ATLANTA, GA. - The 67th annual International Convention of the Forest Products Society (FPS), was held June 9-11, 2013 in Austin, TX, USA. This year’s convention was held in collaboration with the Society of Wood Science and Technology (SWST). This is the first time that the Forest Products Society and the Society of Wood Science and Technology have joined forces to convene a joint International Convention—the 67th International Convention for FPS and the 56th International Convention for SWST.
“The convention has been an astounding opportunity for all of the attendees to become exposed to the wide range of timely forest products issues facing the industry worldwide,” said Rich Vlosky, chair of the International Convention Planning Committee. “The theme for FPS’s 2013 convention program was ‘Forest Products in a Global Sustainable Economy’ with particular emphasis on wood technology, forest products and the environment, and human dimensions and policy.”
The program led by SWST focused on Technology Advancement and Marketing Practices in Biomass, specifically in natural fiber-based products and biofuels.
Among the highlights of the convention program was a keynote luncheon on Monday, June 10, featuring Russell Taylor of International WOOD MARKETS Group, Inc. as the keynote speaker. In his work with International WOOD MARKETS Group, Inc., Taylor conducts wood products marketing analysis and business assessment/investment projects for numerous global industry partners. He discussed trends in global wood product markets, and highlighted the history and current status of markets, as well as future opportunities for wood-using industries.
“A tightening in the supply-side dynamics for timber and lumber is expected as the log supplies from Russia and Canada become more constrained,” said Taylor. “Over the next five years, recovering demand in US and other export markets is expected to grow steadily, not to mention the huge new impact of China and its need for massive imports.”
The sessions throughout the convention program covered a variety of important topics including Engaging Family Woodland Owners, Environmental Regulation Impact, US Export Trends and Trade Policy. The program also included a jointly held annual Excellence Awards Luncheon in which leaders in the industry were recognized for their achievements and contributions to each of the organizations.
The convention drew 250 attendees from nearly 20 countries. Over 125 scientific posters were presented, and a plenary session on forest and forest product certification brought together three certification organizations—Forest Stewardship Council, Sustainable Forestry Initiative® and the American Tree Farm System—to discuss the focus of each certification system.
Next year’s International Convention will be held in Québec City in conjunction with the World Conference on Timber Engineering on August 10-12, 2014. Information is available online at www.fpsconvention.org.