EFPI joins the ETTF
The decision of the European Federation of Parquet Importers (EFPI) to become an associate member of the European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) will strengthen both organisations. This is the shared view of EFPI chairman Nigel Gibbs and ETTF Secretary General André de Boer.
The relationship between the two bodies began with a presentation by Mr de Boer to EFPI members on the role of the ETTF and the potential benefits they could derive from joining as associates. A period of trial membership followed. “This showed to us just how many areas of overlapping interest we had with the wider ETTF membership, and how we could both gain from pooling resources,” said Mr Gibbs. “That in turn led eventually to us officially becoming members on January 1.” The EFPI has six principal members, but with the organisation representing the Nordic countries comprising a number of subsidiaries, taking the total membership to 14. The other bodies represent the sector in France, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, Italy and Holland. “Our members obviously all deal in timber flooring and associated products, so we are complementary organisations and there is clear benefit to be gained from mutual exchange of information and expertise,” said Mr Gibbs. “our joint knowledge on the wider supply chain and our connection to the consumer markets will bring about mutual benefits.”
Of particular relevance to the EFPI currently, is the ETTF’s focus on the EU Timber Regulation; its programme of providing easily accessible information and interpretation of the new law and especially its development of an Due Diligence illegality risk assessment system to help members comply. “Our membership include what are termed ‘operators’ under the EUTR, companies which first place timber products onto the EU market,” said Mr Gibbs. “So the Due Diligence system is clearly of value to them.” The two organisations would also gain from working together and exchanging information on other national and international regulatory developments, he said. Another attraction of associate membership was the emerging European Wood Promotion project (EWP), launched by the ETTF and European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS) at last year’s International Softwood Conference. “Our belief is that the timber industry needs to be more proactive in communicating its viewpoint and promoting its products,” said Mr Gibbs. “The more the industry can act together on this and combine resources, the stronger the campaign will be. We want to participate and contribute.” Mr de Boer said having the EFPI on board would bring new perspectives to the ETTF and add to its influence. “There are undoubtedly a range of areas we can work on together, including technical issues, as well as regulation and promotion,” he said. “And overall, the EFPI will broaden our base, bring us more market knowledge and help fulfil our aim of having a strong, single voice for the European timber industry, which can exercise a greater influence and make more of an impact with government and in the market place.”