WORKSHOP: International Marketing for Forest Products Industries

Brought to you by:

  • The Federal State Market Improvement Program (FSMIP) at USDA
  • The  Utilization and Marketing Center at the Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF)
  • Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS)
  • The Center for Forest Products Business at Virginia Tech

Location and Date:

  • Location

Utilization & Marketing Center
Virginia Department of Forestry

900 Natural Resources Dr., Suite 800
Charlottesville, VA 22903
434-296-2369 fax

  • Date

June 14, 2011


  • 9:00-9:10. Welcoming message. CHarlie Becker, Virginia Department of Forestry
  • 9:10-10:10. Basics of Marketing for Exports. Robert Smith, Virginia Tech
  • 10:10-10:30. Coffee Break
  • 10:30-11:15. Supply Chain Management Issues. Henry Quesada, Virginia Tech
  • 11:15-12:00. Hardwood Export Statistics. Mike Snow, AHEC Executive Director
  • 11:45-12:45. Lunch Box lunch
  • 12:45-1:30. Marketing Intelligence for Exports. Joel Stopha    , International Marketing Specialist at VDACS
  • 1:30-2:15. Research Update: Exporting Opportunities to Central America. Scott Lyon, Virginia Tech
  • 2:15-2:30. Coffee Break
  • 2:30-2:45. Roundtable/Panel Discussion. All speakers
  • 2:45. Conclusion Remarks. Henry Quesada, Virginia Tech


With almost $200 billion in shipments and more than 1.1 million workers, the wood products industry in the United States has become an important link in the economy of the country. Today the industry has suffered many drastic changes due to the rapidly increasing global competition that has pushed the local industry to look for different ways to remain competitive. Manufacturing cost issues, lack of innovation, and poor understanding of customer needs remain as the biggest challenges that the wood products industry still is trying to address and in the last 10 years, other issues have arisen such as logistics costs, lead times, product customization, forest certification, and information technologies.

With this context in mind, todays wood products companies should be very careful when developing new markets, especially if these new markets are international. Certain European and Asian markets are more receptive to US wood products because there is a reputation of sustainability attached to the product. Also, US wood products offer uniqueness in terms of attractive aesthetics, supply chain reliability, and high quality standards.

Who Should Attend

  • Sales Managers, Export Sales Managers, Sale Representatives
  • General Managers, Plant Managers, Purchasing Managers, Materials Planning Managers, Marketing Directors, Product Managers, Plant Supervisors
  • Employees with responsibilities in Marketing that would like to increase their knowledge of the current situation for US Wood products in international markets
  • Owners and managers of Small and Medium Enterprises in wood products industries
  • Personnel related to local organizations that support development of new market opportunities for wood products industries
  • Independent consultants and academicians who are interested in updating their knowledge in international marketing for US Wood products

Why You Should Attend

  • Understand the basics of marketing in a wood products organization
  • Apply basic marketing tools to turn an idea into a commercially successful product
  • Obtain recent marketing intellegence information on specific global markets
  • Explore potential opportunities to export to Central America
  • Understand the basics issues of supply chain management involved in international trade

Detailed Program

·         Fundamentals of International Marketing

Fundamentals of Marketing: Why should I care about marketing? The fundamental relationships of the marketing process with other business processes are explained.

Marketing tools: There are a variety of marketing tools that wood products industry might use to develop a marketing strategy. In this session attendants would be able to learn how to use these tools.

Developing a good marketing plan. This is a fundamental concept that every wood products company needs to address for the short and long term. The marketing plan should be related to strategic company objectives and clear indicators should be available to monitor and control the marketing process.

·         Expanding your horizons: Market Intelligence

Why should my company compete in international markets? Insights of the current global situation of the international trade of wood products. Get the basics on the current status and future of the wood products industry.

Exploring new market opportunities. Where to look for the information? There are many resources and secondary sources of information that are available for wood products companies.

What are best marketing practices for reaching international markets? There is nothing like a success story. In this session a few examples of how US wood products industries have successfully reached international clientele will be presented.

What type of assistance can I get from local and state organizations? The state invests time and resources in supporting organizations that explore on a daily basis, the market opportunities for US wood products. In this session you will learn who the most important contacts are available in your area. There may also be a few non-profit organizations in your area that might be willing to help reaching your customers overseas.

·         Supply Chain Management issues

“I just negotiated my first international sale: what should I do now?” Important aspects of closing your first export deal will be explained. Required paperwork, phytosanitary clearance, type of payment, and insurance issues will be discussed.

What are my best transportation choices? Issues on the availability of transportation alternatives from your facility will be discussed.

Transportation and logistics cost: although international markets could be very attractive for many US wood products industries, sometimes the transportation and logistics costs might diminished the opportunity. Learn what to consider in terms of cost when exporting.

Free trade agreements: Are they good or bad for US wood products industries? Important notes on the impact of free trade agreements will be discussed.


·         Presentations

Speakers will have the opportunity to present their ideas to the audience using audiovisual presentations.

·         Research updates

Some of the speakers will present real cases and examples from wood products industries that have been successful in exporting wood products. Also, failed cases will be studied to understand what went wrong.

·         Roundtable

At the end of the workshop, selected speakers will take questions from the audience to engage in discussion and clarification of concepts.

Workshop Materials

Every participant will receive a package with the presentations and alternative readings to complement presentations. Additional information on contacts and market opportunities will be provided as well.


Investment is $50 and it covers workshop materials, coffee breaks, and boxed-lunch. To register, please go here Contact Henry Quesada at or (540) 231-0978 to register or for more details.