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Processing and Marketing of Timber

Marketing is a necessary evil that carries its own implications. The timber market

is complex and inexperienced cooperatives are likely to make many costly mistakes if

they are not helped. It is important for cooperatives to share information about marketing

of logs and lumber. If one cooperative loses money dealing with a buyer, there is no

reason why another cooperative should have the same experience. FEHCAFOR and

EMCAH can be instrumental in documenting experiences of cooperatives and

distributing the information to other cooperatives.

Buying a sawmill and processing lumber adds even more risk and additional

concerns on top of logging. Appropriate technology is important, since many locations

are isolated or do not have electricity. Cooperatives considering a sawmill must carefully

evaluate the challenges and risks first. First, specific skills are required to operate and

manage a sawmill. Training may be necessary to avoid some of the growing pains

associated with learning these skills. Logistics can play an important role. The supply of

logs for the mill should be assured, or else the expensive sawmill will lie idle.

EMCAH can play a pivotal role in this kind of training or development. They

have experience in these areas in addition to the equipment. For groups that are

interested, EMCAH could bring a mill to the community and conduct training for

potential workers. If the cooperative members are in agreement, the group could then

proceed in purchasing a sawmill.


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