Center for Forest Products Business promotes Appalachian wood products in Costa Rica

Blacksburg, VA. March 21, 2012. Dr. Henry Quesada-Pineda, assistant professor and assistant director of the Center of Forest Products Business at Virginia Tech participated in a short course for wood products companies in Hojancha, Costa Rica on March 6 and 15, 2012. The short course was organized conjointly by Virginia Tech, Costa Rica Tech, and the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE).

Dr. Henry Quesada-Pineda promotes Appalachian wood products in Costa Rica

More than 25 people attended the short course that included topics such as primary processing, product design, continuous improvement, and strategy and marketing planning. Dr. Quesada-Pineda presented results on a marketing research project funded by the Federal State Market Improvement Program (FSMIP) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The main goal of the project was to uncover potential opportunities for Appalachian wood products in Central America and Costa Rica. Costa Rica consumes over 1.1 million m3 of lumber per year. Due to the country’s high regulations on the harvesting of natural forests, most of the demand is fulfilled with plantation lumber and imports.

The wood products industries located in the region of Hojancha, Costa Rica are well organized and they produce a variety of high value-added products such as solid furniture, log cabins, and souvenirs for the local and export market. The group is very interested in finding a good supply of hardwood lumber given the current situation with the local supply and it seems that Appalachian hardwoods could be a very good fit to fulfill the increasing demand.

If you wish to read the full report on the project Marketing Opportunities for Appalachian Wood Products in Central America, please contact Dr. Henry Quesada-Pineda at quesada@vt.edu