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Will High Hopes be Leveled by Low Bids?

​​Copyright   2019


They’ve even named a street after this year’s bidding season…

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Few would claim to have seen the invisible hand of the market. Even fewer would attempt to influence it. 

Nevertheless, in its recent state of the forestry services sector report the WFCA has recommended tree planting bid prices should rise by at least 25%. 

This follows the RoundUpDate’s recent dinning that workers need to be paid more if the sector wants to keep them leaning into piece-work with any enthusiasm, or to even show up for that matter. 

To make sure everyone gets the memo the WFCA has sent the report with its bold recommendations to contractors and clients in both British Columbia and Alberta just as bidding and negotiating begins for next year’s planting work. 

Will it have an effect? It might. It would be disingenuous for any licensee or public foresters to say the pressure to raise prices comes as a surprise. The private sector clients especially have enjoyed a monopsony market and taken the advantages that go with it. 

And our government’s low bid auctions are named that for a reason. But with an increasing reforestation program the contractors now have the supply-demand winds at their back as the report points out. 

In order to be helpful the WFCA has offered to work with government and industry to bring about a market correction saying this disruption might prove more beneficial than the probable disruption of an eroding workforce. 

The association has even proposed to open the lid of the Ark of the Covenant, otherwise known as the appraisal system, and look at the algorithms—at risk of being turned to a pillar of salt—to adjust them to the new forestry price structure. 

Of course, Mr. Keynes never bid on any tree planting contracts as far as we know. So just where his figurative hand of the market will take things is in the literal hands of contractors. And we will leave it at that messy figure of speech. To read the report CLICK HERE