March 3, 2021
SLB Assessment Increase Ruling Published in the Federal Register
SLB Board Members and Softwood Lumber industry have taken the time to share their thoughts on the assessment increase and reflect on the SLB's impact in the industry.
The Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) is pleased to announce the final notice approving the assessment increase for Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order was published in the Federal Register on February 25, 2021. The new rate will go into effect on April 1, 2021.
This rule amends the Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order (Order) to increase the assessment rate from $0.35 to $0.41 per thousand board feet. These additional funds will allow the Board to build on its success in maintaining and expanding markets for softwood lumber. The Board administers the Softwood Lumber Checkoff with oversight by the USDA. Under the program, assessments are collected from U.S. manufacturers (sawmills) and importers and used for projects designed to increase the demand for softwood lumber within the United States.
With additional funds from the increase, the SLB will strengthen current programs and address gaps currently limiting the SLB’s ability to protect existing markets and expand market share for softwood lumber. Additionally, the funds will allow the SLB to:
- Increase investments in core programs to ensure the successes in increasing market share are not eroded by aggressive and disparaging competitor campaigns as well as recapturing share of voice taken by competitors.
- Establish a wood education program targeting post-secondary architecture and engineering students and young professionals.
- Expand trade training programs for general contractors and installers to address training gaps and skills development, specifically focused on mass timber and related lumber-based building systems.
- Increase support for applied technical research, innovation, and early-adopter programs to maximize and leverage public and private funding.
“The SLB welcomes the news approving the assessment increase,” said Cees de Jager, SLB President and CEO. “The additional investment from the lumber industry enables the SLB to build on the successful program it has established over the past nine years, and pursue new initiatives that leverage softwood lumber’s unique value proposition to solidify its position in an ever evolving market.”
The SLB has combined scale with strategic market analysis and a disciplined execution of market development and communications efforts that have had a real, measurable impact on the demand for softwood lumber. For more information about the SLB’s work and strategic focus, download the SLB 2021-2025 Strategic Overview.
Since it began promoting softwood lumber in 2012, the SLB has changed how wood is perceived in the market, what is believed to be possible when building with wood, and the relationship between government and the industry – unlocking tremendous growth potential. The SLB’s investments have had significant impact, generating over 7.5 billion board feet in demand since the SLB’s inception and delivering an average ROI of $25.22 for every $1 spent. This ROI makes the SLB one of the most successful checkoff programs operating today.