Industry News

INTERPOL launches new 'Ecomessage' system to fight environmental crimes

INTERPOL, the international organisation connecting police forces worldwide, has recently published new guidelines to track and tackle forest-related crimes more effectively.

The guidelines - downloadable here - describe the types of information that are most valuable to law enforcement agencies. They provide a standardised format – the 'Ecomessage' – that anyone can use to report illegal logging, timber smuggling, illicit trade or importing companies in the EU failing to comply with their EUTR due diligence obligations.

Members of the public are encouraged to contact their national law enforcement agency (police, customs or environmental government agencies) if they wish to provide sensitive information and help in investigations, using the Ecomessage system.

"The 'Ecomessage' enables both INTERPOL and national decision-makers to proactively identify high-risk areas and persons and to devise tailored activities and operations in response. This vital step towards effective intelligence-led policing is the comprehensive collection of data from our member countries across the world, in order to enable a truly global analysis of environmental crime", said the INTERPOL.


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Timber Trade Federation launches survey on EU membership

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has launched an online survey to collect members’ views on the EU referendum to take place on 23 June 2016. The deadline for submission is Thursday 5th of May 2016.

The survey - available here - will help the TTF understand its members’ needs and expectations about the future of timber industry and UK economy.

The TTF has clarified that it does not intend to take a view. Instead, "it will feed the data into ongoing work through the Construction Products Association (CPA) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)."

“This referendum should make us think about those areas we consider important for social and economic development – in Europe and the UK – and force us to become more proactively engaged in achieving them”, said TTF Managing Director David Hopkins in a recent interview with the Timber Trade Journal.

In the chart below you can see the results of relevant UK business polls on EU Membership (last update: April 2016).

All the figures have been sourced on the organisations' websites.

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Exports of American hardwood to UK declined in 2015

As reported by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), in 2015 the volume of US sawn hardwood exports to the UK fell to 93,000 m3 from 105,000 m3 in 2014.

However, exports to the UK in 2015 were still significantly higher than in 2013 and contribute to a general, upward trend. The downturn last year was evident across all the main species exports into the UK including white oak (the species which accounts for over half the US timber sold in the UK), tulipwood and ash. Conversely, exports of walnut to the UK market continue to grow, making 2015 the sixth consecutive year of increasing exports.

On a continental scale, the economic value of US sawn hardwood exports to Europe declined by 9.9% to $277 million, while volume fell 11.1% to 348,100 m3.

Rising exports to Spain and Ireland managed to offset the declining exports to the UK, Italy, Germany, Portugal and Sweden. Despite a fall in exports of species including tulipwood and ash, the exports of white oak and red oak increased slightly.

These declines occurred at a time when European currencies weakened sharply against the dollar and there was only slow post-recession growth in key economic sectors, like construction and furniture.


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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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Snows Timber MD Jim Peryer to retire in April

Snows Timber has announced that its Managing Director Jim Peryer will retire from the company at the end of April.

Peryer led Snows Timber from a 2-site, £12million-turnover business to a 4-site operation with a turnover of £45million and over 200 employees.

Mark Eburne, CEO of Snows’ parent group, Bradfords & Sons, paid tribute to Jim Peryer, saying: “Jim has made an outstanding contribution during his 18-year tenure as Managing Director, improving the business to deliver excellent service to our customers, developing our people and improving our systems and processes."

A well-known figure in the timber trade industry, Mr Peryer served on the Committee of the Western Timber Association for 20 years, three of them as chairman, and was the designed chairman of the National Softwood Division of the Timber Trade Federation for three years. He also served three terms on the TTF’s Governing Board. 


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