Industry News

ETTF releases special Newsletter focused on FLEGT licensing

The European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) has issued a special edition of its Newsletter, specifically focused on FLEGT licensing.

The Newsletter - available here - marks the announcement that Indonesia will issue the first legality assurance FLEGT licences for timber and wood exports to the EU on 15 November 2016.

It also offers details from the JIC announcement and looks at the background and development of the Indonesia-EU VPA featuring an exclusive interview with EC Environmental Commissioner Karmenu Vella and reaction to the news and comment on expected market impacts of FLEGT licensing from across the EU trade.

Finally, the Newsletter shows the latest FLEGT VPA developments in Ghana and reports the launch of the FLEGT information point website

"It has taken time to get here, resulting in a dip in FLEGT licensing awareness in the marketplace", said ETTF Secretary General André de Boer. "It has been a huge undertaking by Indonesia and the EU and hopefully will now give the wider FLEGT Voluntary Partnership  agreement initiative, and other suppliers involved, renewed impetus".

Mr de Boer added: "Indonesia’s success is just the start of the FLEGT licensing journey. We must also maintain pressure for strict, uniform enforcement of the EUTR EU-wide. Any weakness here is a disincentive to supply and buy FLEGT-licensed timber."

"That's why we need a virtuous trading circle with rigorous EUTR enforcement driving demand for FLEGT-licensed timber."


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China and Brazil dominate plywood supply to the UK, TTF Stats show

As reported by the latest TTF Statistical Bulletin, China and Brazil dominate the supply of plywood to the UK, accounting for around three-quarters of the total volume from non-EU countries.

In details, China is by far the largest supplier of hardwood plywood - commanding a 56% share of the market – while Brazil controls around 56% of softwood plywood market.

These figures confirm that plywood imported to the UK is largely sourced outside the European Union (81% against 19%) both for hardwood and softwood plywood.

Among plywood suppliers from the EU, Finland accounts for nearly 50% of the trade, followed at a distance by France (8%) and Latvia (8%).

The Statistics - available here for TTF Members - also underline a reasonable increase in the imported volume of timber and panel products in the first half of 2016: around 5% higher than in the same period in 2015.


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CPI to sponsor Corrugated Category for UK Packaging Awards 2016

The Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI) will sponsor the Corrugated: Online Retail and Consumer Goods category at UK Packaging Awards 2016, taking place at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 27 October.

The category is open to all corrugated packs produced in the UK that are delivered directly to consumers, including packs for online retail, outer boxes for products such as drinks, packs for large consumer items, white goods and so on.

Competition for this award is tough as corrugated companies are synonymous with innovation and versatility for transit packaging. Corrugated can fit almost any shape and size, making it a vital logistics partner for online retailers, and is the most recycled packaging material in the country.

CPI’s Director of Packaging Affairs, Andy Barnetson, commented: “It’s the first time we have sponsored a corrugated category at the UK Packaging Awards. We feel it’s important to recognise the tremendous efforts put in by the Corrugated Industry to meet the demands of an everchanging retail landscape."


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The Circular Building opens its doors to the public

On the occasion of the London Design Festival 2016, The Building Centre, Arup, The Built Environment Trust, Frener & Reifer and BAM have teamed up to create The Circular Building.

The installation - raised in front of The Building Centre in London and open to the public Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm - intends to explore how we might apply circular economy principles to the design and construction of buildings.

The Circular Building offers a solid example of how we might:

- Lease rather than purchase materials and products

- Maximise off-site fabrication

- Select materials that can be re-used, remanufactured or recycled at end of life

- Choose mechanical and push-fit connections rather than adhesives to allow deconstruction

- Avoid wet trades

- Design fit-out to comprise interchangeable panels leased from suppliers

- Ventilation provided by prototype equipment made from recycled plastic, cardboard and re-manufactured drinks cans

- Electrical system is low voltage and off-grid, facilitating future flexibility and ease-of-maintenance

The installation is also accompanied by Circular Living - an exhibition exploring the impact of the circular economy in a range of industries, from fashion to product design- and by the conference 'Circular economy in the built environment' to take place on 21 September 2016.

Further information is available here.


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"Our business and supply chains are slavery-free", says Forestry Commission

The Forestry Commission (FC) has released an official statement on Modern Slavery and Human trafficking.

"Our supply chain is made up of a large number of third party providers, many of which are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)", explained FC Director of Central Services Jean Lindsay.

"We procure a large and varied range of goods, works and services from corporate clothing and tree shelters, through to operation services such as harvesting, planting and forest road building."

"We have zero tolerance to slavery and human trafficking and are committed to ensuring that there is no modern slavery or human trafficking in our supply chains or in any part of our business."

In details, the steps taken by the Forestry Commission to reduce the risk of modern slavery include:

  • All employees are paid above the National Living Wage
  • FC Grievance, Bullying and Harassment, and Whistleblowing policies give a platform for the employees to raise concerns and ‘blow the whistle’ on any wrong-doing within the Organisation
  • Adoption of the European Public Contracts Directive which governs good practice in procurement
  • Inclusion of discretionary exclusion criteria relating to breach of environmental, social and labour law within Invitation to Tender documents issued during 15/16, covering England or on a GB wide basis

"Following a review of the effectiveness of the steps we have taken to ensure that there is no slavery or human trafficking in our business or supply chains, we intend to take further steps and develop policies and processes to identify, assess and monitor potential risk areas in our supply chains", Ms Lindsay concluded.


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