Industry News

TTF launches member survey to help improve its due diligence process

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has launched a member and stakeholder survey on the Responsible Purchasing Policy (RPP), its due diligence framework, to improve aide compliance with legality and sustainability matters

The online survey, accessible here until Friday 8 April 2016, is part of the TTF’s Strategic Development review of its RPP, aiming to improve the industry benchmark for legal and sustainable sourcing.

The RPP has been in existence for over 10 years, providing members of the Federation with a solid foundation on which to build their compliance processes. TTF members are required to have in place a system of due diligence covering all timber purchases within their businesses. The key requirement of such a policy is to implement detailed due diligence on the species, country of origin and supply chains from which they source their products and to report to the TTF annually on certain criteria

The TTF provides its members with a framework of due diligence and a set of tools that allow them to focus their resources on products and suppliers where there is a higher risk of illegal timber entering their supply chains. It complements existing risk management already in place, such as product certification and provides further assurance that organisations have robust and systematic risk management measures in place.

Dave Hopkins, Managing Director of the TTF said: “The RPP is central to TTF values, membership and reputation. Yet, the market for responsible sourcing has changed dramatically since its start. We need to make sure that we are changing with that market. This review will allow us to assess the current system, compare it against the needs of our customers and develop it accordingly. We want to ensure that the market knows it can trust a TTF member.”


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Snows Timber MD Jim Peryer to retire in April

Snows Timber has announced that its Managing Director Jim Peryer will retire from the company at the end of April.

Peryer led Snows Timber from a 2-site, £12million-turnover business to a 4-site operation with a turnover of £45million and over 200 employees.

Mark Eburne, CEO of Snows’ parent group, Bradfords & Sons, paid tribute to Jim Peryer, saying: “Jim has made an outstanding contribution during his 18-year tenure as Managing Director, improving the business to deliver excellent service to our customers, developing our people and improving our systems and processes."

A well-known figure in the timber trade industry, Mr Peryer served on the Committee of the Western Timber Association for 20 years, three of them as chairman, and was the designed chairman of the National Softwood Division of the Timber Trade Federation for three years. He also served three terms on the TTF’s Governing Board. 


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'Russian Market of timber & sawn wood 2016' conference - Highlights

On 3 March 2016 the 1st International conference 'Russian Market of Timber and Sawn Wood 2016' took place in Moscow.

Russian Market of Timber and Sawn Wood 2016The event gathered regulators and representatives of large, medium, and small businesses: producers, suppliers, traders, wood conversion and processing companies. Experts from Russia, Belarus, Finland, Austria, and China discussed new timber and sawn wood trading instruments, domestic market trends and timber export issues, exchange trade prospects, new environmental standards, internal processing market aspects, regulatory changes and many other questions.

Much attention was focused on how the provisions of forestry legislation have been applied since the effective date of Federal Law No. 415 of 28.12.2013 amending Forest Code. Business community thinks that main problem here is about record keeping and tracking the wood from harvesting to transportation, and it is caused by the lack of data storage rules and procedures.

Conference participants also highlighted the big problems with filling out accompanying documents, since their status is not formalized in wood-related transaction declarations.

One of the most debated topic was the application of various timber and sawn wood production trading instruments in the domestic market. Saint Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX) shared their plans regarding future exchange operations. In particular, those include the increase of sawn wood sales, implementation of railway station base concept, with the organization of cargo transportation to the destination point, creation of local hubs based on traditional wood transshipment railway stations, and the expansion of trading geography.

Reviewing their experience regarding the organization of timber sales in Belarus, the representative of the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange suggested that there should be created a working group, to deal with pricing issues and standards of timber trading in Russia and Belarus.

According to the conference speakers, Russian deep wood-processing market has begun developing, which might contribute to the economic growth of the country. Plywood is becoming one of the most profitable sectors of the industry, and its export volumes to EU are growing.

The panel also discussed FCS and SBP certification process Russian companies have to go through, development of forestry-related environmental standards, and the prospects of intensive forest cultivation.

[Photo courtesy of MAXConference]


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European Commission report: "More efforts needed for EUTR implementation"

Yesterday the European Commission released a report on the effectiveness of the EU Timber Regulation (EUTR) during its first two years of implementation.

The report finds that the EU is on track to achieve its objectives to combat illegal logging and associated trade in illegal timber, but challenges remain.

Some positive trends are visible, namely that EU operators are gradually taking steps to ensure the legality of their suppliers and that there is more awareness of the problem of illegal logging amongst EU consumers.  

The Regulation has also encouraged producer countries to develop systems assessing compliance with the requirements of the legislation. However, more effort is needed from both the Member States and the private sector to ensure its effective and efficient application. Since 2014 there has been significant progress in the implementation of timber regulation across the EU.

While in July 2014 there were 18 non-compliant Member States, in June 2015 the number was reduced to 4 (Greece, Hungary, Romania and Spain). The Commission launched infringement procedures against these Member States in 2015. It was also widely recognised that the Regulation adds significant value to the international efforts to halt deforestation and forest degradation, conserve biodiversity and address climate change.

The results of evaluation will be used to further improve the implementation and application of the Timber Regulation.

"Although the evaluation of the Regulation comes after only two years of application, evidence shows that the Regulation has encouraged more responsible sourcing policies where they already exist and for engaging in new ones. In addition, it has demonstrated its potential to change operators' market behaviour", the report says. "Moreover, the Regulation has created an incentive for suppliers in third countries to demonstrate the legality of their timber products and has the power to establish supply chains free of illegally harvested timber, thus contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the FLEGT Action Plan."

The European Union Timber Regulation (EUTR) was adopted in March 2013 aiming to tackle the placing of illegally harvested timber on the European market. It sets out requirements that companies within the European Union (EU) must meet to minimize the risk of illegal timber being traded. The EUTR requires companies placing timber products on the European market (both imported and domestic) to implement a Due Diligence System (DDS), keeping records of their suppliers and customers to allow for traceability.

Find out more here.

ETTF launches new website on international timber trade

The European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) has launched its new website ‘Gateway to international Timber Trade’ (www.timbertradeportal. com).

International timber traders can now find information on forestry, legal timber trade, country requirements and export from timber producing countries. The overall objective is to enhance and facilitate legal trade in tropical timber.

The construction of the website has been supported by the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and European Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (EU STTC). Information on industry and legality has been gathered from several available sources, such as the FAO and ITTO databases, and data from ITC / Tradecom. Form international, a Dutch consultancy firm specialised in forest and plantation management and certification, is in charge for the coordination and compilation of country profiles. 

Visitors of the website are invited to add information or share their experience, using the review button on the country profiles. Also, Form international can be contacted directly at [email protected].