"When we entered the UK in 2011 we decided not to do it from a distance; we made a commitment to the market," said general manager Mike McDonald. The company has a terminal operation at Royal Dock in Bristol, an office in Oxford, and has invested in its eastern Canadian mills to produce C16 and C24 for the UK.

Establishing a UK base during the economic downturn and at a time when Canadian volumes to the UK have waned demonstrated Eacom’s commitment to the UK, said Mr McDonald.

"It’s a long-term venture so the time at which we enter the market is incidental," he said.

Eacom was supported on the stand by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, whose secondary wood product specialist, Ralph Spaans, agreed that a downturn was a good time to establish business.

"If we get in now and it’s successful then, as the economy changes, we’ll be even more successful," he said.