Industry News

Timcon calls on UK Government to boost forest replanting

The Timber Packaging & Pallet Confederation (TIMCON) has called on the Government to significantly boost UK forest replanting plans. The plea follows the publication of a Forestry Commission report underlining that just half of the coniferous woodland harvested in 2006 had been restocked with productive conifer species.

TIMCON President John Dye said: “The home-grown timber industry has been a great success story of recent years, providing the majority of raw materials for industries such as pallets and packaging.

“This is good news for the British economy and jobs and for the long-term sustainability of British forest-based industries. The UK forestry and sawmill industry has invested heavily in providing first class timber and service; while production and use of wood has a significant role to play in the UK building a lower carbon economy.

“The share for home-grown wood has been increasing. We don’t want this positive trend reversed in favour of imports from the alternative sources we have to source our raw materials because of inadequate planting for the future, and which will ensure continuity of supply.”

“TIMCON is liaising with the Timber Trade Federation and Confor to lobby the Government to support British forestry, its related business and the environment by ensuring that a programme of full replacement is in place for harvested trees.

“Wood is repairable, reusable and recyclable. It continues to be the most environmentally friendly and economic option as such remains the first choice material for the vast majority of pallets and transit packaging.”


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Fern publishes Annual Report 2015 highlighting advances in forests protection

The environmental NGO Fern has released its Annual Report 2015, including projects, researches and achievements from 2015 and beyond.

Highlights include the launch of the campaign for an EU action plan to protect forests and respect rights and the stalling of plans to introduce biodiversity offsetting in the UK and the EU.

Fern’s activities also focus on controversial themes like the impacts of intensified bioenergy use, forest finance, climate change and reduction of fossil fuel emissions.

"2015 was an exciting year at Fern, with a number of successes thanks to our partnerships in the Congo Basin, West Africa, South East Asia, and Europe", said the organization. "Fern’s work to end illegal logging is progressing well despite heightened political tensions in several important countries."

The annual report includes a 'behind the scenes' section describing a typical day of FERN campaigners.

To download the report click here.


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Hardwood imports from the EU down 4% in first five months of 2016

The market share of UK hardwood imports coming from the EU is shrinking, says the latest TTF Statistical Bulletin.

As reported by the Timber Trade Federation, in the five months to May 2016 - before the result of the EU referendum was known - the percentage of hardwood imports from the EU was 49%, down from the 53% in 2015

The main global supply country of hardwood to the UK remains the US accounting for around 25% of total imported volume.

Other main suppliers include Estonia and Italy for temperate hardwood; Cameroon and Malaysia for tropical hardwood.

Significantly, the great majority of tropical imports (78%) are supplied by non-EU countries, but large amount of volumes are transhipped to the UK through EU member countries like the Netherlands and Germany.


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Cameroon Ministry of Forestry publishes data on illegal logging activities

The Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife’s National Control Brigade for Control Operations of Cameroon has recently published data on illegal logging activities.

According to the report, in the first quarter of 2016, Cameroon suspended the licences of four logging companies, issued 35 other companies with warning notices and generated 54.2 million FCFA (£71.5 million) in fines related to illegal operations in the forest sector.

The publication of such information is related to Cameroon's Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the EU, which aims to address illegal logging by improving forest governance and promoting trade in legal timber products to EU markets.

The quarterly register presents information on cases of illegality in the forest sector and on sanctions imposed against companies.

The four companies whose licences were temporarily suspended are: SITAF, SCDC, South & FILS and SOFIE. The Head of the National Control Brigade for Control Operations, Ella Ondoua Ambroise Rodrigue, said the suspensions would be lifted if the logging companies paid fines levied on them.

According to Chatham House, "in Cameroon the area of production forest independently verified as legally compliant or of legal origin doubled between 2006 and 2009. However, illegal logging remains widespread in the country."

Cameroon tops the list of tropical hardwood suppliers to the UK market: in 2016 to date, 12,529 m3 of Cameroonian timber have been imported to the United Kingdom.



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Forestry Commission issues Annual Report and Accounts 2015-16

The Forestry Commission has released its Annual Report and Accounts 2015-2016.

The publication - available here - includes audited financial statements, which comply with statutory regulations, as well as the audit report. 

It also features recent projects, researches and key actions developed in 7 main areas:

  • Acute oak decline research
  • Urban tree canopies and ecosystem services
  • Using long-term experiments to guide future forestry
  • Evaluating the impact of Grow Wild
  • Ash trees resistant to Chalara
  • Eradication of the Asian longhorn beetle
  • Release of improved wind risk management tool

Major results achieved by the Commission include:

  • The allocation of £14.2m Rural Development Programme funding to woodland creation enabling landowners to plant 1,329 ha of new woodland through Countryside Stewardship
  • The launch of a four-year science programme under the Science and Innovation Strategy for Forestry in Great Britain (SIS) aimed to provide the context and framework for interdisciplinary research on the UK forestry sector
  • The publication of a study into the incorporation of biodiversity into the modelling of rotation length

Forestry Commission Chair Sir Harry Studholme said: "Our work to protect trees from pests, diseases, illegal felling and the effects of climate change this year has included vital monitoring, regulation and communication both locally and nationally. At cross-border level our Plant Health Service has joined the ‘One Government at the Border’ project to help monitor the movement of goods between countries, with a particular focus on monitoring wood packaging from Asia."

Mr Studholme added: "As we look to 2016-17 we will continue in our mission to protect, improve and expand our woodlands in the context of the wider Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) strategy – Creating a Great Place for Living. Striving for a cleaner, healthier environment, a thriving rural economy and a nation better protected against flood and plant diseases is at our heart, and we will work with others to achieve this."

For more information, visit


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