BWF charms policy makers at CTI Westminster Conference and Reception

1 December 2016

The BWF is one of the major trade associations drivers behind the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) and, on Wednesday 30 November, the CTI held its inaugural Industry Conference in Westminster.

The event gave delegates, including BWF members in attendance, the opportunity to meet key policy makers and opinion formers directly in Westminster. It also saw the launch of the CTI Policy reports – available here - 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 All-Party Parliamentary Group (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.

Speakers at the first session included 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, David Hopkins, MD of TTF. The panel addressed key themes like the EUTR and global timber trade regulation, the low carbon economy, Brexit uncertainty, and timber in construction.

The second panel discussion featured Alan Brown, MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun, Vincent Stops, Councillor for Hackney Central, BWF CEO Iain McIlwee, STA CEO Andrew Carpenter, Craig Liddell, Legal & General Homes, and Anthony Thistleton-Smith, Waugh Thistleton Architects. Speakers debated a wide range of topics including the UK Housing crisis, timber frame buildings, Wood framework apprenticeships and skills gap.

The Conference was followed by a Parliamentary Drinks Reception at the House of Commons where CTI guests had the chance to further debate the outlook of the UK Timber Industry with MPs and Industry leaders from all across the UK.

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.”

Antoinette Sandbach MP 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.”

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.”

The target is to grow the UK Timber Industry promoting best practise and boosting a wide collaboration among the leading trade organisations and companies across the Supply Chain.

Acting as an umbrella organisation, the CTI aims to grow the UK Timber Industry promoting best practise and boosting a wide collaboration among the leading trade organisations and companies across the Supply Chain.

Here you can find a Storify recap of the CTI Westminster Conference and Parliamentary Reception including pictures, recordings and presentations.

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