About AHEC

For over 25 years the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has been at the forefront of international wood promotion, successfully building a distinctive and creative brand for U.S. hardwoods. AHEC’s global programme secures a future for American hardwoods by demonstrating the performance and aesthetic potential of these sustainable materials, while providing valuable creative inspiration and technical assistance.

From Washington, DC and six overseas offices, strategically located in key hardwood markets, AHEC conducts a worldwide non-profit promotion programme with activities in more than 5 countries. All programmes are run though the joint efforts of the U.S. hardwood industry and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and they aim to give members the sharp competitive edge needed to meet the growing worldwide demand for American hardwood products.

AHEC recognises that no single hardwood company or association alone can promote its products intensively worldwide. Nor can it keep track of every critical international market trend and export opportunity whilst also personally educating potential foreign buyers about U.S. hardwood products. But united in AHEC, they can.

The U.S. Hardwood Industry

The export industry we represent is made up of companies, many still family owned, that are either sawmills, veneer producers, moulding and flooring producers, traders with concentration yards and kilns or combinations thereof. Together this industry exports in baulk (by container) to over 50 countries worldwide more than 20 commercially available hardwood species, although the more important volume species are the oaks, maples, ash, tulipwood, cherry, alder and walnut. Lumber is produced and exported according to the NHLA standard and details of the grades, with illustrations, can be found on this site. Veneer producers, however, tend to set their own grades according to customer requirement, grouped as panel, furniture and backing. AHEC is a voice for the hardwood industry in export markets and represents the committed American hardwood exporters and the major U.S. hardwood product trade associations. Here is a list of all AHEC members who supply hardwood lumber, veneer and other products.

Specialist hardwood importers and manufacturers buy American sawn lumber and veneer in volume direct from the USA. These companies can then administer regional distribution of the raw material, or produce components or finished products that can be specified by architects and designers or consumed by end users. Regional trade associations, federations and technical wood organisations can provide local market access to companies trading and manufacturing in American hardwoods. This site lists some of the most relevant European organisations.

What We Do

Our programme educates, informs and inspires through a wide range of activities including technical information, networking assistance, creative collaborations, hosted and supported events and global public relations campaigns. Our mission is to develop new opportunities for American hardwoods and to provide specifiers and users around the world the incentive to make an informed choice about the timber they use. This website provides that information in the form of AHEC’s special projects, films, sustainability profiles, species guide, grading standards, case studies and examples of the many hardwood species available. It is also an important source of comment and market news. If you want to keep up to date with our latest projects, you can sign up to our newsletter here. We deliver technical workshops for architecture and design studios, as well as for the timber industry, if you are interested in organising one for your company, get in touch.

Contact Us

From Washington, DC and six overseas offices, strategically located near key hardwood markets, AHEC conducts a worldwide promotion programme with activities in more than 35 countries. All programmes are run though the joint efforts of the U.S. hardwood industry and the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), to broaden the impact on, and outreach into international markets giving members the sharp competitive edge needed to meet the growing worldwide demand for American hardwood products.