It took 11 months of negotiations, but Island Falls Forestry and True North Hardwood Plywood in Cochrane have reached a 20-year harvesting agreement.
Island Falls is owned by Taykwa Tagamou First Nation, located 15 kilometres east of Cochrane. It has been in operation for 15 years.
“We deliver wood all around Northern Ontario and we have a couple of other agreements,” said general manager Mark Massicotte.
One is with Tembec and it has another agreement with Resolute Forestry.
“We are the biggest forestry contractor in the Northeast,” he said. “We subcontract out and have anywhere from 50 to 100 people working for us at any one time.”
The agreement will result in Island Falls Forestry providing harvesting services through True North’s Abitibi River Forest Resource Licence.
“We are thrilled to have worked in partnership with True North to finalize a long-term agreement to supply (the) plant with a steady supply of wood,” said Island Falls Forestry board chair Bernice Archibald.
“As a company we want to ensure that True North gets the maximum amount of wood under its Abitibi River Forest Licence, at the best possible price and that we deliver on time, so that its Cochrane plant has the wood it needs to operate a successful business,” Massicotte said. “The long-term agreement will ensure stability for both of our companies.”
True North Hardwood Plywood officially resumed production last August. It is led by a group of investors from the U.S., and a partnership was formed with the employees who own a share of the company, along with the Taykwa Tagamou.
True North was started in 1963 as Normick and was later acquired by Norbord Industries in 1990. In 1996, Norbord invested $13 million in a plant modernization program. It formed a partnership with Kruger in 2008 and changed the name to True North. With the collapse in the North American economy, the plant closed in November 2010.
A significant investment was made to get the plant back in top working condition including rebuilding the lathe and replacing other equipment.
“True North is excited to formalize its relationship with Island Falls. Long-term agreements such as these allow for the parties to plan for supply several years out. We are confident that Island Falls will be an excellent harvest service provider for the company for many years,” said Raymond Poe, True North’s COO.