the right product
at the right time

Interfor's TrendWatch - See what we're seeing

Our leadership team has deep expertise and a bold vision. Find out about our take on evolving trends and patterns in the industry, and how we are carving out a solid, strategic future for our company. 

New Senior Sales Team: Building for Success

Steven Hofer, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing
March 2, 2015

Today we finalized our acquisition of four sawmills from Simpson Lumber Company, and announced changes to our Sales & Marketing leadership.

The acquisition of the sawmills in Tacoma (Commencement Bay), WA; Longview, WA; Meldrim, GA; and Georgetown, SC, increases our annual lumber production capacity by 30 percent to 3.1 billion board feet and reinforces our position as the fastest growing lumber company in the world.

As we grow, we remain committed to our customer promise: to build value by delivering quality products “on spec, on time, every time”. To achieve this, having the right team in place is critical.

That’s why Interfor is proud to announce that Bart Bender will become our Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, on April 1. Bart will replace me as I turn my focus to leading Interfor’s growing presence in the US Northwest.

Bart is a proven industry leader with 20 years of experience in the wood products business and has built a reputation of delivering exemplary service to customers around the world. In his roles as General Manager and Vice President Sales at Ainsworth Engineered Canada LP, Bart led world-wide sales, marketing and logistics efforts. He is currently Senior Vice President, Operations at Ainsworth.

We also named three new Vice Presidents:

• Rick Fortunaso, Vice President, Sales & Marketing – Western Commodity and Specialty Lumber (including cedar);
• Donna Whitaker, Vice President, Sales & Marketing – Southern Yellow Pine;
• Craig Dohm, Vice President, Logistics.

This is an exciting time for our Company, and I believe, our customers. We’ve more than doubled in size in less than three years, we offer the broadest range of lumber products in the world, and we continue to look for ways to build value for customers around the globe.

I know Bart and his team will maintain the high level of service customers have come to expect from us. He will continue to post updates through this space on developments at Interfor and evolving trends in our industry.

Providing One-stop Shopping for North American Wholesalers

Steven Hofer, Senior VP, Sales & Marketing
December 3, 2014

Interfor’s diverse line of lumber products was front and center when representatives from each of our sales teams — Cedar, SYP and Whitewood — participated in the North American Wholesale Lumber Association’s Trader’s Market in Chicago last month.

Through the event’s tradeshow and multiple networking opportunities, our sales team demonstrated to many of the 1,500 attendees that Interfor is a one-stop shop for lumber needs.  Existing and potential customers were able to meet with Interfor’s sales and marketing team and be exposed to the varied assortment of our Company’s quality products all in one place.

The NAWLA Traders Market continues to be an important venue for our Company to build relationships with customers while showcasing our ability to meet the demands of a growing market for wood; from Cedar Siding to Dimensional Lumber to our new Reserve Pine line launched just this year.

Advanced Technology Makes Taller Wood Buildings Possible

Steven Hofer, Senior VP, Sales & Marketing
November 10, 2014

The Wood Innovation and Design Centre, which recently opened at the University of British Columbia (UNBC) in Prince George, is the world’s tallest modern all-wood structure. But if Michael Green has his way, it won’t hold that title for long.

Michael is the award-winning Vancouver architect and wood advocate who designed the Centre. As far as he’s concerned, wood buildings can be 30 stories high, or even more. It’s a message he took a national symposium Toward Taller Wood Buildings in Chicago last week.

And lots of people are listening – including architects, engineers and builders who want to reduce their costs and improve their environmental performance. They’re finding advanced wood technology lets them put up taller wood structures that meet or exceed building code requirements for strength, fire safety and acoustics.

The six-story Wood Innovation and Design Centre is a striking example. It is 90 feet high, meets all code requirements, and only has concrete in its ground floor slab and mechanical penthouse. An eight-minute video shows the innovation and collaboration involved.

Better yet, the Centre will soon be a gathering place for researchers, academics and our future design leaders – students who will be able to build on the vision of leaders like Michael Green.

Interfor Invests $50 Million in Castlegar Mill

Steven Hofer, Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing
November 6, 2014

Interfor is pleased to announce the investment of $50 million in state-of-the-art technology at our sawmill in Castlegar, BC. This investment is the latest in a series of proactive decisions towards building value for our customers and positioning Interfor for future success.

The project will convert the mill into a two-line operation from three lines. It will also increase production capacity to 210 million board feet from its current level of 185 million board feet. It builds on our acquisition last year of an additional tenure near the mill totaling 175,000 cubic meters of fiber annually. The investment will significantly improve lumber recovery, productivity and grade outturns at the facility, and lower conversion costs.

We will begin construction at Castlegar this month, and expect the upgraded mill to be in full operation in the first quarter of 2016. There will be some downtime during construction but no customer supply or service disruptions at any point.

These strategic decisions are why we are able to stand behind our promise to deliver quality products to our customers “on spec, on time, every time”.

Building International Markets Together

Steven Hofer, Senior VP, Sales & Marketing
October 30, 2014

Interfor was part of a recent forestry trade mission to Asia led by BC Forests Minister Steve Thomson. The mission showed the immense value of industry-government collaboration to build and strengthen international markets – and gave us a chance to meet with some of our customers in Japan and China.

Trade mission delegates marked the 40th anniversary of Japan’s first demonstration 2x4 wood-frame home. In China, we witnessed the signing of an MOU with Jiangsu Province to promote wood-frame construction and met with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, which is actively promoting the use of wood.

In both countries, the North American forest industry has been instrumental in raising awareness of the benefits of wood construction, and has helped with the development of construction codes and grading standards.

The results are outstanding. In 2013, Japan had a single-year record with 120,111 housing starts using 2x4 wood-frame construction – that’s 12.5% of all housing starts in the country. In the same year, British Columbia alone exported more than $1.4 billion worth of softwood lumber to China.

This has also meant a lot to our Company. China has become our second-largest market, after the United States. We recently opened an office in Shanghai so we can serve our Chinese customers better. Interfor and its predecessors have been involved in Japan since 1936, and today it is our fourth-largest market.