Martin Fairbank obtained a Ph.D. in Chemistry and then began a 30-year career in the pulp and paper industry at Abitibi-Price, one of the many predecessors of Resolute Forest Products. During his time at Resolute he worked with over 40 pulp and paper mills in the Resolute family on three continents. Martin currently works as a consultant and lives in the Montreal area.
This book takes us back to 1820 when the William Price Company was established to export lumber to Great Britain from Canada. Over the next two centuries, the company evolved into a producer of pulp, paper and lumber, selling products around the world. The pathway was not a smooth one; the impact of fierce competition, world wars, government regulation and the emergence of the internet threw many challenges at the business. The book tells the story of Resolute's family tree, which includes names such as Abitibi, Consolidated Bathurst, CIP, Bowater, Ontario Paper, Donohue and Price. Several mergers and acquisitions brought them together over the last century.
In parallel, the technology of pulp and paper production has undergone a huge evolution, and the book describes, in simple language, the technical developments that led to the survival or closure of many paper mills. The 21 pulp and paper facilities that Resolute operates in 2016 are the legacy of a family of over 80 facilities that were once in operation.
232 pages, featuring:
70 historic photos
index of past and present pulp and paper facilities in the Resolute family
“Resolute Roots is very interesting. The book description undersells the dynamic history of Resolute and its place in the broader Canadian pulp and paper sector. Having worked in the sector for 14 years, I can recall first/second hand some of the more recent portions of the book. But I was amazed by the earlier time periods. The industry has always been a challenging one! I have added Resolute Roots to our office library for others to enjoy.” - Paul Lansbergen, Forest Products Association of Canada.
“Martin has woven together a fine patchwork quilt of stories that summarizes the complicated history of Resolute. Those of us who are ex-employees can find interesting tidbits of information that we can relate to - the mills, the company's leaders and the points in time when events took place that changed the lives of all of us. The unique style that Martin employs allows one to read any chapter in any order and not get lost. A must read for those of us who were employed at Resolute, or its predecessors, or anyone who is interested in the industry itself.” - Chris Soper, Newfoundland (ex-employee at Stephenville and Grand Falls).
“I just finished reading [Resolute Roots]. I stretched it out purposely so I could enjoy the read longer rather than burning through it in one day....which I could easily have done. Martin provides a meticulous record of some pretty complex transactions but in a very readable style. A casual reader could be forgiven for thinking that the best years for the Canadian pulp and paper sector are behind us. I was particularly impressed with the history of innovation in the sector over the decades...a lesson worth remembering!” - Jim Farrell, retired from Natural Resources Canada.
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