Industry News

New study confirms hygienic properties of wood in contact with food

An extensive three-year research initiative conducted by the 'EMABOIS' consortium has demonstrated the microbiological and chemical safety of wooden surfaces in contact with fresh products such as fruits, vegetables, fish and dairy products.

The research outcomes - product of 27 projects directed by Aviat and Federighi - were presented at the 66th European Federation of Wooden Pallet & Packaging Manufacturers (FEFPEB) Congress held last autumn in Cork, Ireland.

According to the study, there is a higher antimicrobial effect on wood by physical inhibition on species of wood, including spruce, pine and poplar. In particular, wood porosity is an advantage compared to other materials in contact with food and considered as 'smooth', such as plastic.

With regard to the migration of natural wood molecules, the EMABois consortium concluded that particularly natural, volatile, organic compounds are involved, but their transfer to food is limited, meaning they are safe for the consumer.

These findings are is in line with the microbiological comparative work on fish packaging conducted by Rodríguez Jerez of the Autonomous University of Barcelona in 2014.

In that case the research showed that, thanks to antimicrobial properties, wood containers develop less contamination after contact with fish, and do not affect the quality or safety of the fish.

For a summary of the EMABOIS study click here.


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'UK Corrugated Industry helps Retailers to cut their carbon footprint', CPI underlines

According to the latest figures reported by the Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI), UK Corrugated Industry's is increasingly contributing to help retailers cut their carboon footprint.

CPI's data show that average corrugated board weight has declined from 527gsm in 2005 to 464gsm in 2015, maximising storage and reducing transport costs.

Efficient production and packaging optimisation go hand in hand with sustainability. In this context, re-use and recycling are gaining in importance: over 80% of corrugated is recycled, and new UK boxes are made from more than 75% recycled material. Where new fibre is used, it typically comes from sustainably managed forests. This commitment to responsible forest management has made a huge contribution to the increase in the size of Europe’s forests (up by 30% since 1950).

Corrugated Industry is also steadily regaining lost ground as the UK economy emerged from the downturn. CPI reported that the total area of corrugated board produced by its Members rose by 4% in 2015 compared to 2010.

CPI’s Director of Packaging Affairs, Andy Barnetson, commented: “Corrugated box makers are helping to meet demand from consumers and retailers for attractive and sustainable packaging. The industry is doing more with less by taking effective steps to hold its own in a fiercely competitive global market."

“New technological advances have enabled papers to be made stronger, meaning that lighter weights can be used for the same roles. Combined with novel fluting grades, this makes for significant space savings in transit and storage. Corrugated will continue to evolve and adapt to the challenges ahead.”


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BRE Research Director Ed Suttie heads to North Pole to raise funds for charity

The whole UK Timber Industry is following with interest Ed Sutties's trek to the North Pole using just skis, sledges and tents.

Scientist and Research Director at BRE (Building Research Establishment), Ed has joined a small team making the 230 km journey from 88° to 90° North to reach the official North Pole.

But it's not only the taste for adventure to guide him. In fact this enterprise is helping Ed to raise money for 4 key charities: Cancer Research UKRennie Grove House Hospice, Earthworks St Albans and UK Antarctic Heritage Trust.

"I am completely self-funding my trip and every penny of every donation that I receive is going straight to help these really worthy causes", Ed said some days before his departure.

"I have had a fantastic support from the timber industry. Thanks to your help I have been able to smash my original target of £30,000 for charity and uplift it to £45,000." 

Ed is delivering daily updates directly from his tent with situation reports, texts and images.

To follow his adventure and support the cause, visit and check Ed's Facebook page Ed2NorthPole/.


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ICF launches video to encourage young people to choose Forestry careers

'Forestry Careers in 60 seconds'

The Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) and the Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) have produced a video - 'Forestry careers in 60 seconds' - aiming to show young people the diversity of roles within the UK Forestry sector.

In just 60 seconds, the video showcases several outstanding career paths: from forest management and timber processing to research and ecosystem preservation.

“The old image of foresters as bearded men with chainsaws is so out of step with modern forestry professionals. We want to show that whatever your gender, whether you’re an outdoor or indoor type, business or science-orientated – there is a role in the forestry sector to suit you", said Shireen Chambers FICFor, ICF Executive Director.

"Some may have preconceived ideas about the kind of people that ‘do forestry’ but the reality is that great jobs and careers are available, and the sector needs a wide range of people to join in, so we can make the most of this green, growing business", Jo O’Hara MICFor, Head of Forestry Commission Scotland, added.

For more information, visit

TTF launches member survey to help improve its due diligence process

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has launched a member and stakeholder survey on the Responsible Purchasing Policy (RPP), its due diligence framework, to improve aide compliance with legality and sustainability matters

The online survey, accessible here until Friday 8 April 2016, is part of the TTF’s Strategic Development review of its RPP, aiming to improve the industry benchmark for legal and sustainable sourcing.

The RPP has been in existence for over 10 years, providing members of the Federation with a solid foundation on which to build their compliance processes. TTF members are required to have in place a system of due diligence covering all timber purchases within their businesses. The key requirement of such a policy is to implement detailed due diligence on the species, country of origin and supply chains from which they source their products and to report to the TTF annually on certain criteria

The TTF provides its members with a framework of due diligence and a set of tools that allow them to focus their resources on products and suppliers where there is a higher risk of illegal timber entering their supply chains. It complements existing risk management already in place, such as product certification and provides further assurance that organisations have robust and systematic risk management measures in place.

Dave Hopkins, Managing Director of the TTF said: “The RPP is central to TTF values, membership and reputation. Yet, the market for responsible sourcing has changed dramatically since its start. We need to make sure that we are changing with that market. This review will allow us to assess the current system, compare it against the needs of our customers and develop it accordingly. We want to ensure that the market knows it can trust a TTF member.”


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