Largest demonstration project in India commemorated

Deputy Minister of forests in British Columbia, Canada, Tim Sheldan, and CEPT University President Dr Bim Patel commemorating the opening of the CEPT workshops during the January 2018 mission to India

From the 14th to the 19th of January, 2018, representatives from the Province of British Columbia (B.C.), Canada, led a delegation of government and forest sector executives to India to understand the market and evaluate the strategic activities being delivered by FII and Canada Wood in India to grow demand for Canadian products.

The purpose of the mission this year was to measure progress made since senior government and industry executives visited India in 2016 to understand how the strategy and market development efforts underway aligned with realities in the market. The mission represents an ongoing commitment from the Province and Canadian forest industry to understand the market through regular visits to meet with wood importers, end users, manufacturers and builders.

The mission program has several objectives, including to demonstrate how different target audiences in India are accepting a range of species found in B.C., both coastal and interior, in a number of end-use applications, as well as to provide delegates with updates on the India strategy including the status of marketing activities, product trials and demonstration projects. The Canadian High Commission to India also provided delegates with an economic and political briefing in New Delhi, India.

To understand how wood product demand varies by region, delegates visited a number of locations, including the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University in Ahmedabad, India, the site of FII’s largest demonstration project to date – a project that features a mix of coastal and interior species as well as engineered wood products from B.C.

Additional site visits across India included JC Antiques, a leading export-focused furniture manufacturer looking for alternatives to local mango, acacia and sheesham and is currently trying western hemlock; A&D International, another export-focused furniture manufacturer looking for alternatives to local hardwood species and is also currently trying western hemlock; and Shanti Vijaya Sawmill, one of the largest importers of wood in southern India, among others.