” which eventually happened.
Although FISAA is Alberta-based, it still actively procures national and international business opportunities for its members. FISAA continues to investigate expansion through provincial chapters or sub-offices.
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