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What Worries You?


May 1, 2009
By Pulp & Paper Canada

P&PC asked Antony Marcil of FSC, Avrim Lazar of FPAC, Kevin Mason of Equity Research, and David McDonald of FPInnovations what keeps them up at night with regard to the current state of the forest…

P&PC asked Antony Marcil of FSC, Avrim Lazar of FPAC, Kevin Mason of Equity Research, and David McDonald of FPInnovations what keeps them up at night with regard to the current state of the forestry industry:

Antony Marcil: From my perspective, global climate change and its side effects are the number one threat to our forests and thus to the forestry and woodlands sector. The continuing closures of mills due to the lack of U. S. demand and the competition from cheaper fibre from far away also rank quite high on my concerns list. The other side of that coin is the lack of progress in developing added-value products to enhance Canadian offerings. And by added-value I mean not just more sophisticated products but also marketing terms, time, place, function, and scale utilities.

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Kevin Mason: What keeps me up at night is whether or not there will be an industry left for me to analyze! Will we ever get back to the glory days? I fear not. It is tough to shrink your way to prosperity. We are debating issues from the last decade, not thinking ahead to what the future may hold. We need to encourage and reward entrepreneurs in this industry, and we aren’t great at doing that. We need to move beyond our commodity focus and the attendant volatility that implies and move up the value chain. Some companies have tried, but they have had little help.

Avrim Lazar: If governments wait too long to improve business conditions, many more thousands of jobs will be needlessly lost.

David McDonald: There are two nagging questions: When the economy begins to rebound, what will be left of the Canadian forest industry? And will we be able to introduce new, higher value products in time?


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