The recent inaugural Industry Conference in London held by the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) gave delegates the opportunity to meet key policy makers and opinion formers directly in Westminster. It also saw the launch of the CTI Policy reports on Sustainability, Value & Growth and Skills & Education designed to map the UK Timber Supply Chain.
The Conference was opened by Iain Paisley Jr. MP, Chairman of the Timber Industry APPG, who welcomed all participants and highlighted the contribution Timber Industries bring to the UK Economy. The event program was organised in two sessions – one focused on Sustainability and Growth and the other on Skills, Productivity & Housing – in order to offer a complete overview of the sector.
In the first session, there was a line-up of highly-recognised speakers including Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central, Antoinette Sandbach, MP for Eddisbury and member of Timber APPG, Charlie Law, Sustainable Construction Solutions, Ken Walsh, MD of Danzer UK, and David Hopkins, MD of Timber Trade Federation (TTF). The panel addressed key themes like the EUTR and global timber trade regulation; Low carbon economy; Brexit uncertainty; Tree planting; and Timber in construction.
Margaret Ritchie, MP for South Down and member of Timber APPG, said, “The timber supply chain is capable of being better than carbon neutral, it can in fact absorb more carbon than is emitted in the rest of the manufacturing chain. I recommend my parliamentary colleagues to take the time to seek it out and see how well managed timber presents a fantastic opportunity to grow our manufacturing industry while lowering our carbon emissions.”
MP Antoinette Sandbach said, “This is a period that offers many opportunities to develop a new approach to old issues. I think this is really the right time for the timber industry to boost its message around some key themes including carbon capture and storage, tree planting and timber frame construction.”
The second panel discussion featured Alan Brown, MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun, Vincent Stops, Councillor for Hackney Central, Iain McIlwee, CEO of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), Andrew Carpenter, CEO of the Structural Timber Association (STA), Craig Liddell, Legal & General Homes, and Anthony Thistleton-Smith, Waugh Thistleton Architects. They debated on a wide range of topics including: UK Housing crisis; Modular housing; Timber frame buildings; Wood framework apprenticeship; Skills gap in the Timber Supply Chain; and Construction market forecasts.
“The timber supply chain is a vital part of the UK manufacturing and construction sector, providing employment in virtually every political constituency across the country. This event was a great way to re-introduce the sector to policy makers and highlight the importance of skilled trades to the future of the UK economy. I look forward to working with colleagues to take this agenda forward,” said David Hopkins, managing director of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF), said:
Iain McIlwee, CEO of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), commented, “The opportunity to re-introduce our sector to so many policy makers was fantastic. Timber has a strong story to tell, but there is so much competition for attention. The CTI gave us a glimpse of how we can unite in this way to amplify our message, it was a great day for the timber supply chain.”
In addition, a Parliamentary Drinks Reception at the House of Commons was held to allow CTI guests the chance to further debate the outlook of the UK Timber Industry with MPs and Industry leaders from all across the UK.
Andrew Carpenter, CEO of the Structural Timber Association (STA), added, “The STA is very excited to be part of the re-launched CTI in that it brings together the three major timber/wood related trade associations to promote the use of timber/wood through communicating the many and varied benefits it offers. The clients, buyers and specifiers of timber/wood are crying out for an integrated offer and the CTI is able to provide this joined up approach. In particular, the CTI will be a wonderful opportunity to influence our politicians and stakeholders with a single message thereby proving we are a professional and contemporary sector that is able and ready to do business within the current climate.”
Source: Confederation of Timber Industries