Challenging times ahead on the run-up to this Autumn’s Timber Expo Event

In Blog by Trevor


For the third year in a row, the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI)is again on show at this Autumn’s Timber Expo event at the NEC Birmingham. It links up with various other lead Timber industry organisations at Expo at a challenging time for the UK Timber industry.

Says CTI Chairman, Roy Wakeman OBE says:“Timber Expo comes at a challenging time for the Timber Industry and the UK economy in general, with Brexit looming on the horizon and the housing crisis yet unsolved.

The lead companies on show alongside the CTI are British Woodworking Federation (BWF), Structural Timber Association (STA),Timber Trade Federation (TTF)Trussed Rafter Association (TRA) and Wood Protection Association (WPA).

By sharing the same stand, these four major trade associations uphold the decision of championing a collaborative approach across the UK Timber Industry under the umbrella of the CTI.

Taking place between 9 and 11 October 2018, Timber Expo is the only UK trade show exclusively dedicated to building with wood and is expected to gather thousands of visitors from across the UK Construction Industry.

On this lead CTI lead stand will be a wide set of briefings, presentations and meetings along with offering informative material such as publications and technical guides. The target is to showcase benefits and applications of timber in construction and enlarge the market for timber products.

From this perspective, the Confederation of Timber Industries will also deliver a programme of CPD workshops and networking events, supported by the timber industry’s campaign, ‘Wood for Good’.

Adds Mr Wakeman, “These changing times give us the opportunity to rethink the way our economy is shaped and finally move towards a solid and feasible low carbon model where timber has a great role to play.

Our Industry can considerably help the UK achieve this ambitious target as long as we show unity of purpose among all the major organisations within the Sector. For this reason, the CTI joint stand at Timber Expo – managed in collaboration with the BWF, STA, TTF and WPA – represents not only a point of reference for anyone interested in timber, but also an encouraging signal for the entire Sector”.

Free registration to the show is now open at:

TTF confirms ‘Timber Trader of the Year’ sponsorship

In Blog by Trevor


The Timber Trade Federation are to be sponsors again of the ‘Timber Trader of the Year’ award category at the up and coming TTJ Awards for this current year.

The prize represents the pinnacle of the TTJ Awards ceremony and recognises the company best at optimising all aspects of  its business to achieve growth and strong financial performance right across the UK Timber Trade Industry.

The nominees and winners of the TTJ Awards 2018 will be announced at a lunch-time ceremony held at the InterContinental Park Lane, London on 21st September 2018. Deadline for entries is today Friday 3rd August. For more visit

The Timber Trades Journal (TTJ) is the leading UK trade magazine specifically dedicated to the Timber industry, published by Progressive Media Publishing. It was first published in 1873.

Study report highlights uneven enforcement of EU Timber regulations

In Blog by Trevor


A new study for the European Commission reveals how ‘uneven enforcement’ of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) is letting companies off the hook. This is a key message highlighted in a straight-talking report on to the fore in the latest TTF Newsletter.

The study summarises the checks that competent authorities in Europe performed in June to November 2017 to verify compliance with the EUTR – and there are a good few negatives showing, it is suggested.

There is reveals the report a huge disparity between how countries monitor operators placing imported timber on the EU market. Some countries importing significant quantities of tropical high-risk timber are carrying out very few checks on companies.

Belgium, Europe’s biggest importer of tropical timber, conducted just two checks in the period. France, the second biggest importer of tropical timber, conducted only 14 checks and did not identify any problems with the systems used by the companies to check the legality of timber they place on the market.

Germany, by contrast, carried out 103 checks on companies and found nearly two thirds of those did not have appropriate systems to check the legality of the timber. This resulted in 47 notices being issued and five fines.

The worry is that such disparity creates a loophole, whereby companies know they will face minimal or no checks in some countries.

The report suggests, the only way to close this loophole is by ensuring adequate enforcement across the EU, including the quality and quantity of checks, and adequate follow up action.

For more read the full Global Witness blog post on the new study.

Read the full study: UNEP-WCMC, 2018. Overview of Competent Authority EU Timber Regulation checks, June-November 2017. Statistics of checks performed by EU Member States and EEA countries to enforce the implementation of the EU Timber Regulation. UNEP-WCMC, Cambridge, UK [PDF]

TTF Fire Safety issues Seminar in September

In Blog by Trevor


A key reminder this week regarding a vital interest seminar on wide-ranging essential fire safety issues which is being staged by the Timber Trade Federation.

With fire related issues soaring up the construction products agenda, the TTF is hosting a one day technical seminar, which focuses on ensuring all members know their responsibilities in trading FR rated products. The Seminar will take place on Tuesday 4th September 2018 at the Building Centre, Suite B.

This technical seminar is of particular relevance to all those in the wood panels trade and replaces our scheduled NPPD meeting for September. However, much of the information will also be of relevance to all other products in the timber portfolio. ALL members are welcome and also very much encouraged to attend.

Organised in conjunction with technical input from TTF, WPA and BWF, this event, which was highlighted here earlier, will include presentations, case studies and Q&A covering a wide range of topics.

To see the full agenda and to register your attendance please click HERE. Attendance is free, but registration is essential in order for us to adequately plan catering and seating.

If you would like to sponsor this event, please contact Karen Sussex. Any other queries, Ellie Chapman.

Organisations move to improve treated wood quality for UK Timber supply chain

In Blog by Trevor


Treated wood quality remains top of the agenda for a wide range of Timber Industry actors – from importer/ sawmill right through to the ultimate end user.

That is why the fruitful ongoing collaboration between the TTF and the Wood Protection Association (WPA) represents a win-win situation not only for TTF and WPA Members, but for the UK timber supply chain as a whole.

It was in early 2017 the Timber Trade Federation and the Wood Protection Association (WPA) collaborated on a survey to identify the strategic priorities for growing demand for treated wood in the UK.

The production and sale of preservative pre-treated wood is important to the UK timber supply chain as a whole, from importer/ sawmill right through to the ultimate end user. Some 60 replies were received from across the entire UK supply chain, meaning that the survey represented the most significant piece of research carried out in the treated wood sector for many years.

Survey highlights:

Analysis of the responses made it clear that treated wood quality remains top of the agenda for both TTF and WPA members, with the correct specification of treated wood and access to supply chain product knowledge and education as closely related issues, a factor reinforced by a subsequent TTF survey of BMF members where there is also a demand for improved product knowledge resources on added value treated wood products.

Building a working partnership:

The WPA is represented on and offers technical advice to the TTF National Softwood Division (NSD) committee and the treatment task group set up to focus on follow up actions arising from the industry survey. Three key challenges have been identified from the survey:

The common failure to specify treated wood correctly.

The need for independent verification of the treatment process

The lack of understanding on how to correctly install and use treated wood.

Discussions currently revolve around how best to address these issues effectively whilst adding value for both TTF and WPA members. To that end, WPA is now working with the TTF team to turn these aims into a firm action plan with agreed time-scales. Members will be kept informed of progress.

In addition to the collaboration outlined above, in recent times the WPA has been supporting the TTF at their skills development training sessions on specifying wood treatment around UK venues.

The Timber Trade Federation is also a key sponsor of the WPA UK softwoods field trial project, in collaboration with BRE and the Flame Retardant treated product supply chain education project, in collaboration with the Local Authority Building Control (LABC).

Finally as highlighted here recently, a joint TTF/WPA day-long seminar on timber and fire is currently being planned for TTF members in early September, with a view to rolling out the format for specifiers and building control service providers, again with the aim of adding value for both TTF and WPA members operating in this sector.

TTF sets time table for preservative treatment action

In Blog by Trevor


TTF sets time table for preservative treatment action

The TTF have launched a new action plan to improves treated wood quality. A process will be developed to ease specification of treated timber, raise awareness and understanding in the market and ensure that the right product is being used for the job intended

The aim is ensure the industry fulfils its mission and TTF Members only ever supply “Timber You Can Trust” at all times.

Explains David Hopkins TTF MD, “As you know, TTF members via the NSD and regional associations have been discussing quality related issues regarding preservative treatment in timber products.

Last year the TTF collaborated with the Wood Protection Association (WPA) on a survey to identify the strategic priorities in order to grow demand for preservative treated timber while ensuring that quality and standards are maintained. The scope and scale of this survey represented the most significant piece of research conducted in this sector for many years.

Analysis of the responses, and discussions within the National Softwood Division, makes it clear that treated wood quality remains top of the agenda for the market as a whole.

However, getting the correct specification and supply chain product knowledge were also identified as major issues and potential weaknesses.

This was re-inforced by a subsequent TTF survey of Builders Merchant Federation Members where there is also a demand for improved product knowledge on added value treated wood products.

Three priorities have therefore been identified. These are the common failure to specify treated wood correctly, a lack of understanding on how to correctly install and use treated wood and the need to ensure independent verification of the treatment process.”

The TTF Action Plan

The survey outcomes and issues raised have been extensively discussed by an NSD task group chaired by TTF President Charles Hopping and the recommendations now endorsed by the full NSD at their most recent meeting.

As a result, TTF have taken certain policy decisions relating to the industrial preservation of wood . These decisions are that by an agreed deadline, TTF members with an interest in wood preservation should be able to demonstrate compliance with the following principles.

Also that preservative treated wood is being accurately and unambiguously specified/purchased, for use or resale, and is clearly identified at all points of the chain (on orders, internal stock movement records and sales records) as fit for the intended purpose.

As a minimum this will require identification of the product as suitable for either:

Interior Use only (ie. BS8417 Use Class 2) ;Interior or Exterior use (above ground only) (eg. Use Class 3/NTR Class AB) or all exterior applications (eg. Use Class 4/NTR Class A)

Further assistance and resources to help members to comply with this condition are available from the TTF, WPA and/or preservative chemical suppliers.

The plan is that customers purchasing treated products from TTF members are provided with adequate information and, where appropriate, training in order to be able to use and install those products safely and effectively.

Further assistance and resources should be developed to help members to comply with this condition. These are available from the TTF, WPA and/or preservative chemical suppliers.

These measures relates to preservative treated wood, being produced by or purchased, directly or indirectly, from a treatment provider whose operation has been assessed and approved under an independent and reputable accreditation scheme (eg. WPA Benchmark in the UK, the Nordic NTR scheme or other similar).

Adds David,”The TTF will be consulting with members on how these policy objectives are best met this Autumn. The aim is to develop guidance on compliance options more fully, in time for adoption of this policy initiative at next year’s AGM in June 2019. The required verification data would be gathered from members as part of the existing annual return via RPP”

For further information on any of the above, please contact Nick Boulton (

UK Tree Champion appointed following key Confor proposal move

In Blog by Trevor


In a new initiative, first highlighted by the flourishing Confor organisation, a new UK Tree Champion has been appointed by the British Government

The Tree Champion is to tasked with setting a bold new direction for the country’s forests and woodlands over the next 25 years developing ongoing expansion of forest and woodland cover UK wide.

The man in this ‘hot seat’ is Sir William Worsley, current Chair of the National Forest Company and an early meeting is planned between Sir William and CONFOR in the near future.

Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, made the announcement following Confor’s suggestion that a new figurehead was needed to drive up planting rates and meet Government targets.

Sir William,, has been tasked with and supporting Government manifesto commitments to plant 11 million trees, plus a further one million in towns and cities. The appointment follows through on a commitment made in the Defra’s 25 Year Environment Plan (25YEP), published in early 2018.

Stuart Goodall, Chief Executive of Confor, who exist to support sustainable forestry and wood-using businesses through political engagement, market promotion and supporting our members’ competitiveness, said:

Confor proposed the idea of a Tree Champion when we met Michael Gove last autumn and I’m delighted that this has been followed through. I welcome Sir William’s appointment. Having worked with him on the Independent Panel on Forestry, I know him well and value his knowledge and experience, as well as his real passion and commitment for our forests and woodlands.

He is an excellent appointment by the Secretary of State and Confor is committed to working constructively with Sir William, Defra ministers and officials and all other stakeholders to get more trees in the ground.”

Mr Goodall continued: “This appointment is much-needed to galvanise efforts to drive up tree planting rates in England, with the 11 million trees by 2022 target still well off course. We have started to see larger-scale schemes coming through, at Lowther and Doddington, but much more needs to be done.”

The planting target in the 25YEP [increasing forest cover in England from 10 to 12 per cent by 2060] means 7,500 hectares of new forests need to be planted each year until 2060.

However, the latest Forestry Commission statistics show that only 7,500 hectares have been planted in the last FIVE years, so a step change is needed to meet long-term targets.

Mr Goodall said Sir William’s appointment came at a crucial time, with major post-Brexit issues including plant health and the new support regime for the UK countryside to replace the Common Agricultural Policy.

Sir William’s remit includes supporting the development of a future forestry grant scheme outside the EU – “one that encourages large-scale tree planting, reduces carbon and rewards landowners for enhancing the environment”.

Mr Goodall added: “The UK is the second largest importer of wood products in the world, after China, so the new trade deals to be negotiated as we leave the EU are vital to the future.”

He said the Government also needed to publish details of its proposal for Forestry Investment Zones (FIZs), designed to kick-start commercial planting: “Wood processors are pressing for the first FIZ area to be in the north of England and to be supported by the Borderlands Growth Deal. This is one area where Sir William can make an immediate impact so there is new commercial planting alongside proposals for the Northern Forest.

Confor has written to Sir William to welcome him to his post and looks forward to an early meeting to discuss all these key issues and identify how to drive up planting rates quickly.”

Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: “We have a responsibility to make sure the next generation inherit the woodlands, forests and trees they deserve. We are beginning to see good progress in growing tree cover, but we need to go further – and faster.”


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NEPCon launches online survey on ‘due diligence’ best practices and EUTR

In Blog by Trevor


EU Timber companies are being asked for opinions on key issues by the NEPCon organisation.

This survey will provide further understand ing on how confident the companies are with the EUTR and the applied ‘due diligence’, also highlighting difficulties to help the compliance with regulations.

NEPCon is encouraging EU-based companies working in the timber sector to share their experience with due diligence and the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR).

The five-minute survey is part of the ‘Supporting Legal Timber Trade’ project, aimed to show timber-related businesses how to align with the EU Timber Regulation and discover possibilities of gaining a competitive edge.

The survey targets a wide range of timber-related companies from pulp and paper manufacturer, sawmill, wood processor to timber trader.

The online consultation is available in 10 languages, namely English, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, German, Romanian, Hungarian, Spanish and Portuguese.

NepCon –

NEPCon is a non-profit organisation that builds commitment and capacity for mainstreaming sustainability. We foster solutions for safeguarding our natural resources and tackling climate change.

Say NEPCon, “We’re over 7 billion strong on this planet, and every human being deserves a good life. The challenge is to reach this goal, whilst protecting the natural environment on which we depend and which is increasingly under pressure.

The potential for a sustainable world is there. Good solutions for responsible land management and climate-friendly business already exist, and more are under way.

NEPCon are working to unlock the potential through innovation projects and by promoting high-impact solutions that result in deep-seated change.Peter Feilberg, NEPCon Executive  Director 

“Our vision is a world where human choices ensure a sustainable future.” Peter Feilberg, NEPCon Executive  Director