A strong majority of the softwood lumber industry (softwood lumber companies representing 80% of US softwood lumber production and imports) has voted to approve the creation of a check-off system to fund a unified softwood lumber promotion program. This is a watershed moment for the industry. Over the last three years the Binational Softwood Lumber Council (BSLC) has provided leadership and funding to support the development of the check-off. The BSLC believes the check-off program has the potential to rebuild lost markets in the U.S. and take advantage of overseas opportunities, in the same way that sustained investment and effort have resulted in significant growth in sales to China in recent years.
A “check off” is an industry-funded, generic marketing and research program designed to increase domestic and/or international demand for an agricultural commodity, in this case, softwood lumber. Once established, check off programs are directed by industry-governed boards, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.