The ILMA is the voice of independent and innovative lumber manufacturers in the southern interior of British Columbia.
We support the industry by being a credible voice for sustainable, responsible, and community-minded forestry and manufacturing.
We provide education and information about our industry to the public and the elected officials representing them.
We encourage the creation and maintenance of policy that supports the success of our Members, suppliers, and the communities who depend on them.
Our members are specialist manufacturers, creating high-value products. ILMA member mills are unique in the B.C. forest sector; we’re among the last independent, family-owned operations. The average number of years-in-business for our member mills is more than six decades.
The nature of our business and industry demands that we extract every bit of value we can from the logs we harvest. In order to survive, we’ve developed new products and new markets.
We do more with a piece of wood because we have to. The value we add is massive, and in order to create those specialized, value-added products we need to get the right log to the right mill.
Our members buy and trade logs on the open market, ensuring that, for example, a specialist cedar mill (like Porcupine Wood Products) gets the specific wood it needs for its unique product lines.
Large ‘supermills’ can put thousands of logs per day through a fully-automated system, churning out 2x4s. And since 2x4s are a standard building material, there’s a clear need for that.
However, when a piece of large, straight, clear, knot-free wood comes off a mountain, it can produce a 2x4…
… or it could go to an ILMA member to become a guitar top for a custom instrument manufacturer, a piece of furniture-grade timber for an artisan, a beautiful exterior door, taruki-cut timbers for traditional Japanese home building, or more.
When the right log goes to the right mill, great things happen!
The direct payroll in ILMA mills is $53-million per year and about 725 FTE jobs. Adding-in the secondary jobs in related industries (like those listed in our Associate Member information) boosts that payroll by another $59-million, and 800 more FTE jobs.
Branching out even further to the related/dependent tertiary industries (equipment maintenance, professional services, etc), and the economic impact becomes massive. These numbers are exclusively private sector, and do not include the BC Government jobs in the Ministry of Forests or BC Timber Sales.
The specialization that ILMA mills have undertaken as a way to survive and thrive is labour-intensive. We create more jobs per cubic-metre of timber than any other forest product producer, and that is what keep economies and communities strong.
What we need in the ILMA is the support of communities, companies, individuals, and local government to help us create provincial forest policy that puts a real value on getting the right log to the right mill.
ILMA mills have specialized in order to compete and survive. We do more with a piece of wood because we have to. The value we add is massive, and in order to create those specialized, value-added products we need to get the right log to the right mill.
We can do so much with this resource in BC, and the ILMA mills have been at the leading edge of doing more with less.
But in today’s environment, we’ve become an endangered species, and without some vocal support and action to change things, our mills and associated companies (and the $110,000,000 in paycheques they generate) may disappear.