Wood Purchasing News


Feature Story

Paul Thabet serves as director of sawmills and oversees green lumber for Cambium Wood Products Ltd., which is headquartered in Lambton, Quebec. Alain Ratté is president of the company, and Annie Poulin handles the firm’s overseas export sales. The three are standing in front of Hard Maple logs in the yard at Lambton.

Global Service, Forward Thinking Puts Cambium  At Forefront
By Doug Knowles

Lambton, Quebec—It is easy to become successful when companies want to buy the best from suppliers and provide the best to its customers. That is exactly what Alain Ratté, president of Cambium Wood Products Ltd., did when he founded the company in 1989.

“We have developed unmatched expertise in the purchasing, processing and sale of hardwood logs and lumber, and earned a reputation for quality products and services,” Ratté said. “The solid, long-term relationships we have built with our own suppliers let us guarantee a secure supply of quality products.”

Situated about 20 miles from the U.S. border in Southern Quebec-just above Jackman, Maine, Cambium purchases all of its logs from the U.S.

“We really like the color, texture and quality coming from the U.S.,” Ratté said.

Main species include Hard Ma
As logs arrive at the sawmill, they are scaled.
ple, Red and White Oak, Yellow Birch, White Ash, Beech, Cherry and Soft Maple.

Cambium operates two sawmills one in Lambton and the other in Saint-Camille-de-Lellis, Quebec, which is a stone’s throw from the Maine border.

“Our lumber mills are strategically located near the U.S. border,” he said. “They are staffed by experienced and dedicated employees, they are outfitted with cutting edge equipment to rapidly meet our customers needs.”

Each year, Cambium processes over 20 million board feet of lumber. About 35 percent of the company’s production is kiln dried by its own dry kilns, the rest is sold in the green market.

“Our recipe for quality is straightforward. First, we choose our logs with painstaking care, taking
Maple logs are shown here being sawn with a PHL end dogging machine at Cambium’s plant No. 2, a recently opened operation especially designed for manufacturing 8-foot logs.
into consideration the supplier and the health and source of the wood,” Ratté said. “Then we process the wood ourselves at one of our two sawmills. There, our dedicated and highly qualified employees put their experience to work to determine how to get the best out of each and every log.”

Lastly, all lumber is National Hardwood Lumber Assoc. certified, guaranteeing the customer consistent quality and performance.

Cambium is also committed to proper forest usage and this is reflected in the fact that its procurement policy is to obtain a major part of its logs from forests that are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative program.

“Our company policy helps ensure that the forest industry resources will be well managed in all aspects, such as conservation, wildlife, as well as water and soil,” Ratté said. “We think long term.”

Paul Thabet is director of sawmills and oversees green lumber for Cambium.
Ratté, Thabet and Poulin are standing with some of the company’s green 4/4 Hard Maple boards.

“With a volume of over 1.7 million board feet every month, Cambium Inc. is definitely a major player in the industry,” Thabet said.

Most of the lumber is shipped within North America, however, some is shipped all over the world.

“Annie Poulin handles our overseas export sales program. She can speak German, English, French and Spanish,” Ratté said.

“For the past year we have been exporting to the United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Israel and recently began exporting to Mexico,” Poulin said.

Cambium ships direct and through agents, where appropriate.

“We found that we had to diversify our markets, and offer different widths, lengths, thicknesses
Boards are being graded after coming out of the kiln. Cambium’s kiln-drying facilities are located at St. Benoit, Quebec.
, etc. For speciality orders, fixed widths, lengths sorts and color sorts are available,” she said.

Domestically, the company ships to furniture, flooring and trailer flooring manufacturers, as well as wholesalers and other exporters.

Key employees include: Patricia Grondin, director of administrative services; Danielle Michaud, invoicing and accounts payable; Raymonde Drouin, administrative assistant; and Francine Roy, traffic control.

In addition to Ratté, Thabet and Poulin, American sales are handled by U.S.-based sales representatives. Sales and shipping are handled by Jean-Pierre Fortier.

Log procurement is handled by a staff that includes: Lawrence Donahue, log procurement director; James Kenary and Jason Coons, log buyers; and Normande Veilleux, administration and procurement.

The company belongs to the Wood Product Manufacturers Assoc., Canadian Lumbermen’s Ass
Domestic and export shipments are made by Cambium.
oc., and the NHLA.

“We also contribute to the development of future forestry workers through its “ambassador” partnership with Ecole de foresterie et du bois Duchesnay. This recognized school of forestry and wood products trains students in the theoretical and practical aspects of forestry operations and wood products marketing,” Ratté said.

Cambium’s commitment is to apply rigorous care to each phase to make sure that customer’s expectations are met and exceeded.

“The satisfaction shown by suppliers and customers alike is our assurance of a promising future,” Ratté said. “As we pursue our efforts to please our customers, we envision ambitious projects for our company.”

This 4/4 and 5/4 Hard Maple has been end trimmed and awaits shipment overseas.

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