A Fruitvale forestry company is being recognized as a top-tier leader in the export of B.C.’s natural resources.
ATCO Wood Products will export approximately $28 million of softwood veneer, wood chips, bark and garden ties before the end of 2017.
The family-run business has long been recognized locally as a vital corporate citizen. Now its impressive export-focused operations are being recognized on a larger scale – ATCO Wood Products was recently named a finalist for BC Exporter of the Year in the Natural Resource Category.
“ATCO Wood Products was nominated by one of our technology partner companies, Syspro Inc.,” CEO Scott Weatherford told the Trail Times. “Who was impressed with our export focused operations, long history in the region as an exporter of manufactured natural resources, and our ability to meet the selection criteria (in the Natural Resource Award Category).”
The category recognizes companies that are engaged in marketing, processing and primary production of natural resources.
The nominee must be a B.C. registered company that has exported a minimum two years, produced goods and/or services that have significant Canadian benefits, foreign revenues must exceed $100,000 in the past fiscal year, and have an established presence in one or more geographic markets.
Selected companies must demonstrate a significant year-to-year percentage growth in value of export sales or increased sales volume over the past year. Additionally the nominee must have a demonstrated ability to overcome obstacles or other unique challenges in entering new international markets, demonstrated quality of its export plan through use of innovation and strategies, and shown notable growth in their overall business as a direct result of their export activities.
Since beginning in the 1950’s, ATCO’s success as an independent family business in the British Columbia Forest Industry has been rooted in its belief and practice of sustainable and responsible forest management.
“From ensuring that values such as water quality, wildlife habitat, and recreation are properly accounted for in every harvest plan to replanting every site within 18 months of harvest,” Weatherford said. “ATCO’s approach to forest management will allow the local forest resource to remain healthy and sustainable for generations to come.”
The company’s commitment to the responsible use of the forest continues well past timber harvesting.
“By working closely with other specialized, local mills, each log is directed to different facilities to make sure that the highest and best end-use is realized for each and every log,” he explained.
“For timber that is brought to ATCO’s mill in Fruitvale to be manufactured into softwood veneer, ATCO’s manufacturing process and customer relationships (both domestic and export), ensure that 100 per cent of the timber is utilized into a valuable product.”
Long term investments in the latest technology and securing a reliable supply chain, such as ATCO’s 2010 purchase of the short-line railroad serving the mill, Weatherford says the company has become known for both its product quality and its customer service.
“By combining its practice of sustainable forest management, a commitment to manufacturing quality wood products and a strong track record of reinvestment into continuously improving both woodlands and manufacturing operations, ATCO has become one of the most well-respected forest management and wood products manufacturing companies in British Columbia.”
The BC Export Awards are slated for Nov. 24 in Vancouver. Global Fruit, “The perfect Canadian Cherry” company from Creston, is also up for the award as well as San Group, a lumber company based in Langley.
The BC Export Awards are the province’s most prestigious awards paying tribute to the success and innovative approaches of BC export companies. Extending across industries, the awards recognize achievements in 9 different categories and are a celebration of the contributions exporters have made to both the provincial and national economy. Conceived in 1982, the program has recognized over 300 companies since its inception, reflecting the growth and diversity of BC’s economy over the past 30 years.