News & Events

Fair&Precious, the collective label for legal and eco-certified African timber celebrates its first anniversary

To mark the first anniversary of the international Fair&Precious label, created by the ATIBT (International Tropical Timber Technical Association) whose mission is to promote the development of a sustainable, ethical and legal tropical timber sector, the time has come to take stock of the label's missions and to open up new perspectives.

Created in November 2017, the Fair & Precious collective label aims to persuade European consumers to purchase products that use ecological and responsibly-sourced materials. By allowing the final consumer to clearly identify African timber and guaranteeing that it does not come from illegal distributors but from logging producers that are managed sustainably and responsibly, Fair&Precious has become a real landmark.

"Whether promoters or prescribers of the label, F&P members believe in the emergence of a more humane economy, protecting both humans and nature in a relocated economy," explains ATIBT spokesperson. "Beyond the environmental dimension of its commitment, F&P puts all its energy into defending social and societal causes such as respect for local populations, their education and their health."

In order for a forest concession holder to benefit from the Fair&Precious label, they must both be a member of ATIBT and use a control procedure approved by the ATIBT Board of Directors, such as FSC or PEFC sustainable forest management certification. These labels are controlled by certification bodies such as Bureau Veritas and are there to guarantee the application of strict rules to ensure the traceability of the material from the forest to the finished product.

"In 2016, only 30%* of the products made in the European Union with tropical wood were certified as being produced in a sustainable way. If the Netherlands (63% in 2016), the United Kingdom (49%), Germany (20%), France (12%), Belgium (12%), Italy (5%) and Spain (4%) committed to a 100% Fair&Precious target, this would represent 85.6% of all EU purchases and especially 5.3 million additional protected hectares," underlines ATIBT.

Benoit Jobbé Duval, Director of ATIBT commented: "We are very proud to have brought together so many prestigious partners around our project, all of whom are fighting the same battle, to guarantee the future of tropical forests, to participate in their sustainable management and above all to make citizens aware of their missions and their importance.”

Fair&Precious' 10 commitments through its manifesto

  • Manage and protect forests to combat climate change
  • Preserve forest resources by harvesting less than naturally grows
  • Develop knowledge on biodiversity to facilitate the restocking of species
  • Ensure the maintenance of the wildlife's living space
  • Implement programmes to combat environmental crime against fauna and flora
  • Contribute to the well-being of populations by facilitating their access to education, health care and housing
  • Stimulate the economies of producing countries by enhancing the value of forests and promoting local wood processing
  • Set up training courses in forestry and woodworking professions
  • Provide technical knowledge on the diversity of tropical species and their uses
  • Promote the responsible purchase of an exceptional material

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/fairprecious-collective-label-legal-and-eco-certified-african-timber-celebrates-its-first]

World Experts drawn to Oxford for Global Forestry Conference on 10-11 April 2019

Duncan Pollard MICFor from Nestlé, sustainability expert, will address the Institute of Chartered Foresters’ (ICF) annual flagship two-day conference. 

The UK’s Role in Global Forestry – Past, present and future will be held on 10-11 April 2019 at the Examination Schools in Oxford. Forests are increasingly being relied upon to provide a sustainable future for the planet. The UK has a remarkable influence on the global forestry stage and, with its National Conference in 2019, the Institute is once again leading the way in preparing the forestry profession for the future.

International Union of Forest Research Organisations’ (IUFRO) Executive Director Alexander Buck joins Session 4, “Delivering Global Environmental Services from Forests”. Mr Buck is an expert on international forestry, environment and resource policy. He will explore how forests, science and people interconnect on an international scale. On day two, Environmentalist Tony Juniper, Executive Director for Advocacy and Campaigns at WWF-UK, will address Session 5 in a lecture entitled “Do Professional Foresters Matter?” exploring how foresters are viewed by those working in sustainability.

Other speakers include:

  • Rachel Butler, Executive Director, Global Timber Forum, UK
  • Rob de Fégley, President, Institute of Foresters, Australia
  • Professor Colin Galbraith, Joint Nature Conservation Committee and Consultancy, UK
  • Professor Sandra Harding, Vice-Chancellor & President of James Cook University, Australia
  • Steve Jennings, Partner, 3Keel, UK
  • Luis Nevis Silva, New Generations Plantations Project Leader, WWF, Portugal
  • Frances Seymour, Distinguished Senior Fellow at World Resources Institute; co-author of “Why Forests, Why Now”, USA
  • Georges Bazongo, Director West Africa, TREE AID, Burkina Faso
  • Berry Wiersum, CEO, Sappi Europe
  • Dr Anna Lawrence MICFor, Forestry and Arboriculture Research Consultant, UK
  • Robert Matthews, Forest Research, UK

Commenting on the significance of the UK’s Role in Global Forestry, conference Chair Geraint Richards MVO MICFor, Head Forester at Duchy of Cornwall Woodlands, said: “The ICF’s 2019 national conference will provide a timely opportunity to consider the importance of the UK’s role in global forestry. Next year marks the centenary of the 1919 Forestry Act and, whilst touching on the past, the conference’s exciting array of international speakers will highlight the significance of the UK forestry sector today and going forward.” 

Early Bird Ticket discounts end 31 December 2018 at: www.charteredforesters.org/ukglobalforestry

View more events on the CTI Industry Calendar.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/world-experts-drawn-oxford-global-forestry-conference-10-11-april-2019]

Combustible Materials Response, Implications for Timber Industry

Last week, the Government announced an amendment to part B of the building regulations which has implications for timber components of buildings in and on external walls.

The regulations specify that for all residential developments above 18m, all materials in or on the external wall must be of European Classification A2-s1, d0 or Class A1, classified in accordance with BS EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009.

This includes external cladding and facade systems above that height, as well as structural timber components within the external wall.

David Hopkins, CTI Director and Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) said: “While it is disappointing that the Government has taken this approach, it is not that surprising.

“Flame retardant timber cladding remains incredibly popular and the consultation response has confirmed its’ suitability for all building types below 18 metres. We look forward to helping grow the market for this versatile, environmentally positive material now that clarity has been provided.

“For other structural timber such as cross-laminated timber (CLT), it is clear that architects and designers may now have to look at new design strategies for the external wall build ups in taller buildings. However, CLT has not been banned. It is still a perfectly safe, viable building material for a huge variety of projects.  The UK remains a global leader in timber design and construction so this regulation is likely act as a spur to further innovation.

“The move toward timber design and construction is a huge movement and it is unlikely that this change to regulation will halt that. There is still an enormous market for structural timber design and that will continue.

“Globally, the USA is amending its building code to allow buildings up to 18 storeys using engineered timber; Australia has recently announced its latest tallest timber tower; and new buildings from mass timber are being unveiled across Europe on a regular basis.

“Offsite timber construction remains the fastest growing sector for building in the UK, certainly for housebuilding, and will continue to be so due to its practical and environmental advantages.

“We will continue to promote the positive benefits of timber construction, including its fire safety performance, to all stakeholders including Government as we build our timber future.”

Read the “Technical Notice” on Changes to Building Regulations Approved Document B and Approved Document 7 here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/combustible-materials-response-implications-timber-industry]

MHCLG announce changes to Approved Document B volume 2 and Approved Document 7

MHCLG announce changes to Approved Document B volume 2 and Approved Document 7
 

Below is summary of the changes to the Approved Documents following the Government’s consultation on banning the use of combustible materials in the external walls of high-rise residential buildings. (The consultation can be found here)

The changes to Approved Document B volume 2 and Approved Document 7 take effect on 21 December 2018 for use in England. Previous editions of these guidance documents will continue to apply where a building notice or an initial notice has been given to, or full plans deposited with, a local authority before 21 December 2018 and either the building work to which it relates:

(a) has started before that day; or

(b) is started within the period of two months beginning on that day.

 

Summary of changes – new requirements

Building work shall be carried out so that materials which become part of an external wall, or specified attachment, of a relevant building are of European Classification A2-s1, d0 or Class A1, classified in accordance with BS EN 13501-1:2007+A1:2009 (Fire classification of construction products and building elements. Classification using test data from reaction to fire tests) Institution

relevant building means a building with a storey (not including roof-top plant areas or any storey consisting exclusively of plant rooms) at least 18 metres above ground level and which—

(i) contains one or more dwellings;

(ii) contains an institution; or

(iii) contains a room for residential purposes (excluding any room in a hostel, hotel or boarding house); and

above ground level in relation to a storey means above ground level when measured from the lowest ground level adjoining the outside of a building to the top of the floor surface of the storey.

 

The above requirements do not apply to -

(a) cavity trays when used between two leaves of masonry;

(b) any part of a roof (other than any part of a roof which falls within paragraph (iv) of regulation 2(6)) if that part is connected to an external wall;

(c) door frames and doors;

(d) electrical installations;

(e) insulation and water proofing materials used below ground level;

(f) intumescent and fire stopping materials where the inclusion of the materials is necessary to meet the requirements of Part B of Schedule 1;

(g) membranes;

(h) seals, gaskets, fixings, sealants and backer rods;

(i) thermal break materials where the inclusion of the materials is necessary to meet the thermal bridging requirements of Part L of Schedule 1; or

(j) window frames and glass.

 

Full details of these changes are given in the associated documents listed below.

- The statement by Bob Ledsome, An Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government can be found here

- The amendments to Approved Document B Volume 2 can be found here

- The amendments to Approved Document 7 can be found here

- The Statutory Instrument which makes the required changes to the Building Regulations (S.I.2018/1230) can be found here

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/mhclg-announce-changes-approved-document-b-volume-2-and-approved-document-7]

Forestry investment remains a top performer, says UK Forest Market Report 2018

The UK Forest Market Report 2018, launched in London, has revealed that patience and shrewd forestry investment choices have paid dividends over the last 12 months.

Many UK forest owners who purchased their property 30 or 40 years ago are now reaping exceptional rewards for patiently growing their timber assets. Not only is their investment showing returns of 13.9% per annum –  one of the best performing asset classes - but the price of standing timber has soared 30% in the last year alone.

The 20th edition of The UK Forest Market Report is produced by Tilhill Forestry and John Clegg & Co and provides analysis of this growth and further commentary about forestry as an investment choice. The report also features a study on the lowland woodland sector.

In discussing the performance of the commercial forestry market in the year to September 2018, the report describes a “brisk and robust” sector. A total of £104.2m of forest properties were traded in 2018. This is a 6% drop from 2017 but, interestingly, the market comprised a smaller number of higher value sales (57 in 2018 compared to 87 in 2017) with an average size of 196ha (149ha in 2017) and an average price of £1.83m (£1.28m in 2017). Scotland retained its dominant position in the marketplace with 69% of the sales recorded.

The report points out that standing timber prices have rocketed by around 30% over the last 12 months - great news for owners whose forests are now ready to harvest.

Additionally, despite political uncertainty, the report suggests that new agricultural policies may be on the horizon that will encourage a more integrated approach to land use particularly with forestry and farming.

The report says: “Overall we believe that the market continues to behave robustly in the light of the wider economic environment, demonstrating the strength and resilience of forestry as a long-term investment. New investors are coming through to investigate the marketplace with many of these based within the EU and reassuringly confident to invest in the UK.”

Peter Whitfield, Business Development Director for Tilhill Forestry, explains: “Motivations for investors vary but the main reasons are long-term financial returns, the potential for tax planning, long-term capital growth particularly within a pension, or the amenity value.

“The wider economic climate remains highly volatile but, in this environment, the security of owning real assets, the improvement in timber prices and general confidence that these can be sustained and strong political support for the industry together with the amenity values mean that forestry remains an attractive choice for many investors.”

Fenning Welstead, Director John Clegg & Co., said that the level of competition was “remarkable” and that the demand from investors seeking ownership of forestry assets has never been stronger in his experience.

He added: “The upward movement in the price of timber in the last 12 months has been staggering. It has been driven partly by the weak pound and more expensive imports but also, I believe, by the dawning realisation that the supply of fibre is finite.

“The UK is the second largest timber importer in the world. With more interest in forestry and the wide range of benefits forests offer, and an increase in planting, perhaps we can start to reduce the amount of timber we import.”

More conifers were planted in Scotland last year than in any year since 2000 and encouragingly, the report says, Forestry Commission Scotland has reported strong demand for woodland creation schemes for 2018/19 and 2019/20 with over 12,000ha being assessed - well exceeding their target of 10,000ha per year.

The forestry grant budget in Scotland has been increased for 2018/19 to accommodate the increased demand - a clear sign of how the Scottish Government perceives the importance of forestry as part of the rural economy.

The report welcomes this and other “very positive steps” taken in support of commercial afforestation such as the announcement of a Forestry Investment Zone in the north of England, the appointment of two Forestry Commission Woodland Creation Officers and the appointment of Sir William Worsley as the Tree Champion for England. Forestry also enjoyed a mention in the latest budget with £60 million of funding to be put in place for tree planting in England.

Another encouraging sign centres on the concept of Natural Capital which is at the heart of the UK’s 25 Year Environment Plan. It recognises that forestry is more than just an asset for timber extraction and offers much broader societal benefits such as cleaner air, flood reduction, carbon storage and health improvement.

For a copy of the Report please click here.

 

[News URL: http://cti-timber.org/content/forestry-investment-remains-top-performer-says-uk-forest-market-report-2018]

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