Ontario Minister of Natural Resources clarifies Global Sticks’ wood supply issue
Global Sticks, a manufacturer of value added wood products like popsicle sticks and tongue depressors, recently closed their operation in Thunder Bay, Ontario, laying off most of their employees while they attempt to obtain more cash.
Global Sticks uses birch, and some people are pointing fingers at the Ontario Government for not giving the company a wood supply. Today, Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources, Michael Gravelle, wrote an opinion piece in The Chronicle Journal, responded to an earlier editorial.
Here is Gravelle describing the company’s wood supply issue:
“When the company first approached us with a request for a facility license it was on the basis that the 50,000 cubic metres of birch required would be accessed on a business-to-business basis.
This is not unusual and, in fact, made sense to our forestry officials as there are a large number of licence holders and private companies which could have met that demand.
Subsequently, when Global Sticks had difficulty making those arrangements, our forestry officials became directly engaged with the company, identifying over 30 potential suppliers.
It is important to note that the manufacturing process used by Global Sticks requires a very high standard of wood. The mill requires white birch veneer and only 10 per cent of any white birch stand of forested land meets this high standard. In essence, this creates a challenge for the harvester who must find a market for the remaining 90 per cent of the trees it can’t use.
In recent times, markets for the remaining 90 per cent have been limited and Global Sticks, justifiably, is not willing to purchase the 90 per cent of the trees it can’t use. But, now that the company better understands the wood supply challenges and a number of local companies have offered to work with them, these issues can be overcome.
It is also important to say that these issues would exist even if the company had a Crown-allocated wood supply. A Crown-allocated supply doesn’t create a market for the rest of the tree.”
Read the rest of Gravelle’s Global Sticks article (The Chronicle Journal)
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- Global Sticks working on investor
- Global Sticks has restarted production
- Global Sticks in receivership, workers laid off