THUNDER BAY – Leaders Ledger – Ontario Wood is an exciting new initiative from the McGuinty government that helps consumers identify and choose locally produced wood products from their local lumberyards, hardware stores and other wood product retailers.
I was pleased to launch the Ontario Wood brand in July of 2011 at a Thunder Bay Home Hardware Building Centre. The program is modelled on the highly successful Foodland Ontario brand and promotes the benefits of buying high-quality Ontario wood products while raising awareness of the sustainability of the province’s forestry industry and the diversity and variety of Ontario wood products.
Promoting Ontario wood just makes sense. The forest products industry helps support about 200,000 jobs in over 260 communities across our province. Getting local consumers to buy Ontario wood and wood products will benefit our forest industry and the families and communities that depend on it across the province.
The Ontario Wood logo was developed in collaboration with a range of wood-industry producers and manufacturers. It captures the diversity of Ontario woods and highlights the environmentally friendly nature of our wood. It is particularly gratifying that Ontario is out in front of all other provinces in introducing a brand for locally produced wood products.
Products that carry the Ontario Wood logo come from tree species that are indigenous or commercially grown in Ontario, and all wood-product processing must take place here in the province. Participants in the program can take pride in supporting Ontario’s forest industry and the many jobs it provides in the province. They also benefit from increased exposure and consumer confidence in their products, which all come from sustainably managed sources.
Manufacturers are being licensed to use the Ontario Wood brand with all their eligible products. There are currently over 40 licensees, including small artisans, sawmills and manufacturers of hardwood floors, doors and other products. Our licensees range from some of the largest lumber producers in eastern Canada to small- to medium-sized companies that sell through multiple outlets, including directly to consumers.
This brand can help make Ontario wood the preferred choice for consumers here at home. This optimism is supported by research we’ve undertaken with consumers over the past year, who told us that they want to support local suppliers by buying local products. The Ontario Wood logo tells consumers that they are supporting our industry and the many communities that rely on it. Our wood products are local, high-quality, planet friendly and price-competitive. Ontario Wood really is the natural choice.
If your company, whether small or large, is involved in the sale or manufacturing of wood products, I urge you to consider participating in this worthwhile initiative. To find out more about Ontario Wood, visit ontario.ca/wood.
Minister Michael Gravelle MPP
Ministry of Natural Resources