Hardwood Check Off Program
The WPMA is constantly working to help members expand their businesses and continue to be competitive in a global economy. In assistance to this endeavor, we feel it is important that our readers are made aware of the Hardwood Checkoff Program.
What is The Hardwood Checkoff Program?
The Hardwood Checkoff Program, officially the Hardwood Lumber and Hardwood Plywood Promotion, Research, and Information Order was published for comment on November 13th by the USDA.
The proposed checkoff program would be funded by lumber and plywood companies but the dollars amassed would not be limited to those raw material products. The wood industry, in getting behind the checkoff, is acknowledging that they need to push beyond the limited marketing and insufficient product research, much on finished product to assure growth and expansion of the use of wood. Without consumer, particularly "prosumer" (such as architects and designers) demand for wood furniture, wood cabinets, and wood flooring would not grow. This would be a unified educational and marketing program.
The Checkoff program would be facilitated by the USDA but administered by the industry itself - after taking a referendum vote to assure that the majority supports it. Nearly 30 industries have checkoff programs, many in existence for 30-40 years. "Got Milk", "Cotton, the Fabric of our Lives", Incredible Egg" are all ad campaigns run by checkoff dollars. The beef industry readily admits that without advance work done on "mad cow" disease by its checkoff board, they would not have survived that epidemic.
Wood companies are excellent marketers-to each other. It is time they stepped up to the plate and funded a program such as the Checkoff to reach real drivers of the industry; the consumers. Wood products manufacturers stand to gain if this program passes.
Readers with questions may contact Philip Bibeau at WPMA 978-874-5445 or Grace Terpstra at 202-261-1323 for more information.