A new survey of leading importers’ views on growing the EU market for tropical timber will be unveiled at the Sustainable Tropical Timber Coalition (STTC) annual conference in Berlin.
Key findings from the survey, undertaken by the Dutch consultancy Probos, will be presented and delegates invited to discuss and share their ideas on the issue. This will be just one focus at the conference titled “Exploring pathways to verified sustainable tropical timber” to be held 20 November.
According to STTC, “the background to the event will be continuing contraction in overall use of tropical timber in the European market at a time when there is growing urgency to increase sales of verified sustainable tropical material”.
“The whole supply chain has a role, responsibility and interest in reversing this downward trend, and marketwide effort is vital for success,” states the STTC. “Growth of the EU tropical timber market and the share of verified sustainable timber will incentivise tropical suppliers to introduce sustainable forest management.”
“We need to find ways to improve the business model of certified forest companies and to the best of our ability to make them stronger,” added Benoît Jobbé-Duval managing director of ATIBT, the International Tropical Timber Technical Association, which runs the STTC partner tropical timber branding campaign Fair&Precious.
According to the STTC announcement of the event, one conference session will be headlined “Promoting tropical timber- a new urgency” which STTC indicates will focus on developing markets for third party certified tropical timber products in Europe.
A spokesperson from the City of Berlin will also describe its work to promote timber via its procurement process and leading European companies will present their marketing initiatives.
In a session on “Navigating the journey from the EU Timber Regulation through to verified sustainable”, STTC state that “speakers will examine the stepwise approach to sustainability certification, including through building on existing regional and national forest management initiatives, such as the EU Forest Law, Enforcement Governance and Trade initiative and Verified Sourcing Areas. There will be presentations on trends in sustainable tropical timber market share and the impact of certification on landscapes”.
STTC note that a significant part of the day will be given over to delegate participation and feedback using the table talks format and discussions will be initiated under the themes “The sustainable verification journey” and “Tropical timber promotional imperatives and activities”.
According to STTC, “the overarching message of the Conference will be the importance of building scale in the verified sustainable tropical timber market to achieve real impact in tropical forest governance and management….the day will close on a rousing note, with a ‘call to arms’ for the tropical timber sector, including an address from a leading tropical timber country figure, highlighting the key role of forests, trees and timber to their future development”.
The Conference is the day before the two-day International Hardwood Conference in Berlin, giving delegates the opportunity to attend both. After the STTC conference, there will be an opportunity to network with fellow delegates and participants of the International Hardwood Conference.
The STTC is expecting a capacity audience drawn from across the tropical timber sector, with delegates already signed up from the spectrum of timber businesses, trade federations, the research sector, international agencies, NGOs and government.