European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) promotes the interests of the timber trade across Europe, representing key national federations for importers, merchants and distributors. The ETTF liaises with and lobbies government and governmental bodies at national and international level, engages with environmental and other NGOs and provides a discussion and networking forum for the EU timber trade on key issues, from legislation and the environment, to sustainable timber promotion and best practice.
ETTF- The Organisation
The highest authority of the European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) is the General Assembly, at which all member federations are represented. The Assembly meets at least twice a year, and for in order to best serve the specific interests of the timber industry’s various sectors, members are organised in sections, according to their trade or industry; softwood, hardwood or plywood. These different sections also meet, whenever there is a particular need.
The ETTF is also jointly responsible, with the European Organisation of the Sawmill Industry (EOS), for organising and convening the annual International Softwood Conference (ISC). This is held in a different European location each time, hosted by the national member Association or Federation, with the 2013 event scheduled for Edinburgh, Scotland in October, where it will be hosted by the UK Timber Trade Federation and Confederation of Forest Industries
The ETTF & FEBO
The European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) works closely together with the Fédération Européenne du Négoce de Bois (Federation of Timber Traders/FEBO). Traditionally importers belonged to the ETTF and non-importing traders to the FEBO. However today this timber sector distinction is less clear-cut. Consequently the two organisations have already combined their administrative offices and André de Boer has taken on the role of Secretary General for both bodies, to enable them to combine activities and act together as much as possible, while leaving them the flexibility to act unilaterally where necessary.
While the different memberships will retain their autonomy to operate independently, the two bodies will fully merge together under the umbrella of the ETTF in January 2014.
The ETTF also offers Associate Membership. Current Associate Members are the European Federation of Parquet Importers (EFPI), which represents timber floor importers across Europe, and the individual companies HF Blom of Norway and Robelbois Group of Morocco.
The ETTF Board
The members of the Board of the European Timber Trade Federation are elected by the General Assembly. Current Members of the Board are: President and Softwood Section Chairman Andreas von Möller; Hardwood Section Chairman Armand Stockmans; Plywood Section Chairman Raoel Dedonder; and Secretary General André de Boer.
The ETTF was formed at a members' meeting of the Union pour le commerce des bois durs dans l’U. E. (UCBD Hardwood Trade Association), Union pour le commerce d’importation de panneaux en bois (UCBR Wood Panels Importers’ Association) and Union pour le commerce des bois résineux dans l’U. E. (UCIP Softwood Trade Association), which passed a resolution on the foundation of the organisation subject to the simultaneous termination of these associations.
The European Timber Trade Federation (ETTF) is an organisation that brings together the knowledge and experience of the timber trade across Europe and can represent its joint interests in the EU market and abroad, writes President Andreas von Möller.
It is a single body representing the range of trade activity and its key product groups; the import and export of softwood, hardwood, and panel products.
Currently we have nine national federation members and three associates, comprising two independent companies in Norway and Morocco and the European Parquet Importers Federation. But we are not a closed shop. We want to develop and strengthen our organisation and the door is open for new members to come in.
I believe 90% of the problems and challenges faced by our trade today are best met together, by presenting a united front and speaking with a strong common voice. This applies to our efforts to make timber the sustainable choice, to support international initiatives addressing deforestation, governance and climate change and to implement codes of conduct.
Environmental concerns are increasingly critical for the timber sector at national and European level. The sustainability of our raw material is a key focus for both consumers and governments. Their demands are clear and unambiguous. They want to know that forests are sustainably managed and that timber is legally sourced. By joining forces in the ETTF, the European wood sector can work together to address market anxieties on these vital issues. Through lobbying, education and promotion, we can support and contribute to international efforts to combat deforestation, and climate change and improve forest governance.
United as one body encompassing the softwood, hardwood and panel trades also makes us a formidable knowledge resource and consultation partner for Brussels. Our combined voice and single message will ensure we are better heard by both the European Commission and the European Parliament, as well, of course, as EU national authorities. This is critical, as these institutions shape the rules and regulations that govern the daily business practices of timber companies across the EU.
The ETTF is especially proud to have been closely consulted in the formulation and implementation the 2013 EU Timber Regulation, which bans illegally produced timber being placed on the EU market. There were fears the measure would impose significant additional administrative burdens on our industry. But, by presenting our case to the EU, we were able to help make it practical as well as effective.
Through the combined efforts of our member organisations and future partnerships we can continue to strengthen our influence and our industry and advance towards our clear goal: to make wood the sustainable choice for the future.