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Timber Forum News • Issue 1 • November 2016

Industry Reaction to Autumn Statement 2016 Issue 1 • November 2016

Timber Forum News Summary 1 Welcome TTF 2017 Buyers Guide Coming Soon 2 Industry Reaction to Autumn Statement 3 TTF New Strategy explained by David Hopkins 4 Timber Merchants at BMF Awards 2016

BMF & TTF launch new magazine designed for Timber Merchants The publication is the product of a strategic partnership between the two major trade organisations Our partnership with the TTF means we can bring our members up to date expert news, views and guidance, direct from the timber specialists. Being able to team up with other trade associations like this is another benefit of your membership.”

6 BMF Timber Forum 2016 Agenda 7-8 Timber Merchant Survey 9 Timber Prices Trends Timber Products Sales Performances

10 TTF Guidance on Marine Plywood BMF & TTF launch guides to Modern Slavery Act TDCA calculator app 11 TTF panel products review BMF Chain of Custody Scheme Indonesia starts export of FLEGT licensed timber 12 CTI revamped strategy BMF Builders Merchant Award 2017 Nomination Industry Events


n Wednesday 23th November 2016 The Chancellor Philip Hammond presented his Autumn Statement to the Parliament. This included relevant measures in favour of housing and business development. The key points include: • A ban on upfront fees charged by letting agents in England "as soon as possible"; • A £2.3bn housing infrastructure fund to help provide 100,000 new homes in high-demand areas; • £1.4bn to deliver 40,000 extra affordable homes; • Doubling UK Export Finance capacity; • £400m into venture capital funds through the British Business Bank to unlock £1bn in finance for growing firms; • £23bn to be spent on innovation and infrastructure over five years. Below you can find a collection of comments from leading Construction Sector organisations.

The free magazine for Timber Merchants promoted by Builders Merchant Federation and Timber Trade Federation

The importance of certified Fire Doors

Timber Pocket Guide


David Hopkins

John Newcomb


elcome to the first edition of Timber Forum News: a joint initiative between BMF and Timber Trade Federation (TTF). This is a new publication designed to bring up-to-date timber news and expert guidance to all merchants selling timber and timber products. John Newcomb, Managing Director of the BMF said: “Timber is one of the most important categories in our merchants’ portfolios and one of the fastest growing.

David Hopkins, Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation said: “The Merchant sector is one of the biggest outlet markets for our members. We want to do all we can to help it grow even further and this new joint-initiative can help do just that. Most importantly we’d really like all BMF members to fill in the survey either as hard copy or online. This will help us find out what is important to you and what we can do for you to help boost timber sales.” The BMF and TTF have had a long standing relationship for some years. This new joint initiative helps cement that bond and will hopefully lead to more new projects in the future.

TTF 2017 Buyers Guide Coming Soon The TTF will launch its 2017 Members’ Directory and Buyers’ Guide in January 2017. This gives Merchants a comprehensive list of all reputable timber suppliers in the UK. The 2016 Directory can be downloaded from TTF Website A free copy of the 2017 version will be sent to all BMF Members in the New Year.

Produced by the Timber Trade Federation

John Newcomb Builders Merchants Federation


ohn Newcomb, Managing Director of the Builders Merchants Federation, said: “The Chancellor has signalled clear policy intent by doubling the annual capital spend on housing between now and 2021. This tells us that, as a former property developer himself, he fully understands the direct link between housebuilding and output and employment that creates local growth and national prosperity”. “Mr Hammond made no mention of existing schemes such as Help To Buy. That is understandable because in a few weeks, the Government will publish a Housing White Paper”. But my message to the Chancellor and fellow ministers is clear there is a great deal to be done to build many more new homes to ease today’s housing crisis”. “Extending the freeze on Road Fuel Duty for another year is good news and something the BMF lobbies for. We hoped he would resist temptation to increase it and he has”. On taxes, the BMF was disappointed by the fact that Mr Hammond found no room in his Autumn Statement for: • Business Rates: the ‘ask’ was to bring forward the shift from RPI to CPI uprating to next year; • Stamp Duty: the ‘ask’ was to ease Stamp Duty to help ‘later life buyers’ move home and release large family homes back into the market.; • Capital Allowances: the ‘ask’ was to expand the eligible criteria and/or increase Annual Investment Allowance thresholds.

David Hopkins Confederation of Timber Industries


peaking on behalf of the new umbrella body for the Timber Industries, David Hopkins, Managing Director of the Timber Trade Federation (TTF) and Member of the CTI Board of Directors, stated: "The conditions next year are challenging, especially considering the continued uncertainty and the £122 billion loss that the OBR expects from Brexit. In light of this, we welcome the switch in focus from austerity to fiscal stimulus and opportunities in the real economy." "Setting housing and infrastructure at the heart of our economic policy is good news and will have a positive effect on the timber sector. The Business Rates reduction package on the surface will give a boost, especially for our rural members though it may not adequately address the challenges that they face - we will be analysing the detail carefully." "The emphasis on productivity throughout is paramount and we very much welcome the National Productivity Investment Fund and initiatives to drive growth through LEPs and devolved administration and look forward to seeing more detail on how these plans will be enacted.” Iain McIlwee, Chief Executive of the British Woodworking Federation (BWF) and Member of the CTI Board of Directors added: "The key word in the statement is Productivity and we need to drill into the detail here. The danger is that in the macro headline we lose some of the important micro drivers.”

Diana Montgomery Construction Products Association


r Diana Montgomery, Chief Executive of the Construction Products Association (CPA), commented: “While many of the points raised by the Chancellor were trailed during the party conference, we welcome the government’s commitment to infrastructure, innovation and housing investment as necessary components of a strong, resilient economy whilst helping to address the challenge of productivity.” “Overall, we were encouraged with the announcements made and the positive impact that the delivery of these will have on UK construction product manufacturers and distributors. We have discussed many of these policy measures directly with government over the past 12 months and they will help the UK prepare for the challenges ahead through this inevitable period of uncertainty. The key, however, will be how these announcements feed through to delivery on the ground and our members will only have the confidence to make further investments when this is the case.” “We were pleased with the announcement of a National Productivity Investment Fund, with £23 billion over the next five years to be spent on infrastructure and innovation. “We also appreciate the commitment to £3.7 billion of new spending on housing projects in England. Approximately £2.3 billion of this will be spent on the infrastructure related to housing developments such as roads and unlocking public land, and £1.4 billion will made to deliver 40,000 additional affordable homes.”


Timber Forum News • Issue 1 • November 2016

Timber Forum News • Issue 1 • November 2016

TTF launches new strategy for 2016 and beyond New MD David Hopkins explains the changes

Timber merchants feature prominently in BMF Awards at Members’ Day 2016

“The Federation will be the Guardian of product quality and standards”

L-R Toby Lewis (SCA Timber), Gold winner Bart Murphy (M P Moran), Fiona Russell-Horne (BMJ), John Newcomb (BMF)

David Hopkins


he TTF has begun a new strategy for 2016 and beyond. New MD David Hopkins explains the changes:

know that the products they buy are not just trendy, but fit-for-purpose and of the highest standard to meet their needs.

Taking on the stewardship of such a venerable institution as the Timber Trade Federation is no easy task. It has served the needs of timber importers and traders for over 100 years.

Product failure or doubts over product quality can soon drive buyers to seek alternative materials and can pose serious financial risks to merchants and stockists.

However, the timber sector has moved on considerably. Timber construction and timber interiors have become very trendy areas of architecture and design, while the sustainability credentials have given timber and wood products a whole new audience and appeal.

So, we are redefining the TTF as the guardian of product standards, quality and sustainability in the supply chain. We want the market to know that buying from a TTF member means buying with confidence.

These factors have contributed in no small part to the growth we see in merchant sales. Now, we need to maintain this momentum. Fashion does not last forever. Builders, designers, architects and merchants need to

Our “Code of Conduct” and “Responsible Purchasing Policy” (RPP) means that all of our members have to follow the strict guidance set by our internal committees overseeing the quality and origin of all timber goods placed onto the market.


The RPP ensures that all TTF members have conducted strict due diligence on all of their purchases – and been independently audited – so that you do not have to.

black tie dinner was held at BMF Members’ Day in September - an evening of celebration with the BMF annual awards ceremony rewarding achievers during the year.

We have started a number of new initiatives covering a range of product areas, each one designed to ensure that high standards are met, maintained and evidenced to the market.

Awards included winners from within the timber industry, with Bart Murphy of M P Moran winning Gold Young Merchant Achiever of the Year (SCA Timber sponsored both Gold and Bronze categories) and Alix Haddleton of

If members do not meet these high standards, they can no longer use our logo, and no longer remain as members. This is our offer to the market- the confidence that buying from a TTF member adds that extra layer of re-assurance to your business. They are traders you can trust. We want the market to know, that whatever your timber needs the answer is simple: Look for the Logo and Buy from a TTF Member.

Produced by the Timber Trade Federation

Howarth Timber receiving the Silver prize. John Newcomb, BMF Managing Director said “Congratulations to Bart and Alix. These awards highlight the importance of timber within the merchanting industry and we are proud to recognise the hard work of our members, who are at the very heart of everything we do. It is our young achievers who will provide our leadership tomorrow. We have set

ourselves high expectations and ambitions, but we believe that with increased youth engagement, we will continue to grow and succeed in the future.” The next BMF Awards will take place at Members’ Day on 20 September 2017 at Hinckley Island Hotel in Leicestershire. For more informatio n cont act June Upto n at

BMF Members Reminder: Only stock certified Fire Doors


ollowing the recent, hugely successful “Fire Door Safety Week”, BMF Members are reminded to only stock third-party certified fire door leaves and components and to provide adequate instruction to customers to ensure they purchase all components required to ensure product performance. This gives opportunity for merchants to upsell product, by providing their customer with a suite of compatible products as well as the documentation required to prove that the third party certified product has been supplied to the end customer, fire safety officer or building control. All should be sold with detailed


L-R Andy Bason (Bostik), Silver winner Alix Haddleton (Howarth Timber), Fiona Russell-Horne (BMJ), John Newcomb (BMF)

instructions enabling the consumer to install and maintain the product correctly. “BWF-Certifire” works in partnership with BMF members to licence their retail outlets as BWF-Certifire Approved Fire Door Centres. This allows access to third party certified compatible product information, sales tools and market information, promotional materials and training resources. Traceability of product also helps manage any future risks and helps support future maintenance and ensure the door continues to perform throughout its serviceable life.

Fire Doors are critical life safety products and must be fitted with compatible components to work safely if a fire breaks out. Responsibilities under the Consumer Protection Law 2015 define the merchant’s responsibilities for supplying products that are fit for purpose. Further info at:


Timber Forum News • Issue 1 • November 2016

Timber Forum News • Issue 1 • November 2016

BMF Timber Forum Agenda Organised and run in collaboration with other trade and regulatory bodies, the BMF Timber Forum aims to support merchant members and their suppliers in the timber and wood products market.


The event focuses on sharing best practice, disseminating information and gathering views on legislation, product and building standards and other issues that may affect trading. The 2016 Forum programme and agenda for the meeting is shown below. 09.30 Coffee 10.00 Introductions, matters arising and key points from the last meeting: 10.15 Dave Siggins, Meyer Timber: Plywood market update 10.30 Mike Greenland, Ligna: Assuring Timber Supply Chains 10.45 David Hopkins, TTF Update on TTF and CTI 11.15 Coffee break 11.30 Julia Young, WWF, Economic Case Report 12.00 Hannah Mansell, BWF, Schemes and Technical Manager: Fire Door Safety 12.30 Open Forum 13.00 Networking lunch and tour of Meyer group facility 14.00 Close of event Venue: Meyer Timber Ltd, Hadleigh Park, Grindley Lane, Stoke-on-Trent, ST11 9LW Contacts: Meyer Timber—0845 873 5000 BMF—02476 854980

Timber Merchant Survey T

he Timber Trade Federation is asking all Builders Merchants to take ten minutes to fill in our Timber Merchant Survey.

The merchant sector is very important for the TTF and its members. It is one of the largest routes to market for all the timber traded in the UK. Obviously, we want to do as much as we can to help you sell more of our products. But, we need your feedback to do this. The questions here cover a wide range of products. The answers you give will help us devise new guidance, marketing information and product training to help you maximise sales. The survey can either be filled in and posted back to the TTF at the address below, or scanned and emailed. Alternatively you can fill this in online on the TTF website: We look forward to receiving your feedback. Timber Trade Federation, The Building Centre, 26 Store Street, London WC1E 7BT

Instructions You have many ways to complete our survey!

Fill the survey and post it to the Timber Trade Federation


Scan and send it online to

Produced by the Timber Trade Federation

Fill the following pdf version and submit it

Complete the online survey on TTF website


Timber Forum News • Issue 1 • November 2016

Timber Forum News • Issue 1 • November 2016

Timber Merchant Survey We want to help you to sell more timber. What do you want from us?

*Please open the pdf with Adobe Acrobat Reader to fill it. This survey is also available online at:


Produced by the Timber Trade Federation





Timber Forum News • Issue 1 • November 2016

Timber Forum News • Issue 1 • November 2016

Timber Prices climb during second half of 2016


he trend in falling average prices of imported softwood during 2015 has stopped about half-way through 2016 and is now on the rise. Since the low-point of April 2016, prices have risen by 12% to August 2016.

TTF announces new guidance on Marine Plywood

A similar pattern has been seen in hardwood prices. There is greater volatility associated with hardwood prices due to the smaller volumes traded and the changes in product mix from month to month.

The Act requires commercial organisations - which have a turnover equal to or larger than £36M - to describe the steps they have taken to ensure that slavery and labour exploitation are not taking place in any part of their supply chain or in any part of their own business. This must be published in an annual statement.

Photo courtesy of Nicks Timber Ltd

Hardwood plywood has seen price rises of 19% since June 2016, but this has been aided by lower volumes from China. Softwood plywood prices stand at roughly 12% above the March 2016 level.


erchants should be aware that the TTF has announced new guidance concerning the sale of Marine Plywood.

GBP / US Dollar fluctuations

Timber and Joinery among the best performers post Brexit, BMF Stats show

GBP / Euro fluctuations

Interested in Wood products? Wood Campus has produced a free, handy pocket guide to Joinery, Decking, Cladding, Flooring, Windows, Fire Doors and much more! Visit

As of June 2016, only those products supported by independent Third Party Quality Assurance can be sold as “Marine Plywood”. This means Merchants should ask their suppliers to provide this certification, clearly showing that the product meets the production requirements of BS.1088. The guidance was issued after repeated concerns over the durability of species being used in production of goods then being labelled as Marine Plywood. This does not mean that product without Third-Party certification is illegal, but it does mean it should be labelled as something else other than marine plywood.


imber and Joinery products have been among the best sales performers according to the August Statistics from the Builders Merchant Building Index (BMBI).

As shown by BMF Statistics, timber and joinery products were among the best performing products, reporting an 11.8% increase. Year to date, sales for timber and wood products grew 3.9%.This compared to growth of over 13.1% in total builders merchant sales.



he Builders Merchant Federation and the Timber Trade Federation have produced member guides to the Modern Slavery Act.

The Modern Slavery Act 2015 came into effect last year and aims to improve law enforcement and transparency on slavery and human trafficking. It is a major concern for goods with long, international supply chains.

The rise in tropical goods was a little over 4% and for temperate species an increase of 1% over the two 12 month periods. Since May 2016, average hardwood prices have risen by 16%.

The weakening of the Pound post-Brexit has been blamed for the price rises.

BMF & TTF launch guides to the Modern Slavery Act

Produced by the Timber Trade Federation

David Hopkins, Managing Director of the TTF said: “It is essential that our Members maintain the highest standards across all product ranges. We need to provide the market with the assurance and evidence it requires, that products sold by TTF members are fit-for-purpose and appropriate for the buyer’s needs.” For further information please contact Nick Boulton:

It is important to note that timber certification schemes and the TTF’s due diligence framework (RPP) already include provisions to address Modern Slavery through the adherence to international labour laws and declarations. The BMF’s employment lawyers Halborns can assist you with drafting your statement and ensuring you comply with the legislation. Contact Halborns for further guidance at For any queries you can also contact Owen Walton—TTF Communications and Research Executive—at

TDCA develops deck calculator app


he Timber Deck and Cladding Association has developed a deck calculator app providing a quick and simple means of quantifying the materials needed to produce a pressure treated softwood deck. Thanks to the app, users can find the correct type of timber for any construction, select a deck shape and get an estimate of the quantity of deckboard, joists, oil and fixings you require, and e-mail this list of materials to others.

The app is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod

The app also contains photos of constructions to inspire users, and an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section. If you've never before constructed a deck, this app can help you get started, and for professionals, here's an app that gives you a quick estimate on-site. The app is free to download on iTunes.


Timber Forum News • Issue 1 • November 2016

Timber Forum News • Issue 1 • November 2016

A panel products review to improve standards


he TTF has launched a review to examine perceptions that panel products are being mis-used, mis-sold or are simply not meeting the standards set for the products. The TTF is working with all points in the supply chain – producers, traders, merchants and builders – to ensure we are doing all we can to bring clarity, improve standards and improve ease of specification and purchase. The review is coordinated by the independent chair Charlie Law. Charlie was formerly Head of Environmental Management at BAM Construct UK and will be well known to many in the timber sector through his work with Grown in Britain. The Federation has already started organising stakeholder workshops and consultations as well as organising the logistics for a testing programme to look at product performance against the relevant standards. Charlie Law

Progress on this front will be reported at the NPPD meeting in December.

Join the BMF Chain of Custody Scheme


he BMF has teamed up with industry specialists Ligna Ltd to bring the option of straightforward FSC® and PEFC™ certification to builders’ merchants who want to demonstrate to their customers and staff that they are sourcing their timber and timber products from certified sources.

Indonesia starts export of FLEGT-licensed timber The agreement between Jakarta and the EU is a milestone in the fight against illegal logging

Ligna provides support, management and Certification to over 150 UK companies along the timber supply chain from forestry companies and importers to sawmills, merchants, joiners and retailers. With their wealth of experience Ligna can ensure you meet requirements of Chain of Custody in a way that has little impact on your daily operations or your ability to meet all your customer needs. The BMF has produced a new Timber Chain of Custody business guide to provide a bit more background. In addition, Ligna has offered a special BMF rate for getting and maintaining COC and will undertake an initial telephone consultation to see if this can work for you.

What is the FLEGT scheme? FLEGT—acronym of forest law enforcement, governance and trade—is the EU initiative to tackle illegal logging worldwide. It includes the EUTR—European Timber Trade Regulation—that governs the imports of timber and wood products in the EU.


Produced by the Timber Trade Federation

Promoting Timber Industry case to Westminster Main trade organisations in the Supply Chain back CTI revamped strategy


n October 2016 the Confederation of Timber Industry (CTI) launched its new Industry Manifesto during a Drinks Reception at Timber Expo in Birmingham. The event was held in collaboration with the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), the Structural Timber Association (STA) and the Timber Trade Federation (TTF). Alongside the Builders Merchants Federation (BMF), the three trade organisations will form the spine of a renewed CTI.

Save the date November 2016 30 CTI Westminster Conference, London

December 2016

n the 15 November 2016, Indonesia became the first country in the world to issue FLEGT licenses for its timber exports. The FLEGT scheme, which aims to bring the timber harvesting, transport, processing and exporting trade into a system of legality assurance, is a significant step in the fight against illegal logging and climate change. The United Kingdom will be one of the first countries to receive licensed products. These include door blanks and 3rd party verified marine plywood. The FLEGT licence automatically meets the requirements of the EU Timber Regulation, which prohibits operators in the EU from placing illegally harvested timber and prod-

From left to right: Andrew Carpenter, David Hopkins and Iain McIlwee

Ensuring continuity to the successful projects and activities undertaken in the past year, the Confederation will focus on four areas: - Value and Growth; - Sustainability; - Skills and Education; - Construction & Housing.

BMF Transport and Distribution Forum, Coventry

Confederation will also work to ensure the right policy and market frameworks are developed in a rapidly changing economic and political scenario. In this regard, the next few weeks will see the publication of 3 Policy Reports, designed to map the UK Timber Industry, and the launch of CTI inaugural Conference in Westminster on 30th November 2016. For more information, visit

BMF HR Forum, BMF, Coventry

February 2017 15

BMF Roofing Forum, Swindon

March 2017 7-9 Ecobuild, London 8

TTF Annual Dinner, Globe Theatre, London

September 2017 19-20 BMF Members’ Day, Hinckley Island Hotel

Builders Merchants Federation 1180 Elliott Court, Coventry Business Park, Herald Avenue, Coventry CV5 6UB

Importers of FLEGT-licensed timber products can place their imports on the EU market without the need to conduct further due diligence.

“We hope to see many more Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) countries achieve successful FLEGT licensing in the future.”



ucts derived from illegal timber on the EU market.

David Hopkins, TTF Managing Director, commented: “This marks an historic achievement on behalf of the United Kingdom and Indonesian governments, the UK timber trade and their combined involvement in the development of this market-based forest management policy.”

BMF Supplier&Service Member Forum, Coventry

9-10 Skills Show London 2016

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



E: - T: 02476 854980 W:

BMF Builders Merchant Award 2017 Nomination


t the 2017 Master Builder Awards, the BMF will be looking for a builder’s merchant that has successfully developed and improved its business since January 2016. To enter, please complete the form downloadable on BMF website and send it to To apply for the BMF Builders Merchant Award you must be a bonafide builders, plumbers, timber, heating or decorators merchant. Complete eligibility criteria can be found at Submit your entry before 31st January 2017.

Timber Trade Federation The Building Centre, 26 Store Street London, WC1E 7BT E: - T: 0203 205 0067 W:


Timber Forum News - Issue 1  

Welcome to the first edition of The Timber Forum News: a joint initiative between BMF and The Timber Trade Federation (TTF).