Industry News

PEFC UK releases information sheet on Modern Slavery Act 2015

PEFC UK has produced a information sheet designed to help certified companies demonstrate compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015. 

Section 54 of the Act entitled Transparency in Supply Chains is relevant to companies with a global turnover of over £36 million and which conduct business or part of a business in the United Kingdom.

All businesses which meet these criteria must publish a Slavery and Human Trafficking statement on their website with a prominent link to it from its home page. The statement should show the steps it has taken during the past financial year to ensure that slavery and human
trafficking has not taken place either in the company’s operations or its supply chain, both in the UK and abroad.

The information sheet shows how PEFC-certified companies and users of PEFC certified products (who may also have to comply with the legislation) can refer to PEFC’s certification standards to help demonstrate that forced labour has not been used in their certified products supply chain.

The publication can be downloaded from the PEFC UK website or can be obtained by e-mailing [email protected].


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Centre for Wood Science and Technology launches Timber Species Survey

The Centre for Wood Science and Technology at Edinburgh Napier University has launched a survey to gather timber industry’s knowledge and experience of working with different timber species.

The consultation - accessible online here  until 1 March 2017 - will help Edinburgh Napier University shape its research and deliver informed advice for new planting.

"Sitka spruce looks set to continue as the main commercial species in the British Isles. That said, there are reasons to consider other species for wider planting to better serve the aims of modern multipurpose forestry – not least a better resilience of the forest (and timber supply) to pests, diseases and climate change", explained Dr Dan Ridley-Ellis, Head of the Centre for Wood Science and Technology.

"Nonetheless, there is also a desire to bring species that are present in the forest, but not currently managed, into the supply chain. There are a number of “minor” species which could be candidates but little is known about the mechanical properties of these when grown in the British Isles, their suitability for different markets, and their suitability for industrial processing."

"There is a great deal of very valuable information within the forestry and sawmill industries gained from years of experience of working with different species. As part of our SIRT (Strategic Integrated Research in Timber) work plan it was agreed to undertake a survey asking the people working within the sawmill industry of their experience and knowledge of processing and marketing timber from these less common forest species", added Dr Ridley-Ellis.

A printable copy of the survey can be downloaded here, filled in manually and returned to [email protected]. Anonymised results will be published on the blog website and in a press release.

Further information is available at and here.


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Wood dominates global furniture market, new report shows

As highlighted by Credence Research in its new report, in 2015 wood contributed highest in the total revenue of global furniture market and is likely to be dominant over the period 2016-2023.

Furniture market has been estimated to be valued at US$ 137.5 Bn by the end of 2016 and is expected to attain revenue of US$ 186.5 Bn by 2023, expanding at a CAGR of 4.5% during the forecast period 2016-2023.

"Escalation in global demand for reasonable and affordable furniture generated the requirements for such that are crucial for global furniture manufacturers to prosper in current scenario", says the report. "The availability of some of major international companies as well as various small and local regional brands has strengthened the growth of global furniture market over the past few years. Over the next few years, the global furniture market is anticipated to be dominated by various regional/local players due to very low production cost as well as competitive pricing in the market."

Speaking by regions, North America stood at first position in the global furniture market in 2015 accounting for more than 45% share of global furniture market. The sales of furniture are growing in Asia due to robust growth in personal disposable income, thus Asia’s burgeoning middle class population is anticipated to demand furniture which is available at nominal price, thus fostering the growth of furniture market in this region. Followed by it, Europe marked significant share and stood at second position in the global furniture market in 2015.

By 2023, Asia, Middle East & Africa and Latin America are expected to expand at a significant compound annual growth rate. Factors such as availability of smartphone at a low price, rising purchasing power of middle class population and comfortable lifestyle in these region is anticipated to bolster the growth of furniture market during the forecast period.

To purchase the full report, visit


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Berkeley Professor Kevin O’Hara wins ICF Silvicultural Prize 2016

Kevin O’Hara, Professor of Silviculture at the University of California, Berkeley, has been awarded the 2016 Percy Stubbs, John Bolton King and Edward Garfitt Prize for Silviculture - for advancing our knowledge of silviculture.

The Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) honoured Professor O’Hara with this prestigious award in recognition of his paper entitled: What is close-to-nature silviculture in a changing world?, published in Forestry, volume 89(1): 1-6 – ICF’s respected international journal of forestry research, produced by Oxford University Press.

"The Editors believe this is an outstanding paper which demonstrates our knowledge of the subject. The paper is a model of clarity and has provided a real challenge to the policy and practice of silviculture." 

Professor O’Hara commented: "I'm very pleased and honoured to receive the 2016 Silvicultural Prize from the Institute of Chartered Foresters. I'm also gratified that the journal Forestry gave me the opportunity to present the science to challenge the status quo regarding emulating nature with silviculture."

Dr. Gary Kerr, Editor-in-Chief of Forestry, added: “Kevin’s paper is an important contribution because it challenges the doctrine of ‘close-to-nature’ silviculture and presents a vision for how silviculture can respond to the changes man has made to the natural environment.”

2016 Silvicultural Prize-winning paper is available to read in full on the Forestry website.

[Photo courtesy of Berkeley ESPM]


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Forestry Commission note explores alternative species for structural timber

The Forestry Commission has released a research note - entitled ‘Timber properties of noble fir, Norway spruce, western red cedar and western hemlock grown in Great Britain’ - exploring alternative species for structural timber.

According to the note, noble fir, Norway spruce, western red cedar and western hemlock grown in Britain could all produce acceptable returns of structural timber.

The recent increase in outbreaks of tree pests and diseases specific to particular species has led to an interest in diversification by planting a wider range of tree species to mitigate any risk to the softwood resource.

The note reports on the structural timber properties of these four species, which can produce merchantable volumes in reasonable time frames when grown in Great Britain, and compares the results with published values for British-grown Sitka spruce. It also notes that of these four species, western red cedar has the least desirable structural timber properties.

These species could therefore play a role in mitigating the British softwood timber industry’s exposure to the risks of relying on a small range of species.


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