Industry News

Europe continues to dominate Supply of Timber and Panel Products to UK Market

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has issued its Monthly Stats Bulletin for April 2017 including a focus on the on the Source of Timber and Panel Products Supply to the UK Market in 2016.

According to TTF data:

- UK imports of the main timber and panel products rose in 2016 by 5.2% to climb to a total of 9.8 million m3.

- Europe accounted for the great majority of the volume of timber imported to the UK, supplying 86% of all imports. Volume from Europe was 8.4 million m3, an increase of just over 6% on 2015.

- Volume supplied specifically from the EU amounted to 7.9 million m3, or 93% of all volume from Europe including Russia.

- The share of supply from Asia fell from 8.7% in 2015 to 8.0% in 2016, mainly due to lower plywood volumes shipped from China.

- The share of supply held by North America fell for the third year in a row, down from 2.3% in 2014 to 1.9% in 2016.

Softwood is by far the main product imported to the UK Timber Market, mostly for Europe. The European supply continued to be dominated by EU countries such as Sweden, with a 43% share of supply, Latvia, Finland, Germany and the Republic of Ireland.

Hardwood is traded in much lower volumes with products mostly coming from Europe (51% of global market share in 2016) and North America (28% of global market share). 

TTF Members can access the complete infographic on the Source of Timber and Panel Products Supply to the UK Market in 2016 here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/europe-continues-dominate-supply-timber-and-panel-products-uk-market]

Teak from Myanmar: TTF warns on high risk of illegality in the supply chain

Following Denmark’s recent decision to prohibit Danish companies selling Teak from Myanmar on the EU market, the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has warned its member companies of the high risk of illegal logging in the area.

According to the TTF, currently it is extremely difficult to fully document the Myanmar supply chain from forest source to export and, therefore, conducting due diligence.

However, the TTF also notes that on 16 March this year the Myanmar Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC) published a statement setting out the next steps in the country’s forestry reform process.  In the statement on behalf of the Union Minister, U Ohn Win, there was an acknowledgement of the complexity of the current system and a commitment to streamlining their systems.  A joint focal group has been convened to prepare a document for international traders that sets out a full description of supply chain documents.  This will be aligned with the restarting of logging following the current 2016-17 Logging Moratorium so that the new harvest will have improved traceability. 

David Hopkins, Managing Director of the TTF said: “If the EUTR is to be successfully implemented, then there must be a level playing field in Europe. This means we should respect the decisions made in Sweden and Denmark. While noting the positive reform changes recently announced in Myanmar we continue to advise our members to exercise caution in any trade from Myanmar, be aware of ongoing reform developments and ensure that all due diligence documents are clearly in place.” 

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/teak-myanmar-ttf-warns-high-risk-illegality-supply-chain]

BWF launches new employment guidance to help joinery businesses save money and time

The British Woodworking Federation (BWF) has launched a set of employment guides and new draft policies to support how a joinery business can employ, manage and appraise members of staff.

The raft of documents aims to provide clear guidance on often-tricky employment matters and allows BWF members to focus on manufacture and sell high-class joinery products.

The guidance features a new employee handbook that BWF members can adapt and use, along with further information on appraisal techniques and an example contract for prospective employees. This is in addition to template policies covering areas such as social media use, company vehicles, data protection and maternity/paternity leave.

The set of guides also includes downloadable information addressing the procedures for managing ill-health absence, how to set out a clear disciplinary and redundancy process and the right way to handle employment tribunal claims.

As well as aiding the management of staff, the new resources can help attract new employees, assist with Pre-qualification Questionnaires and support compliance with the BWF Code of Conduct which sets out the principles of good practice for a woodworking or joinery business.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/bwf-launches-new-employment-guidance-help-joinery-businesses-save-money-and-time]

AHEC launches ‘Bostanlı Footbridge' project showcasing use of thermally-modified American ash

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) has launched a new case study showcasing the use thermally-modified American ash to create a new integrated coastal attraction in Izmir, Turkey.

The ‘Bostanlı Footbridge’ and ‘Bostanlı Sunset Lounge’ have been designed by Studio Evren Başbuğ Architects as part of the 'Karşıkıyı' concept created for the 'İzmirSea' coastal regeneration project. These two architectural installations, which are positioned in close proximity and in reference to each other, have generated a new, integrated coastal attraction, where the Bostanlı Creek flows into the bay, on a very special and unique spot due to the geometric form of the coastline. Opened in July 2016, the site has become one of the top public attractions in Karşıyaka, İzmir and has been embraced and visited by residents from all over the city.

The ‘Bostanlı Footbridge’, oriented in its unique position and providing a view of the bay on one side and the city on the other, has been designed with an asymmetrical cross-section. This special section is formed by several cascading thermally-modified American ash boards, produced and provided by Novawood, installed on a steel frame, allowing users to enjoy the view of the bay either sitting or sprawling. In this way, the bridge goes beyond being just an infrastructural urban element, solely used as a thoroughfare, and instead, serves as a public leisure and attraction piece in relation to its environment.

“Given that the site was so unique in terms of its location and geography, as designers we did not need any more inspiration from the outside. The 'Bostanlı Footbridge’ and 'Bostanlı Sunset Lounge’, both promise a new urban space to experience different forms of 'idleness', by employing the social, geographical and historical backgrounds of this unique location. These new coastal installations fit perfectly with the 'Easy Way of Living' vision established for the city of İzmir, by the 'İzmirSea' coastal regeneration project,” said Evren Başbuğ, Founding Partner, Studio Evren Başbuğ Architects.

“All the materials are open to the corrosive effects of salty sea water. Also as a Mediterranean city, İzmir has a relatively high percentage of sunny days, leaving the thermally-modified ash vulnerable to the ultraviolet sunlight. These conditions made us think twice at the design phase but we decided to give it a try. It has been almost a year since the opening, and we frequently visit the site to see if there is any significant material degrade, but the wood is performing well. Wood ages nicely,” added Başbug.

More details about the project are available here.

For the photo gallery, click here

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/ahec-launches-%E2%80%98bostanl%C4%B1-footbridge-project-showcasing-use-thermally-modified-american-ash]

Companies need Governments' support to halt deforestation, says Fern survey

The environmental NGO Fern has issued a new report - How businesses are meeting commitments to end deforestation - asking Governments to do more to help companies whose products drive tropical deforestation.

Fern interviewed 15 major companies involved in the production and trade of four agricultural commodities which are causing the most of forest loss worldwide: palm oil, timber, cocoa and rubber.

The survey covered big name Western users and traders of agricultural commodities, such as Unilever, Nestlé, Cargill and IKEA. It also included producer companies based in developing countries which are not household names but nonetheless have considerable influence, such as APP (Asia Pulp and Paper), Sime Darby and Golden Agri-Resources

Areas where companies wanted government support in their efforts to end deforestation included:

  • having clear and consistent policies on customary land tenure;
  • better and more effectively implemented policies on land use planning and the allocation of concessions;
  • stronger protection of forests that are rich in carbon and have high conservation value;
  • tougher enforcement of existing laws designed to protect forests.

Failures of government regulation and enforcement were specifically identified as problems.

Other major issues reported in the survey included:

  • In general, the companies interviewed believed that global targets for reducing deforestation set out in the UN’s New York Declaration on Forests, and by industry bodies such as the Consumer Goods Forum, would not be met. Companies did, however, expect to deliver on promises they have made about their own operations. Achieving targets for cocoa and rubber was seen as more difficult than for timber and palm oil.
  • Social issues, including disputes over land tenure and ownership, were viewed by many companies as critical and far more difficult to resolve than environmental issues. The lack of clarity over ‘who owns the land’ was seen as a particular problem.
  • Some companies had experienced problems with investors being more focused on short-term profits; none reported pressure from investors to increase their levels of ambition.
  • The cost to companies of meeting their commitments, although difficult to calculate, are seen as significant but not excessive for large companies.
  • Systematic external monitoring of overall company commitments and progress towards them is not common, but some companies are developing systems.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/companies-need-governments-support-halt-deforestation-says-fern-survey]

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