Canadian Wood species from sustainably managed forest of B.C. Canada

Spokesperson: Mr. Pranesh Chhibber, Country Director, Canadian Wood


Please brief us about Canadian wood and its role in India?
Forestry Innovation Consulting India Pvt. Ltd. (FII India) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) Canada; a crown agency of the government of British Columbia (B.C.), the westernmost province of Canada. The office is also supported by the Canadian federal government through Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). FII India’s brand Canadian Wood was established in 2013 to promote B.C., Canada as a global supplier of quality, environmentally responsible wood products from sustainably managed forests. Since the establishment of the Canadian Wood office in India, we have been actively engaged in educating our target audience in India about B.C. Canada as a long-term source of legally harvested, certified wood from sustainably managed forests, which is available in lumber form that is duly graded, sized, and seasoned in nearly ready-to-use conditions.
We also share knowledge and best practices through active engagement with the woodworking factories and professionals by conducting Seminars and Training Workshops besides handholding and providing technical support to the Re-Man (remanufacturing) industry as well as the structural projects.

Can you please tell us more about the 5 species that Canadian wood promotes?

Canadian Wood offers five unique wood species from British Columbia, Canada in the Indian market: 1) S.P.F. (Spruce-Pine-Fir); 2) Western Hemlock; 3) Douglas Fir; 4) Yellow Cedar; and 5) Western Red Cedar. Each of these species has distinct qualities that make it appropriate for a wide range of remanufacturing and structural applications. For example, SPF is stress-rated and considered ideal for wood construction; Western hemlock is well-known for its easy workability and good staining properties, making it a popular choice of furniture manufacturers, including the export-oriented manufacturing hubs of Jodhpur, Jaipur, and Moradabad, which cater to leading brands in North America, Europe, and ANZ. Whereas Douglas Fir is coveted by the mass timber manufacturers, the yellow and red cedars are naturally durable species scoring high on being able to withstand insects, decay, and other natural elements. Whereas Douglas Fir is highly sought after by mass wood manufacturers, yellow and red cedars are naturally durable species that perform well in terms of resistance to insects, rot, and other natural factors.
All Canadian Wood species have distinct characteristics that make them appropriate for a wide range of applications. What we promote is a raw material utilised by numerous industries across India to build a wide range of applications for both home and foreign markets.

Tell us about some recent prominent projects where Canadian wood has done some remarkable work?

There are numerous projects across India both in Re-Man and structural applications done by our partners including wooden homes, furniture, doors, windows, door/window frames, etc. Thus, it is rather difficult to divulge a few names and not talk about others. We have projects done by our partners in almost all the major cities and the states in south, west, and northern India. Among the projects completed using Canadian Wood are well-known hotels, restaurants, private villas, residences, and resorts, among others. Canadian Wood has recently completed structural demo projects in Mysore, Bengaluru, Chennai, Goa, and before Himachal Pradesh. In addition, many commercial projects in Re-Man and structural have been done over the past 6-7 years across India.

How is Canadian Wood different from other wood species from various countries?
There are few places on earth that can match the diversity and richness of Canada’s forests. Forestry and wood processing in British Columbia and Canada are inter-connected industries working in close harmony. This includes planting saplings and harvesting trees with modern, high-tech machinery and sophisticated wood processing plants making lumber. The entire cycle is planned around responsible resource management. This is borne out by the stats that despite Canada being one of the largest exporters of lumber in the world, it has zero deforestation in the last three decades.

Not only that, but Canadian Wood lumber is also dimensionally stable as it comes from slow-growing mature trees from natural forests and not from plantations. It is duly graded, sized, and seasoned, thus avoiding wastage due to sorting at the manufacturer’s yard. Having said that, wood being a natural material can check, warp, and absorb moisture if not handled well while manufacturing products from it. No wood in its natural condition is termite and waterproof, however as mentioned earlier, two of the Canadian Wood Species i.e., Yellow Cedar and Western Red Cedar are highly resistant to insects such as termites, decay caused by fungus, etc., and other natural elements.

B.C Canada being the leader of Sustainable Forest management please tell us more about What is sustainable forestry and why it is the need of the hour?
Sustainable forestry is a forest management technique that seeks to create a balance between economic and environmental objectives while minimising damage to the forest. Sustainable forestry creates solutions that addresses both the global market's economic needs and the needs of future generations on our planet.
B.C. Forest Products only sells certified lumber (sawn wood) to consumers all over the world. Independent certifications from international rating organisations such as PEFC and FSC provide credibility to the assurance of forest resource protection.
The province's strict forest management rules and regulations thoroughly demonstrate what sustainable forest management (SFM) implies in British Columbia and what actions are permitted on public forest land. B.C. is a reliable source for forest products derived from sustainably managed forests that have been certified by one of two independent, non-profit global programmes that support forest certification programmes developed nationally and regionally in countries around the world: The Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

India is a cost-conscious market. What do you think would be the future of the wood furniture industry here and how has Canadian Wood made its place in this cost-conscious country?

We had started our services, in the FY 2013-14, after establishing an office and a display centre in India to demonstrate various applications made by Indian manufacturers using Canadian Wood species. Later that year, we opened two satellite offices in Gurugram and Bengaluru to increase better coverage of northern and southern India market.

India is a cost-conscious market, but it also has a long-standing wood tradition. Wood has long been utilised in remanufacturing applications including furniture, millwork, doors/windows, and door/window frames, among others. Due to a lack of skillsets, structural uses of wood have been limited. However, the market is changing, with more and more wooden window/door producers applying the necessary methods and hardware to create windows/doors that meet the specifications requested by high-end clientele who wish to move away from artificial materials. Many of these producers have previously chosen Canadian Wood species and have been manufacturing such applications effectively for the past five years. It is also heartening to see an increasing number of architects designing and specifying wooden applications in their high-end projects. We are confident that over time this will percolate down to more mainstream projects.

About the company:
FII, is a crown agency of the government of British Columbia (B.C.), the western most province of Canada, with a mandate to promote B.C. Forest Products in the offshore markets.

FII set up its India office and a display centre in 2014 at Elphinstone (West), close to Lower Parel in Mumbai. Later in 2016, it opened satellite offices at Gurgaon (Delhi-NCR) and Bangalore for better reach and offering a pleasant experience to its target audience spread across India.

FII, better known by its logo “Canadian Wood” is actively engaged in creating awareness in the market and educating the wood industry about the conifer species from B.C. Canada that it promotes in India.

There are few places on earth that can match the diversity and richness of Canada’s forests. Forests are an important part of Canada’s natural ecosystem and central to its economy, making up just under half of its landscape with eight major forest regions and a vast diversity of wood species. It has roughly 10% of the world’s total forest cover and zero deforestation for well over two decades.

In particular, the province of British Columbia is home to 40 different tree species and 14 bio-geo-climatic zones. From planting forests to harvesting and manufacturing lumber products, the forest sector in British Columbia is a sophisticated and interconnected network involving sustainable forest management and wood processing.