U.S. and Canadian manufacturers and importers of softwood lumber have approved the formation of a research and promotion program, or “check-off” system, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Commodity check-off programs in other industries have funded highly successful marketing campaigns such as “Got Milk” and “Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner.” The softwood lumber check-off should provide the kind of funding necessary to create new opportunities and increase future business. 

The hardwood lumber industry, faced with similar challenges as the softwood sector, also has the opportunity to pass a check-off that could have similar benefits. Last year, several industry members formed an ad-hoc “blue-ribbon” committee to consider the merits of such a program.

The committee soon recommended that the hardwood industry consider a check-off similar to the one just passed by the softwood sector. This hardwood check-off proposal is now being refined and is expected to be submitted to the industry for a vote later this year. If passed, it could fund the kind of promotion necessary to position hardwoods as environmentally friendly materials that are functional, economical and with long-lasting beauty and value to consumers, which, in turn, could significantly increase future business.

 



 


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