The global recession, slumping U.S. housing market and high Canadian dollar have led to significant revenue and job losses for the forestry industry. But the industry, faced with the realities of a shifting market, recognized the need to innovate and adapt. Since 2007, it has been boosting its investments in new value-added products in pulp and paper and wood manufacturing. In 2011, these investments amounted to $20 million.
The Government of Canada, through the Canada Foundation for Innovation, has contributed more than $47 million to equip forestry researchers with the tools they need to help the industry reinvent itself. These investments have led to diversified products. Pulp is now cleaner and cheaper to produce and pulp products are being refined and used in textiles, food additives and fuel. This transformation, known as forest biorefinery, is boosting the bottom line of Canadian forestry companies.
Research has also led to advances, such as new processes that reduce the swelling of wood products, which has led to more durable composite wood panelling that is in demand worldwide.
Link to stories on CFI-funded forestry research:
Redefining pulp: New, cleaner ways for the pulp and paper industry
Smart move: Brain gain for forestry research in Canada
The right step FORWARD: By studying the water flowing through Canada's logging areas, researchers see how sustainable logging methods are