News & Events

CTI publishes three year strategic plan

This blog post is by Dirk Vennix, CTI Chief Executive

In June 2015 30 organisations came together to launch the CTI. Six months on, the Confederation has doubled in size, providing the CTI with an even bigger platform to deliver its vision: one campaigning voice which will help develop a vibrant and increasingly prosperous industry.  

In order to make this all happen the CTI Board recently had a look at where the industry is now and could be in the next few years. Today the CTI publishes its strategic plan for 2015-2017 which is going to address four strategic themes: stakeholder engagement, growth, skills and sustainability.

Stakeholder engagement

It is fair to say that the timber supply chain is pretty fragmented and up to now has not had a single industry voice on policy issues that matter. The CTI will engage with Governments and parliaments to help build support for issues such as growth, skills an sustainability. In 2016 activities include our inaugural stakeholder conference with contributions from ministers, parliamentarians, industry executives and other key stakeholders as well as events which are being planned by a new parliamentary group for the timber industries. Watch this space!

Growth

So far industry dialogue with Government on incentives for growth has been quite limited whilst the various sectors in the supply chain have had to deal with tough economic times and are only just starting to show some growth now. In order to help grow the use of timber the CTI will publish a report assessing the markets and start developing new incentives, local government partnerships and alliances with construction and manufacturing sectors.

Skills

If the industry is going to grow this will exacerbate the existing skills shortages and gaps in the education system. Not enough young people are looking for work in the timber industry. On top of that, the provision of further and higher education courses is fairly minimal across the country and there are not enough apprenticeships in the supply chain. The CTI has commissioned Proskills to assess industry needs in 2016 and where required will support the launch of new timber related courses for young people as well as help increase the number of apprenticeships. We will also encourage more young people to go for a career in the sector by helping to develop an ambassadorial schools network across the supply chain.

Sustainability

Last but not least, the Board’s stocktake found that the sector could do more to develop a credible place at the forefront of the low carbon society. The CTI will publish a report which further develops the case for low carbon footprint and further contributions to the UK’s carbon reduction targets.  We will also help CTI members in their quest to ensure consistent application of existing certification standards and improve implementation of timber related regulations in the EU.

Next steps

Needless to say there is a lot of work to be done in the next few years. In the short term, the CTI will publish and present the Board’s initial findings and recommendations to Government on growth, skills and sustainability at our inaugural stakeholder conference in May 2016.

It will take a while for the CTI to develop further but the building blocks have been put in place and we have made substantial progress with the strategic plan which you will find on our website. Not even in my wildest dreams did I picture an industry landscape with such a high degree of support after six months. I hope more organisations will join the CTI network and help us to continue to take baby steps to a brighter future for the benefit of the whole timber supply chain.

Download CTI Strategic Plan 2015-2017

90% of timber entering the UK is certified, TTF Due Diligence Report shows

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has recently published its Annual Responsible Sourcing Report.

The report analysed data from 159 companies, covering around 76% of the total volume of timber and logs consumed in the UK in 2014. The top line findings are that little has changed in terms of the exposure to risk the UK faces when it comes to illegal logging, with around 90% of all products certified to FSC/ PEFC.

The level of certified purchases however has regressed slightly as some companies seem to now be using their due diligence systems to mitigate risk ahead of buying certified product.

A positive note is that the proportion of certified timber remained similar to previous years even though the volume of timber reported for 2014 was substantially higher. 

"The work that the TTF and its members have done in this area - renamed in 2014 as the Responsible Purchasing Process - has delivered measurable benefits to Members’ businesses and, by definition, to the timber supply chain", said outgoing TTF Chief Executive David Lennan. "Importantly, it has provided a framework for companies to provide the evidence and data to show that they are increasingly buying from sources that are more formally and at a minimum, legally managed."

Read the Due Diligence Report here.

Confor welcomes new Study Group to prevent floods in Cumbria

Confor has hailed the establishment of a new Study Group focused on how to prevent devastating floods in the North-west of England.

The Cumbrian Floods Partnership group, which is expected to publish a Cumbria Action Plan next summer, will be chaired by Floods and Forestry Minister Rory Stewart.

According to Confor Chief Executive Stuart Goodall, "the long-term strategic approach proposed by Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss was the right way forward - and that tree-planting could play an important part in the discussions of the new Cumbrian Floods Partnership group."

"The report produced by Confor and Forest Research earlier this year outlined a range of ways in which tree planting can help reduce flood risks. We recognise that this is just one of a broad package of measures needed to tackle these devastating events - but it is an important part of that package, not just for those affected by the recent floods, but also for future generations", Mr Goodall added.

"The forestry and wood sector very much looks forward to contributing to these significant debates. Confor and The Woodland Trust are writing jointly to Elizabeth Truss to highlight our water management report and other research work on the contribution of tree planting to reducing flood risk."

BRE conference on Offsite Construction in February

On 11 February 2016 the Building Research Establishment (BRE), in partnership with the Structural Timber Association (STA) will hold a conference on offsite construction at BRE headquarter in Watford.

The event is studied to help clients, investors and developers to understand the investment case and the opportunities for delivering buildings and assets more efficiently and cost-effectively using offsite and modern methods of construction.

Offsite construction is crucial to the government’s strategy to increase efficiency, reduce costs and lower carbon emissions in the industry. It can also represent a valid answer to delivering more homes.

For more information click here.

Check our calendar for other events.

Spanish Government approves decree to implement EUTR and FLEGT

The Spanish Council of Ministers has recently approved a royal decree aiming to ensure the legality of timber products trade.

The new standards create a framework for the implementation in Spain of two EU regulations: FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) and EUTR (European Union Timber Regulation).

Established in 2003 and based on bilateral agreements between States, FLEGT ensures that wood products entering the EU market come from sustainably managed forests.

On the other hand, EUTR, launched in 2013, aims to tackle illegal logging prohibiting to place illegally harvested timber and timber products on the EU market. It also forces trade companies and agents to track timber products from the origin evaluating the risk of illegal logging.

Back in October, the European Court of Auditors (the Court) openly underlined delays in the implementation of FLEGT and EUTR in four member countries: Spain, Greece, Romania and Hungary.

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